As Christians, we understand that we are each part of the body of Christ. We understand that the Church is comprised of many parts that each has a special function. The Church is people. Each of us are different. Each of us are part of the body of Christ. We also know that Jesus Christ spoke of unity and prayed for unity. This is important.
Paul wrote that “we all belong to each other,” as translated in the New Living Translation. I love this translation. We all belong to each other. I think this helps us to get a better picture of unity. If we belong to each other, it should mean that we care for those who belong to us. Don’t you care for your belongings? If we belong to each other, it should mean that we treasure those who belong to us. Don’t you treasure your belongings? Don’t you treat what you own nicely because it is of value to you? If we belong to each other, that means that not only does a person belong to you, but you belong to the person. This speaks of humility, connectivity, loyalty, and so much more.
One of the biggest areas we struggle with is unity. Jesus spoke a lot about unity because He knew of the struggles we would have with harmony as a body. When you take a group of imperfect people and join them together, there will be problems. But what links us together is the Holy Spirit. If we allow the Spirit to move freely and guide our steps, we can live as if we belong to each other. We can seek out the best interests for our brothers and sisters. We can think more of our fellow believers. We can treasure those God puts in our lives and ask Him how we can bless, encourage, and strengthen them on their walk. We can live within the unity instead of trying to break out on top. Remember today, we all belong to each other.
“Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.” – Romans 12:4-5 [NLT]
Everyone needs a friend. A few good friends can make a huge difference in your life. But are your friends loyal? That’s always something we only find out when we are knee deep in trouble. There are those friends who say they are friends when the going is good. When everything is going well, they are your friends. But you see your true friends when the times get tough.
When you have to move and it’s raining, your true friends are out there helping you as their sneakers are getting soggy. When you lost your job and won’t get your next check for a few weeks, the true friend is there with some food to help you along, not pretending you don’t exist till you are back to work. The true friend gives you a ride from the inspection place when you drop off your car, rather than let you walk in the dark at the wee hours of the morning, because they are concerned for your safety.
You might have a lot of friends. But when times are tough, the number may be fewer than you thought. I have found that to be very true in my own life. People are very quick to turn their backs and pretend nothing is happening. But a “brother is born to help in the time of need.” There are those God has placed in your life who are true friends—like family. Thank God for those true friends and ask Him to help you be one of those true friends, “a friend (who) is always loyal.”
“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” – Proverbs 17:17 [NLT]
“He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is!” – Deuteronomy 32:4 [NLT]
When I was getting myself ready, my dog Max was awaiting outside the door for me. I find it interesting that he will deprive himself of the air conditioning to wait in the hot hallway for me to finish. This loyalty shown by Max is the same loyalty we see when we look at Ruth or David. Consider how Ruth was not only loyal to Naomi, but how she also accepted God as her God, and she walked in faith despite the situation. Consider how David was anointed to be king, and yet he spent so much time running from King Saul, hiding and away from his homeland before he even became king as he was promised.
We are called to be loyal and obedient to God. This is a command that we are to follow when times are good or bad. Even when we are in the middle of a storm in life and everything is looking dim, we are to walk forward in faith, with obedience, with loyalty. The first part of the Book of Ruth notes Ruth’s faithfulness to God; the second part shows us how God is faithful to Ruth as well.
God is faithful. God is still moving in our lives today. Today may be the toughest day of your life, but remember you are not alone and God is not finished yet.