#1,452 - United in Christ (Judges 12:4) - Radical

#1,452 – United in Christ (Judges 12:4)

“Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought with Ephraim, and the men of Gilead struck Ephraim because they said ‘You are fugitives of Ephraim, you Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim and Manasseh.'”
-Judges 12:4

I read this verse because it’s a concise summary of civil war among God’s people. In this point in the book of Judges, God’s people are turning against each other and are fighting against each other in ways that are obviously destructive for them and ultimately dishonoring and displeasing to God.

God’s people are turning against each other and are fighting against each other in ways that are obviously destructive for them and ultimately dishonoring and displeasing to God.

We see this picture in Judges. And then when you read the rest of the Bible, and we see this tendency over and over and over again, and it’s all over the new Testament church. Even as I’ve been preaching through 1 Corinthians, I’ve just been reminded of divisions among God’s people and tendencies among God’s people to turn against one another. I think about Jesus’ prayer for us as God’s people before He went to the cross. This is the one thing He was praying for us as He transitions in John 17 to praying for those who would believe in Him through the witness of His original disciples. He prays that we would be one just as He and the Father are one. So it’s pretty clear what God desires for us as His people, and it’s also pretty clear all over scripture that there is a tendency to go against this desire.

So we pray, God, help us. God help us in any day, and especially this day, we pray. God amidst all the tumult that we have walked through in the world over the last year in light of a global pandemic and in light of so many other tensions, God, we pray that you would help your church to be one, as you are one as the Father and the Son together. God, we pray for a Trinitarian type of oneness, for a unity of heart and mind around your truth and your love around your word. God, help us. Help us all to hold fast to your word, and God help us to hold fast in grace, in mercy, and love toward one another.

When we have differences over things that are not clear in your word, God, please give us wisdom to discern these things in ways that we don’t turn against one another. God, we pray that you would help us to love one another in all the ways we see in places like First Corinthians chapter 13, Ephesians chapter four, Colossians chapter three.

God, we pray for each of our local churches. You would help us to love one another well in our local churches. You would help us to build each other up and have peace and walk in the fear of you and the comfort of your Holy Spirit. God, we pray for that in each of our local churches. We pray for that in the broader church as a whole. God help us to be known, John 13:35, for our love for one another in a way that resounds to your glory. In a way that just as you prayed in John 17, that the world might know that Jesus, the Son, has been sent by the Father to save the world from sin in love. God, that the world might know your love. We pray this according to Judges, chapter 12, and all over the Bible in Jesus’ name. In the name of the one who died that we might be one before you, a glad family before you our father. God, we ask for that in Jesus’ name. Amen.

View the 2021 McLean Bible Church Reading Plan.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

Less than 1% of all money given to missions goes to unreached people and places.*

That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Let's change that!