By Steve Simms
"Peace on earth, goodwill toward men!" The vision of Christmas includes caring for and getting along with all people; and being one with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus prayed for the oneness of His followers in John 17.
However, it's not easy to "love one another." To go beyond religious ceremonies and sanctimonious words and to genuinely care for people, treating them with kindness and compassion, is a major challenge.
Fact is, we humans can't truly love and serve one another without the love of the risen Jesus living and working in our heart. The Bible says; "Christ in you, the hope of glory."
Christmas is a reminder that a Savior has been born and that peace and goodwill are not just dreams. They are a reality that comes into the heart, life, and gatherings (assemblies) of those who will surrender to and obey the living Jesus.
"Two thousand years after His birth, death and resurrection, Jesus is still everywhere. There is not a place in the universe where He is not. Anyone who calls on the Lord Jesus will find Him, wherever the caller's location." --from ONE: Unfolding God's Eternal Purpose From House To House
This Christmas season, will you call on the Savior who was born as a babe in Bethlehem; and let Him be born in you and live in and through you as your risen Savior, which is Christ the Lord? It's difficult to understand the word "Lord" in the 21st century.
"Lord" means absolute Master; the sovereign ruler of your life. To say to say, "No, Lord," is an oxymoron; because telling Christ, "No," means that (at least in that situation) He isn't your Lord, your absolute Master.
The oneness that Jesus prayed for comes when people surrender their will to be governed and ruled by the risen Jesus -- no longer directing their own life, but daily following and obeying Him. This is called the kingdom of God. It begins within a person and then gradually works its way into their everyday lifestyle, conforming them to the character and behavior of Jesus.
All who follow Jesus' government ("and the government shall be upon His shoulders") in their daily life will be in sync with each other. They will be one in the Spirit and will flow together in love, service, caring, and harmony.
So, the thing that you and I can do to help bring about the answer to Jesus' prayer for oneness in His body is to make Him the absolute Master (Lord) of our life. All who do that begin to experience a wonderful and mysterious oneness with other people who have made Jesus their Lord. They experience peace on earth, and goodwill toward men! (Make Jesus your absolute Master and see.)
"All believers who abide in the life and nature of God are automatically one in Christ." --from the book ONE