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United, Equipped and Empowered To Serve

Psalm 133: 1, Ephesians 4: 1-7

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Unity is often the missing link in the church. Factions and schisms have destroyed many churches. Disunity is a device Satan uses to distract us from our true purpose. He knows if we continue fighting amongst ourselves, we will lose focus on whom the real enemy is. Unity, not to be confused with uniformity, can be defined as oneness-oneness of mind and feeling, the state of being combined into one.

There are so many things that divide us; denomination, doctrines concerning baptism, tongues, rapture, style of worship and race to name a few. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is quoted as saying, “The most segregated hour in America is 11 o'clock Sunday morning.” Unity of Believers was so important to Jesus that He prayed for it on His way to the cross (John 17: 20-23).

My husband is an avid sports fan (baseball, basketball, football, tennis and even golf). Once during the NFL drafts, he said that of all of the sports, football was the ultimate team sport. He said each player’s success is depended on the other players doing their part. He said that a great quarterback will look like an average one if he has a weak offensive line and a poor receiver. He further stated that although the quarterback is very important to the team, the most important person is the coach. He asserted that the coach strategizes and develops a system for his particular team to reach its potential and that a good team with a poor coach and weak system will never reach its full potential.

Can you imagine a football team that does not show up for practice, or a coach who does not instruct or fails to develop a system to help his/her team to win? What do you think would happen when they meet their opponents? Most likely they would be defeated. The same will happen to us as a Body of Believers. The Body is stronger when each member does his or her part, working together to ensure success. Each member is dependent on the other so that the Body will function as it was intended.

We serve a God of order. Everything He does and sets in motion has a purpose.

In Ephesians 4:11, Jesus has given "gifts" to His church (team). These "gifts" are to function as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors/teachers (Consider them coaches, if you will). Some believe that a few of them were temporary, such as apostles and prophets and that others are permanent, such as evangelists, pastors and teachers. Their purpose is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry to build up the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12).

We must practice by gathering to study the word of God and pray. We will then gain strength, learn the strategies of our enemy, and ultimately become effective witnesses. As a result, we will become united, equipped and empowered to serve.

Elder Shirley Freeman
Daughters of Zion Women's Ministries

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