by Jen Manning
“Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!” (Philippians 4:5 MSG)
A clear view of what this message conveys required me to also look at the Amplified Bible: “Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience] be known to all people. The Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:5, AMP)
The descriptive words make it evident that we will need all those traits to show people we are on their side. We are not only on the same side, but our collaborative efforts are to fulfill the Great Commission, so we are on the same mission. We want to reach the hurting and the lost.
Why do I say hurting? Frankly, Christians don’t always have gentle spirits. Sometimes people run into each other. People get hurt unintentionally when a church is called to do something different. People feel led to go to a different church, which can cause unintended hurt to those church members who did not feel compelled to do so.
The important thing to remember is we need to prepare people for Christ’s return. It could come at anytime. “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36)
Whether we are ministering in love to those in the streets or those who occupy corporate offices, we are working in conjunction with fellow Christians to spread the gospel message. God “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4 NIV)
Let’s stop being divisive and embrace our fellow Christian co-workers. Let’s join together (jointly, side by side, shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand).
We serve the same God. We are saved by the same message of grace in our belief in Jesus Christ. Let’s work together as a community. Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” (Matthew 9:37 NIV)
Prayer: Thank you Father for my fellow co-workers because we want to live out a life dedicated to the mission of seeking out those who are hurting and lost and bring them into your care. Where there is discord, help create a spirit of unity and graciousness in our community. Thank you for loving me right where I’m at and guiding me to those who need that same love and sense of belonging. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.