OpportUNITY. When the body of Christ unites as one, God provides opportunities for His body to be Christ to the world. Jesus said that our unity as His disciples would be proof to the world that He is our Messiah and Savior. So when the body of Christ comes together as one it makes perfect sense that God will give His body endless opportunities to reflect His glory and story to the world He died for to save.
He certainly did this for our team of students this summer! Our students came from a diversity of universities, states, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. They brought with them life experiences that each contributed a wealth of insight and perspectives that were not all the same. BUT, what united all of this diversity was their unity under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
The divisions that began to creep into the church at Corinth were rooted in a shift of focus from Jesus Christ to men. Paul mentions Christ by name 10 times in the first 10 verses of the opening chapter of I Corinthians. He concludes this powerful repetition with verse 10: “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” In light of the context, what would that “same mind” and “same judgment” be but that Jesus Christ is Lord?
Every one of our students this summer united under that confession. Every one of our students were devoted disciples of Jesus. Intent on following in His steps and keeping in step with His Spirit, God brought them opportunity after opportunity to share His truth and grace with others. Not only did they share this truth and grace with others, but they discovered more of it themselves. That discovery was the result of their own humility and desire to continue growing in their personal discipleship. Their shared discipleship to Jesus as Lord brought them through their differences and presented them as one body of Christ to the rural communities they served. Each of them, on bended knee at the foot of Christ and His cross, gave undeniable proof of the truth and power of that cross, and the One who died on it for the salvation of us all.
I cannot adequately express my gratitude to Christ for allowing me to witness the power of His gospel in the unity of our students this summer. I pray that this same unity will prevail throughout the body of Christ, so that the world will believe He is Lord and Savior, and we are the answer to His prayer!