Unity

I was born an Auburn Tiger fan. My dad graduated from Auburn, so it was inherited. The Auburn – Alabama rivalry is the biggest and most intense rivalry in all of college sports. However, in the spring of 2011 those differences and strong dislikes were laid aside in the spirit of something much more important. In April of 2011 the state of Alabama was ravaged by one of the most deadly tornado outbreaks in U.S. history. The city of Tuscaloosa, home of the University of Alabama was nearly destroyed by a mile-wide F5 tornado, leaving many dead, including some University of Alabama students.

Showing up unannounced in the aftermath was about 70 Auburn football players (Not wearing Auburn blue & orange by the way) ready to help with cleanup anyway they could. An outpouring of help from the Auburn faculty, fans and alumni quickly followed, and suddenly these 2 intensely polarized groups were 1, just Americans. These rivals were unified Americans who had a common goal of rebuilding lives and rebuilding their state.

My spirit comes alive when I experience or even just hear about this kind of unity!

In a way, I see Revive Texas as being similar to the rebuilding efforts in Tuscaloosa. Unlike Auburn & Alabama, there is not an ugly rivalry between our church and other churches in our community; however, there is a history in many Churches of Christ of heated debates, non-cooperation, lack of fellowship, judgmental views, & rants from the pulpit toward any other church that interprets scripture differently. (even among CoC’s)

What I love about Singing Oaks being involved in Revive Texas, is that we are laying aside our differences in an effort to reach a goal we all share in common, which is lives in our community being saved by the grace of our Lord Jesus as they are reconciled to our Father! Will we agree on everything regarding the interpretation of scripture, or church leadership and practices? No, we don’t even have total agreement among ourselves! However, we have total agreement on what matters most; One God, God’s Son Jesus, His death and resurrection, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, God saves us by His grace through our faith, we must be baptized into Christ, we believe in the Great Commission to make disciples, and we look with great anticipation for Christ’s return. We all share the same desire to see lives transformed by Christ.

I believe there is great spiritual power when God’s children unite!

Ephesians 4:3-6 & 12-13
3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all….

…12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

The same Spirit has given us all different spiritual gifts, and I believe the Bible teaches us that those gifts are maximized when we are using them together in unity as God wills. Too often we remain in our silos, manifested in different ways, and we don’t see revival and spiritual victory like we desire due to our lack of unity.

The Bible is much more broad on what unifies believers than what our traditional church doctrines have taught and practiced.

1 John 1:2-4 & 7
2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete.
Verse 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

In Mark 9, the Apostles were concerned because someone they didn’t know was casting out demons in the Name of Jesus, and Jesus’ response says it all…

Mark 9:38-41
“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” 39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.

I strongly believe the skeptical world wants to see unity among believers before they will even give the Gospel a chance. There is so much skepticism among unbelievers, especially young American adults, due to how divided Christians have been for so long.

We also have a lot to learn from one another. I have grown so much through my experiences with a variety of believers throughout my journey from legalism to freedom. I do believe many other denominations need better Biblical instruction on baptism, which is something we can help with. At the same time, I think most of us need more trust in the Holy Spirit and better understanding of our freedom in Christ, which is something many other denominations have a better handle on. (in my opinion) Our attitude should be that of Aquilla and Priscilla in Acts 18, when they “explained the way of God more accurately” to Apollos. They didn’t refuse to teach with him or refuse to fellowship with him.

If we approach our involvement in this revival with a spirit of humility, seeking to both learn and to teach, I believe we will see not only revival in our city, but also a new level of power in the unified Body of Christ!

May Jesus’ heart-felt prayer in John 17 be answered by our unity and devotion to our common mission which is His great commission, and all to His glory!

John 17: 20-23
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.


Other Posts You Might Like:

Second Chance - Bob Bentley

Disaster! - Ross Thomson

Stop Restricting, Start Honoring - Kim Cook

Wet your Feet - Edy Torcero

The Pursuit of Happiness - Ross Thomson

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Location
McKinney at Cardinal

101 Cardinal Drive
Denton, TX 76209

940.387.4355

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Sunday Worship Schedule
8:30 - Worship (1st Service)
Attended Nursery (0-2yr). Children (3yr-4th grade) are dismissed during the sermon to attend children's church.
9:40 - Focused Fellowship
This is a time of fellowship and refreshments throughout the building. Children pickup before or after Kids Praise.
10:00 - Adult Bible Classes & Kids Discipleship
Adult Bible Classes - locations vary. High School & Middle School Discipleship Groups in the Youth area. Kids Praise for 3yr-4th grade. Nursery 0-2yr.
11:00 - Worship (2nd Service) & Kids Bible Class
Attended Nursery (0-2yr). Children (3yr - 8th grade) are dismissed during the sermon to attend Bible classes.

Wednesday Evening Schedule
5:30 - Fellowship Meal
Adults - $4 and Students/Children $3 (during the school year)
6:30 - Passion Worship
Praise and worship time in the Worship Center.
6:30 - Celebrate Recovery
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered, 12-step recovery group that provides a safe place to address and deal with life's hurts, habits and hang-ups.
7:00 - Bible Classes & Small Groups
Classes for children and adults of all ages and other ministry groups meet at various locations throughout the building.

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