I love college football. I loved playing football with the boys in the neighborhood when I was a kid and I would climb trees too. A couple of weeks ago I watched the National Championship even though I didn’t really care who won, I was cheering on the under “dogs’ from Georgia with all of my might. What I really loved was that the team was united in their goal of winning that game and supporting their quarterback all the way. They loved him. On one key play, almost all the players on the line literally pushed the ball carrier forward to a first down on a key play.

In 1st Corinthians we see Paul, admonishing or scolding the believers at Corinth to stand united “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” and not let quarrels or disagreements cause division among them. He wanted them to keep their eyes on the goal of spreading Jesus’ gospel, and on the cross, not on their favorite leader or even Paul himself. (1 Cor. 1:10-11)

I’ve received many calls over the years from individuals wanting to know who was preaching on a certain weekend, or when the Lead Pastor was going to be back in the pulpit if he’d been gone. Maybe they were going to bring visitors and wanted to be sure that “their pastor” was going to preach. I think Jesus might say to them, do you not think that I can use all pastors to spread the gospel? Do you want to hear the message or the messenger?  We should beware of anything that competes with our loyalty to Jesus Christ, even our preferences for the individuals who preach His word. We wouldn’t want to miss out on a special message God has for us or for our visitors because we waited for the right preacher to be in the pulpit on a given Sunday, I’m sure.

As Jesus followers, we should be united in our goal to bring praise and glory to Jesus while spreading His gospel message not unlike those football players who united to reach the end zone and score a goal for their team.  Our focus should be on the cross and unified around the One who was crucified.  We might not agree on every point or think the same way but focusing on the love Jesus has for us and the joy that brings, causes the other issues to grow dim and less important.  Our love for Him and each other will “cause the things of earth to grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace,” as the hymn Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus reminds us.

Lord, please help us keep our eyes on the cross and the sacrifice you made for us there and not on the earthly things that might divide us.

Deb Hill
Executive Assistant

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