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  • Heather Thomas Van Deren

Are We One?

As a Christian Music singer and songwriter, lyrics are always swimming around in my head. They don’t always turn into a new, dynamic song, but they’re almost always there. Does someone ever say something to you, and it either automatically “becomes a song in your head”, or reminds you of one already written? Especially when scripture, God’s Word, is involved? I know a lot of you can relate to what I’m saying, whether you’re a songwriter or not!

This happened to me recently, and I was compelled to write about it. Do you have a minute?

In case you haven’t noticed, this world is drastically changing. And fast! The hearts of men (and women) are becoming corrupt; even Christians are being deceived and matching the ways of the world, almost step for step! This is really scary to me. We must be on our guard! We are to be set apart! We are to be “One in the Bond of Love”. Wait! That’s a song! OK, if you’re old enough to remember it, I know you’re singing it in your head this very minute!

“We Are One in the Bond of Love” is a popular chorus written in the early 1970s by Otis Skillings. The lyrics are based on Colossians 2:2, Colossians 3:14, Ephesians 4:2-3 and John 17:23. Here’s how the chorus goes:

We are one in the bond of love; We are one in the bond of love We have joined our spirit with the Spirit of God We are one in the bond of love Let us praise Jesus Christ the Son; Praise Him now for the work begun Let us join our hands that the world may know We are one in the bond of love

Colossians 2:2, CSB: "I want their hearts to be encouraged and joined together in love, so that they may have all the riches of complete understanding and have the knowledge of God's mystery--Christ."

Colossians 3:14, NASB: "Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity."

Ephesians 4:1-2, NIV: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

Uhm, yeah……. What has happened to us, Christians? Have we forgotten why we’re here on this earth? Are the times and trials just too much for us, so we are forgetting to continue to exercise the greatest of all commandments? Can the world tell us apart from the next guy or gal out there? All I know is, there are a few things we should remember. I’ll try to put them in layman’s terms here for us all. And while it may seem I am pointing a finger at you, my thumb is pointing right back at me, as they say. This is good for all of us:

So, in layman’s terms: 1) We are no better than anyone else. The ground is level at the foot of the Cross, ya’ll! Christ is the ultimate example of love. He loves everyone else just as much as He loves you. 2) We have no right to judge another. (Matt. 7:1-5) 3) Oh, and this thing we call life? As a pastor friend of mine frequently says, “It’s not about you; it’s not about me… It’s ALL about Him!” We deserve nothing, we are entitled to nothing. Without the breath that God gives us moment by moment, we wouldn’t be here! Anything we receive in this life, whether it be a job, a blessing, a healing, food, or even a good friend…… it all comes from our heavenly Father, as a gift because He L-O-V-E-S us.

Did you know that Jesus prayed for us (yes, that also means YOU) the day before He was crucified? The 17th chapter of the Gospel of John is part of what’s called the “Farewell Discourse”. You really ought to read the entire chapter, but here is what He said to God in John 17, verse 22 and 23: “I have given them the glory that You gave Me; I in them and You in Me - so they may be brought into complete unity. Then the world may know that You sent Me, and have loved them, even as You have loved Me.”…. Is Christ in you, as the Father God is in Him? Does it show? Does the world know that Jesus has been sent to them, simply by the way we, as Christians unite in love?

As host of the testimony series titled, “What Love Means”, I often ask my guests this question: “If you were to say anything to the audience today that you think is most important of all, what would that be?” Of course, there is no right or wrong answer. But on one particular episode, a guest named Greg said a very simple thing that I and my viewers should never forget. Greg said, “Yeah! Love one another!”... BAM! That’s it! Love one another!

All I can say is “Thank God for do-overs!” He’s the God of 2nd chances! This means that today we can start over again, and quit our stinkin’ thinkin’! We can pray, and ask God to set our feet on the Rock that is higher than us! Let’s get started!

(To see Greg’s interview, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZAR7DPV3hQ, or click on the “What Love Means” tab on my website and look for Episode 8.)


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