14 Days of Devotion - Day 13: As One

May 15th at sundown
Today is day 49 of counting the Omer
Today is day 49 out of Egypt

Today is day 49 of Messiah resurrected
As One
Ephesians 4:1-6
Unity of the Body and of God
1 Therefore I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you were called—
2 with complete humility and gentleness, with patience, putting up with one another in love, 3 making every effort to keep the unity of the Ruach in the bond of shalom.
4 There is one body and one Ruach,
just as you also were called in one hope of your calling;
5 one Lord, one faith, one immersion;
6 one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.

One of the most important aspects of our lives as disciples of Yeshua is to remain in unity. In this passage, Paul is reminding the believers in Ephesus that God had called them to a unity that superseded their personal need. They were called as individuals who were made new creations and were to function as one. We can see a great example of this special, cohesive unity in the film The Gladiator. In the film, Maximus is a betrayed general who escapes execution only to be sold into slavery to become a Gladiator. One of the film’s great battle scenes occurs in the Roman Colosseum, where those organizing the “festivities” are going to reenact the battle of Carthage (149 BCE). Maximus and his companions were slated to play the role of the losers of that battle (Hannibal and his men); this meant they would face certain death. Just prior to entering the arena, they are given the counsel that they should “go and die with honor.”

Instead of shrinking back in fear and resignation, Maximus realized there were only two options; life together or death alone. He gathered his courage and spoke these words to his friends: “Whatever comes out of these gates, we’ve got a better chance of survival if we work together! Do you understand? If we stay together we survive!” As the scene unfolds, we see that those who followed his advice would indeed survive. Maximus led his men with courage, wisdom, and cunning strategy to a stunning victory over a much more heavily armed force. However, those who ventured off on their own were picked off by the enemy’s archers and were eliminated before the real fight ever began!

Friends, this is an incredible illustration of what we can achieve when we purpose to strive for unity. Through the example of Yeshua’s life and His words, the whole purpose of His earthly ministry becomes clear—not only did He come to redeem us from sin and death but also to make us one people with faith in the one true God. He wants us to share in the unity that He and the Father shared, a unity that is fueled by meekness, selflessness, and love. When we live this concept out and intentionally put aside our own agendas while seeking to meet the needs of others first, many lives will be dramatically transformed by the power of God’s love moving through us.

Heavenly Father, help us to be united as we seek You. Amen.