Acts 15:2 – When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
DIVISION; a mathematical function by which a number is broken into smaller component parts. In “simple division,” one number is divided into another number to determine how many times it can be found in that second number, and determine if anything is left over (a remainder). For example, if you divide 53 by three, your answer is “17 with a remainder of two.” You have 17 equal component parts with two parts remaining. But if “three” is required for appropriate function, the there remains “two” that cannot function appropriately, and in many cases, may simply be left behind or tossed aside. Sadly, that kind of math has occurred far to often in the church. In fact, once was too much, but it has happened again and again in the history of the church.
In the church, dear reader, such things should not happen. But how can it be avoided? People will be people, and there will always be different opinions. Yes, that is correct. I remember being in a Biblical discussion once on the topic of Christians not always acting the right way. After some thought, my response was this; “You can always count on ‘children of God’ acting like children. Unfortunately, you cannot always count of ‘children of God’ behaving in a godly manner.” That remark has stayed with me over the years, and the recurrence I have seen of that truth is about as consistent as the recurrence of sunrise every 24 hours.
Can division be avoided? Yes! How? Do the Word! Here are some thoughts on that.
- Commit to allowing the Word of God to be the first statement and final word in ALL matters.
- Select elders and leaders prayerfully, not just based on aptitude. Attitude counts, too.
- Pray – FOR, WITH, & OVER elders and leaders. They’re still human.
- ALWAYS adjudicate EVERY topic in light of the Word of God.
- Wait, I say, wait upon the Lord. In so many situations, the best speeds of decision are “slow and slower.”
- Take time for SOAKING. After a matter is set forth, allow the Word to saturate your being. When you’re dehydrated, just jumping in the river is not enough.
- Everything that EMERGES is not an EMERGENCY. Thoughts are to be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. You don’t immediately destroy them because you don’t understand them. That which is “captured” can be studied to be properly discerned.
- Make sure God is in the discussion. ONLY when He is in the discussion can Biblical reasoning occur.
Be blessed, stay strong, and make every day a great one!
Manna for Today – Acts 15:1-21; Matthew 18:19-20; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Amos 3:3; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6