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Devotional - week of June 10, 2012


STRIFE IN THE CHURCHES

 

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting … strife. Romans 1:28-29

 

One of the saddest things in the life of a church is strife leading to division. The conflict in one church led to the two groups sitting on opposite sides of the church in worship services. Satan loved it!

 

One of the greatest weapons Satan has is a divided church. In such situations members of the church who love the Lord experience deep grief. One lady who had gone through such a sad situation said, “I would rather die than go through that again.”

 

Living in strife is bad enough when it is between two friends or within a family. However, when it takes place in a church, it becomes known in the community. This damages the church and the name of the Lord.  

 

Why do those who profess to know Jesus participate in such destructive activity? Almost always the cause is that one person or a group of persons disagrees with something that the Lord has led the church to do. 

 

The statement about strife is mentioned in of a long list of sins that result from believers “Professing themselves to be wise (Romans 1:22).” That verse ends with “they became fools.” There is strife because we think we are wise. Thinking we are wise is our sin nature. It is our flesh.  Thinking we are wise can lead to arrogance and selfishness. It leads to strife and to divisions in our churches.

 

There is a solution to the problem of divisions in our churches. Galatians 5:24 teaches that the flesh with its affections and lusts has been crucified. Since that is true, why could there ever be strife between two born again people or between two born again groups?

 

Even though our flesh is crucified, we must experience our crucifixion by living out the commands of Romans 6:11-13. When we experience the crucifixion of the flesh, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. We are filled with God’s type of love.