Welcome to the P.J. (Pastor J) Sound Theology Blog

Friday, September 14, 2012

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord!

We are One in The Spirit,
We are One in The Lord.
We are One in The Spirit,
We are One in The Lord.
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.

And they'll know we are Christians by our love,
By our Love,
Yes they'll know we are Christians by our love. 

The above lyrics pinned by Peter Scholte in 1966, may be very familiar the song We Are One In The Spirit has been song in worship services across the world and in various languages. However many of those singing are not united in unity or Spirit. So today I encourages us to focus on the following text from Ephesians:

Ephesians 4:1-16

New International Version (NIV)

Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Paul our apostle writes to the church of Ephesus urging them to be on one accord. Paul has been hearing of many arguments, schisms and splits among the people of God and is sure that if they continued to remain divided they would never survive. For Paul only unity would ensure survival as a people of faith and would enable Christ message to change the world. For me Paul's words still reign true as the Church is still divided over doctrine, social issues and political agendas! I pray that in both our spiritual and personal lives you and I can reach across the aisles of division in order to wholeheartedly peruse unity with those whom we have been at odds with. Today who are you into it with that you need to come to terms with, who do you need to forgive, who do you need to grow together with? Why not start being one today? What better day to reach across the aisle then today, what better moment than now?

Pray for me as I reach out, and know that I'm praying for you. Be well, love P.J.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Where's your focus?

3 John 1

New International Version (NIV)
The elder,
To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honors God. It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.
I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. 10 So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.
11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone—and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.
13 I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.
Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.

Today marks the 11th anniversary of the tragic 9/11 events. As I reflect back to the traumatic events of that morning 11 years ago, my heart still aches.  Even more so I am saddened by the reaction of hate, racism, and exclusion by many because of our hurt, pain and shock as a Nation many of us lost focus on doing the will of God and promoting love in the world. Today I turn to 3 John chapter 1 for spiritual strength and encouragement, because as the apostle writes this letter some in the early Church specifically Diotrephes. Diotrephes has lost focus turning his back on fellow believers and the marginalized masses who needed the Church most.  The apostle reminds his readers that we are not to loose focus despite what obstacles and challenges life sends our way. Instead we are to take heed of the words from verse 11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God". Now is our chance 11 years later to hate no more, to point blame no more, to regain our focus and began to repair our relationships with fellow believers, with one another, and with the least, lost, and left out in our communities.  What's your focus? I pray that it is to love all, to give much, and to do as little hare as possible in the world we all share. May peace rest upon you this hopeful day. 

Be Well, P.J.