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Christian Men at Work Podcast

Sep 12, 2022

John 17:20-26
"I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who [j]will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”"

Eph 4

I, therefore, the prisoner [a]of the Lord, [b]beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in [c]you all.

Spiritual Gifts

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says:

“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”

(Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also [d]first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the [e]edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

The New Man

17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as [f]the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

Do Not Grieve the Spirit

25 Therefore, putting away lying, Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give [g]place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary [h]edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, [i]clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Both Jesus, Yeshua, and Paul are speaking to and about fellow believers in Yeshua.
This is not talking about the woke idea that everyone needs to tolerate every idea as equally valid and moral, and it's certainly not talking about the coming push for a One World Religion.
This is talking about unity within the body of The Way, the body of our Messiah Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach.
This issue of unity has been on my heart for many reasons.  One is because of recent conflict with a close family member relating to my Messianic beliefs and practices, but also a teaching I've been following from a Messianic teacher from a Youtube channel and ministry called MTOI, Messianic Torah Observant Israel called "Unity and Division in the Body of Messiah".
He makes several points in that teaching that I want to pass along.
We can and should pursue truth in various areas of our faith, but we can practice and believe in our convictions without feeling the need to push those on others.
Our goal should be to be selfless, where our focus is on our Creator and not on ourselves, and by doing so we'll be operating in the spirit and not in the flesh.
If we are selfless, we cannot be offended and we will not feel the need to be right, or for others to acknowledge that we're right.
Note that I'm talking about behavior within the body of believers.  We are told to make disciples and to share the good news of the Gospel, but these lessons also can inform how we go about talking to and dealing with unbelievers.  Remember we're told to always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us the reason for the hope that we have.  That's different than sharing something with someone who didn't ask for the information.
This teacher also talked about a mental exercise that's helpful for us to make.
Our Heavenly Father wants to spend eternity with us, but though He wants all to come to be saved, we know that not all will be saved.
He has given us free will and He has told us how He wants us to think and how to live.  To me , it's clear that it matters to Him the condition of our hearts and who He is going to spending eternity with.
What if you were able to choose who you were going to spend eternity with.  Who would it be and what would be your criteria?
A more eye opening is what is others were able to choose who they were going to spend eternity with, on whose list would you be included and would you be included on anyone's list?
 This exercise got me thinking about my impact on others in general, as well as in the workplace.
When God created Adam and Eve and He told them to be fruitful and multiply, and that same command applies to us.
That can mean we should bear children, but it can also refer to the fruits of the spirit described in Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [a]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."
Are you bearing this kidn of spiritual fruit at work, as well as at home, and within the larger body of Christ?
Fred Abakah, Merchant Marine in Ep. 4.
Some of you may be in the military, or in jobs where you spend time with your co-workers for long periods of time away from home.  If so, you may benefit from listenig to that episode.
18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19 Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. - Deuteronomy 8:18 NKJV
Dad Joke "Why can't a nose be 12 in long?" - then it would be a foot
MTOI Teaching (7) Covenant Community 101 | Unity & Division in the Body of Messiah | Part 3 - YouTube