Psalm 133 (NLT)
How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the LORD has pronounced his blessing even life everlasting.
This morning I pulled out the crockpot and began gathering the ingredients for Sunday dinner. The hand selected roast chosen after two trips to different stores. The list of ingredients found after multiple attempts on Pinterest until the family finally approved. After hand rubbing the roast with the various spices, I added potatoes and carrots on top. Apparently with this particular combination, my potato snob family will actually eat them now rather than preferring mashed potatoes with a savory slow-cooked roast. Today is important. First, we will attend a worship service and honor God. Then everyone will gather to watch football, take naps and eat this delicious meal. It has become a Sunday Dinner tradition. It is my favorite day as the Peace of God flows through a family knit together in His Love. There is nothing like it.
Harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head…the Lord loves harmony in His People so much so that the enemy has leveled an aggressive attack against the family, relationships and even the Body of Christ pulling and tearing, twisting and choking out love, friendship and peace with the grip of Leviathan. He has had great success. It is wonderful to live in peace. We strive and struggle for so many things that would not be necessary if we could find peace and harmony as the Lord has ordained for His People. It is worthwhile and valuable but comes from the hope that is found only in faith therefore it cannot be seen with the human eye but is produced as a fruit of the Spirit living inside of us as believers. We are responsible to discover peace in this life and live in harmony with one another. It produces blessing in this life and the everlasting.
Romans 12:9-18 (NLT)
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
The first time I made this particular recipe, I couldn’t help but wonder why would anyone combine these items in the first place and expect them to taste good. It seems in life the most unlikely things seem to be exactly what God designed to work together but because the enemy continues to try to destroy relationships it is often missed in the chaos. When our daughter was eight years old she had a crush on a boy who was the son of our pastor. I prayed that God would not make anything of this in years to come because of the politics of religion. There were plenty of other nice boys that she could fall in love with when she grew up. She broke up with him as is the case in many childhood crushes and both moved on to grow and develop. I have always prayed that my children would only have eyes for the one that God created for them. As God would have it, her senior year in high school she came to me to share the “wonderful” news that she was “talking” to this young man again and yep he is still our pastor’s son. But unfortunately due to the statistics of relationships both sets of parents were concerned that a broken heart could potentially harm our friendship with one another. We had no choice as they are both adults so everyone just hung on for the ride. The Lord definitely has a sense of humor. Instead of being an emotional rollercoaster, it appears our precious daughter has found her soul mate. Shame on me for expecting worldly results from godly children.
In Romans 12, we are called to be living sacrifices but never go beyond the first three verses of the chapter to see what the Lord is really talking about here. This is not a religious process but a relationship promise. God wants us to really love each other. Even though we hate what is wrong, we are to cling tightly to what is good in other people and use that to cultivate relationships. To work hard and enthusiastically for the Lord removes the barrier of competition that keeps us looking at other people as barriers to success and allows us to love them unconditionally knowing that the Lord is our helper and provider at all times. Our confident hope allows us to rely on the unseen resources of God as we reach out to help others in need knowing everything that we need is supplied by His Riches in Glory! Be eager to exercise hospitality knowing the Lord will bless our faithfulness to others. Bless your enemies. Love them. Never cursing them or remaining at odds with them. We are to do EVERYTHING in life considering its effect on other people in our life. Does it express the Love, Faith and Hope found in Jesus Christ? To be a living sacrifice and offer the sweet aroma of affectionate worship and praise requires it. Not our own way, but the Lord’s Way.
Romans 14:17-19 (NLT)
For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.
Jesus Christ came to this earth to restore a right relationship with God for His People. He was successful. Now we are commanded to love one another as Christ loved the church. You can be religious and never have a relationship with the Lord. You can serve Christ biblically, yet still withhold your heart from Him. If you please God, others will approve you because to please God means that we must love others. Let us aim for harmony not only in church (we really need to learn to love each other in the House of God) and build each other up rather than clawing our way to the top. Such a lifestyle will produce goodness, peace and joy in the life of every believer.
I John 4:7-8 (NLT)
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
“You KNOW I love you…” is one of the most annoying statements that I have ever heard between two people. Usually spit out in the midst of a disagreement between couples, it should be viewed as a warning rather than an offense. It is our sole purpose in life to love one another. If you cannot properly demonstrate love to those you have a close family bond with then watch out! You probably need to take the time to rediscover how God sees love. After all, God is love. Begin by reading I Corinthians 13 the “Love” chapter of the Bible. It tells what love is and what it is not. This amount and measure of love should be applied to every single relationship that we have in life from intimate connections to strangers we pass in our life. Believing in Jesus Christ means that we have accepted His Commandment to love other people. (I John 3:23) Our freedom from sin and the grave allows us to love unconditionally because of the unconditional love that we have received. To live in dislike, division and hate is not of God and puts us back in bondage tied up with unforgiveness. We are forgiven. We are free to love others without expecting anything in return. Use your freedom wisely. (Galatians 5:13) We are to mediate on ways to motivate others to love and good works which means love is not a struggle for us anymore. (Hebrews 10:24) Love is definitely an action word for Children of God. We can love because of the overflowing love that abides in us. (I Thessalonians 3:12) When faith is flourishing, so will your love for other people. (2 Thessalonians 1:3) It’s time to get cooking as Living Sacrifices and love somebody!
Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT)
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
To consider yourself better than someone else as a believer is to be religious and not in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. God hates religion, it nailed Jesus to the Cross. Religion is about man but God wants a relationship with you. A productive relationship with God through Jesus allows us to love other people and live in harmony with the most aggravating ones that we know. It will require tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility…humility…humility, gentleness and patience…patience…patience. You can be merciful because you have received mercy and get a fresh supply every day. (Lamentations 3:23) You can be kind because you have experience God’s Goodness which works its way through your life including every single detail good or bad. (Romans 8:28) Humility is a necessity in repentance and salvation. You were created to glorify God this is a reflective position. When He is ready, He will lift you up when you are ready. In the meantime, humble yourself to love the unlovable. Gentleness. It is time to put away the wrath of judgment and condemnation. It is not your right or responsibility to determine the right standing of another – you are simply to love them with the Love of Jesus Christ which leads them to repentance and salvation. There is no condemnation in Christ and only God can be our Judge. If you wrap your life in the Love of Jesus Christ by faith, it will rub off on other people. To be consumed with Love for the Lord will cultivate faithful and true love for other people and not just yourself. You will find compassion for others that you never knew you had. Then comes the good part, the Peace that comes from Christ will rule in your hearts carrying over into your life. Suddenly, all the details no longer matter – it is the final product that we are after. We will be one body – the Body of Christ – joined in a love stronger than death. Be thankful. No matter what happens – God loves you! Harmony is a byproduct of love and precious to God. It is a worthy sacrifice for the One who gave everything for us! Harmony will allow God’s Anointing to flow through your life bringing for the potential of every promise and producing a harvest like never before. Harmony allows peace to flow through your life. There is nothing like the Peace of God. Be blessed today! Live in harmony with one another. Love others unconditionally. Allow for every fault and failure with faithful love found in Jesus Christ. You are cooking up a sacrifice worthy of your Lord and Savior when you choose to live in the Harmony of God!
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NLT)
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.