Let Scripture Unite Us, Not Divide Us

Scripture: “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” – John 5:39,40

We learn in Timothy that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. – (2 Tim. 3:16,17) Yet it is important to know that Scripture alone does not give us life. We have life through Jesus. Jesus says in John 10:10 that “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

John 5 provides us a great perspective. We don’t read scripture only to pursue knowledge and wisdom through the Word of God. What we should aim to seek through study of scripture is a deepened relationship and love for God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Wisdom and knowledge are certainly some of the gifts that we receive as a result. But that is simply fruit from the tree, grapes from the vine. There are so many other benefits, but that is another post, but I will leave that discussion for a future post.

What is important to remember here is that scripture should lead us to Christ. In John 5, Jesus is talking to Jewish leaders who were persecuting him for healing a lame man of 38 years on the Sabbath. He is amazed that they claim to have so much knowledge, yet they are missing the main point that Jesus is the Son of God that is mentioned in the Old Testament scriptures that they study diligently! Jesus says that, “These are the very Scriptures that testify about me.”

So as we study scripture, let is lead us to Jesus. As we study Scripture, let is bring us closer to Jesus, and to God our Father. Let it build up our relationship with Him.

Let us not get hung up on the details of what we should and should not do. We are all unique and beautiful creations, children of God put here on earth for our own unique purpose. Let us recognize that what God is saying to us through Scripture might not be what God needs someone else to hear. God’s Word is the Living Word. Let us celebrate that God speaks to us directly through His Word, and that it does this for everyone.

Let us not discount the work that God’s Word is doing in someone else’s life just because it is not the same as it is doing in ours. For we are all members of the same body of Christ. We have our own unique God-given gifts, our own calling – (Rom. 12:4-8). And we should aim to develop our relationship with God and pursue our calling, and when that aligns with another’s calling, we can work together. And when it does not, that is fine as well. It doesn’t mean that one is right and one is wrong.

Romans 12:10 tells us that we are to “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Honoring each other means we are to honor what God is doing in each other’s lives, even if it doesn’t necessarily line up with what God is doing in ours. In fact, Romans 12:10 says that we should honor one another “above” ourselves.

So while the study of scripture is so good and so critical in helping us get closer to God, let us not lose sight of the bigger picture that God is doing something unique and beautiful in our brothers and sisters life as well, even if we don’t necessarily understand it or are on a different path for now. That doesn’t mean we turn a blind eye to teaching, correcting, and training in righteousness. But let our mindset come from a place of love, peace, and understanding, rather than debate, argument, and ego. Let us honor each other above ourselves.

Let us remember that God is at work in each of us. And let the study of scripture unite, and not divide us, through the love of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word this morning. Let it bring us closer to You Lord, and to our brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ. Help us to see other people as children of God, members of the same body of Christ. Help us to honor each other and our own unique gifts and calling. Help us to see the beauty of each other’s calling, and look beyond our own, so that we can support each other as members of one body of Christ. For we know that we cannot do this alone. And let us not lose sight of the fact that our Strength comes from you and You alone. We love you God, and seek you first. Help us to walk in righteousness according to Your Will, on earth as it is in heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Image courtesy of: .nita.

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