Unity in Christ

February 5, 2008

Here are a few notes on series of talks by a gentleman called Alan Baker.

God Desires Christian Unity

Eph 1:10 Then when the time is right, God will do all that he has planned, and Christ will bring together everything in heaven and on earth.

God’s purpose is to reconcile us in Christ

Jesus Work Prayer for Our Unity

Joh 17:20 I am not praying just for these followers. I am also praying for everyone else who will have faith because of what my followers will say about me.

Joh 17:21 I want all of them to be one with each other, just as I am one with you and you are one with me. I also want them to be one with us. Then the people of this world will believe that you sent me.

Joh 17:22 I have honored my followers in the same way that you honored me, in order that they may be one with each other, just as we are one.

Joh 17:23 I am one with them, and you are one with me, so that they may become completely one. Then this world’s people will know that you sent me. They will know that you love my followers as much as you love me.

Just before the cross, Jesus prayed for our unity.

The Power of Unity

Gen 11:6 he said: These people are working together because they all speak the same language. This is just the beginning. Soon they will be able to do anything they want.

When people work together, their capacity to achieve is greatest.

The Results of Unity

Psa 133:1 (A song for worship.) It is truly wonderful when relatives live together in peace.

Psa 133:2 It is as beautiful as olive oil poured on Aaron’s head and running down his beard and the collar of his robe.

Psa 133:3 It is like the dew from Mount Hermon, falling on Zion’s mountains, where the LORD has promised to bless his people with life forevermore.

Unity results in:

  • anointing
  • blessing

Objections

Q. Isn’t unity is a spiritual thing.

A. Yes, but it has a physical manifestation

Q. Aren’t we already one?

A. Why, then, did Paul say:

Eph 4:3 Try your best to let God’s Spirit keep your hearts united.

Q. But isn’t it impossible?

A. Possibly, but that does not mean we should not try. Progress is possible.

Q. There are limits (e.g. Only amongst penticostals), aren’t there?

A. John 17 says “All”.

Q. Can’t unity only be achieved through sovereign work of God in revival.

A. Unity leads to outpouring of the Spirit, not the other way around.

Q. Isn’t it a lowest-common-denominator fudge?

A. No, it is based on love and honesty. It is a matter of the heart, not doctrine.

Q. What about doctrinal issues?

A. It is loving people despite differences.

Tools for Achieving Unity

From Ephesians 4

  • humility
  • gentleness (power under control)
  • patience
  • bearing with one another in love.

Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit.

Phi 2:1 Christ encourages you, and his love comforts you. God’s Spirit unites you, and you are concerned for others.

Phi 2:2 Now make me completely happy! Live in harmony by showing love for each other. Be united in what you think, as if you were only one person.

Phi 2:3 Don’t be jealous or proud, but be humble and consider others more important than yourselves.

Phi 2:4 Care about them as much as you care about yourselves

Phi 2:5 and think the same way that Christ Jesus thought:

Phi 2:6 Christ was truly God. But he did not try to remain equal with God.

Phi 2:7 Instead he gave up everything and became a slave, when he became like one of us.

Phi 2:8 Christ was humble. He obeyed God and even died on a cross.

  1. Interest factor (v4). 2 visions – yours and mine. What is on your heart, brother?
  2. Servant factor (v6). How can I serve you brother?
  3. Death factor (v8): 2 crosses – Jesus’ and mine. What do you need from me, brother?

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Focus, Influence and Change

January 28, 2008

We all want to change the world, but where to start?

By targetting the areas of life where I have most influence, I will be able to have greatest effect. So, it makes sense to focus on changing the things where I have most influence. 

I have more control over myself than over others; so my ability to influence my world begins within me and works outwards. I start with my inner world, and work outwards.

At home, for example:

  • My inner world (motivation, ideas, emotions)
  • My outer world (my appearence, my stuff)
  • My family
  • My close friends
  • My other friends
  • The groups that I belong to
  • People I do business with
  • Strangers
  • etc.

Or at work:

  • My inner world (my motivation, my ideas, my emotions)
  • My outer world (my appearence, my workspace, my work)
  • My team (through building relationships, offering support, making suggestions)
  • My department
  • My organisation
  • My city
  • My country
  • The world

So, mastery of the inner world should be a significant aspect of my life’s work. How, for example, can I expect spread peace between others if I am not at peace within myself?

Unfortunately, self-mastery is not easily achieved. Nevertheless, it is a worthy aspiration, and should form the heart of my strategy for brining about change in any other aspect of life.


Bankrupt without Love

January 21, 2008

No matter how lofty the words, if I have no love, it is all just empty noise.

If I forsee the future, if I am privy to deep mysteries and hidden knowledge, and if I have it within my power to shake the very earth, but have no love, I am just a feeble, empty-headed fool.

If I pay the price, with all the riches I possess, giving even my very flesh, but have no love, then I gain nothing, and am forever truly bankrupt.

For the greatest of all things – is love.


Winners and Loosers

December 21, 2007

The only thing worse than someone who cannot loose gracefully…

Is someone who lacks grace when the win.


Achieving Mediocrity

November 26, 2007

Some people strive to achieve greatness.

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Book Notes: The Rules of Work

July 19, 2007

Here are my notes on, “The Rules of Work: A Definitive Code for Personal Success” by Richard Templar.

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Definition: Kaizen

July 17, 2007

 http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bild:Kaizen.JPGYesterday, I was reading the preface to the book “The Pragmatic Programmer”, and came across the word “Kaizen” for the first time.

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