Summary: Unity in itself is neutral, it is what we are untied for that determines whether it is evil or good. So we need to answer the questions, what is Christian unity?

Every Christmas season my wife and I have the same conversation about gifts. She asks me what I want, and I tell here there is nothing that I want. I have reached that point in my life that if there is anything I want or need, and I have the funds I just go and get it. So, the idea of getting me something as a gift is not that important to me. On the other hand, I will spend hours trying to figure out what she wants and make sure she gets a gift. Then of course she out of her love for me will get me something. It is a cycle that has been and will be repeated for many years. There is not one of us that does not like receiving gifts, and it is human nature to want to give back. Perhaps that is why it is so hard for so many to understand that God is the greatest giver of all and asks nothing from us in return.

God asks for nothing because he needs nor wants nothing. The reality is that there is already nothing he does not own. He tells us that every beats of the forest are his, he owns the cattle on a thousand hills. All the birds and all that moves in the field is his. And yet he gives back to us so generously. The sun rises on the righteous and the unrighteous, it rains on the good and the evil. Every breath you take and very beat of your heart is a gift from God. These things alone should humble us but in our own prideful arrogance we deny that he even exists, and in doing so we claim that we have a right to do as we please. We end up worshiping the creation and not the Creator. Jesus asks the question, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” The things of this earth like the grass and the flowers will fade, but the things of heaven will last for an eternity.

“Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” The answer is nothing, there is nothing we can give, nothing we have that is worthy as payment for our sin. Yet God in his great mercy and grace gives us eternal life through his Son Jesus Christ. When we come seeking the Son, we do not come standing tall and asking as if we deserve anything, we come as beggars seeking alms, in ragged cloths unworthy of anything that God is willing to give to us. If we put a price on this gift, if we in our pride decide that there is something, we must do to earn God’s favor it is no longer a gift. We must put our pride aside, less we become puffed up and self-righteous. We are beggars coming before a King, seeking mercy we do not deserve and grace we cannot earn.

“God so loved the world he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” As with any gift it is up to those who receive it to open it. God has offered you a gift, a gift that requires nothing from you in return. His Son left the wonders of heaven, to live among us, to live a perfect sinless life, only to bet convicted, beaten and nailed to a cross for your sins. He died and on the third day rose from the grave, and he now sits at the right hand of the Father, praying for you and intervening on your behalf. All you have to do is accept the gift he offers, turn from your sin and seek Christ as your Lord and Savior and you will then have the right to be called a child of God, a heir to the kingdom and have eternal life.

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