Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Moving Forward, Staying Together


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
At our ECM last Sunday, 67% voted in favour of taking up auditorium and ancillary space in the PCS Hub. The requirement of a 2/3 majority was determined by the EDC even though the EDC was empowered to just call for a simple majority vote. Behind the decision was the thought that a weighty decision such as this was not to be taken lightly by just a simple majority vote.
 
Am I disappointed that the resolution was not carried by a greater majority which would indicate unwavering support? I am not. God’s sovereign hand is over all matters of man. Further, I have met with some of those who voiced their disagreement with the move. They too are God-loving, Christ-following Christians who prayed over the matter and I respect their decision to vote according to their conscience as they sense God’s leading. One would have to be self-righteous to dismiss their voices as misguided. I surely do not and I am thankful to God for their maturity in being transparent about the concerns in their hearts.
 
However, I believe God still wants us to move together as his people whichever way one voted. The less-than resounding majority is simply an invitation to not just look to our Lord, but to actually LEAN on him, in this challenging moment. With sincere affection, may I hearken all of us to the big picture that he desires for us - to love our neighbour as we love ourselves (Luke 10:27b). Jesus wants us to love God and love people, in that order. He reinforced this application to our relationship with fellow believers, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).
 
Our Lord’s desire for His Body is that we love and be concerned for each other even when we do not agree with one another. That is how we bring glory to God and validate our discipleship by pursuing unity out of humility and service, even when we do not get our way. That’s why the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write "If you have any encouragement from being united in Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others better than yourselves” (Phil 2:1-3).
 
Jesus’ message to his church is very clear - we are ONE BODY regardless of different opinions. What God desires is that we love one another no matter what has transpired. We cannot maintain un-christlike attitudes toward people with whom we worship Christ together. We should choose to be loving and kind even when we feel otherwise. God has commanded this of us and he will provide the grace for us to obey, if we yield to his Spirit’s leading. Whatever has happened, God knows all about it. Yet, he will tell us it does not change His Word that we are to love one another.
 
It is best to stay forward-focused by looking up to Heaven as we will spend eternity together having been connected as members of the Body of Christ. That is always better than looking at life through a rear-view mirror. As we press on, one day we will reap the fruit of perseverance and praise God with joy, having seen his overcoming grace at work in this journey.

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