November 2

Psalms 133:1-3 (NIV) 1How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! 2It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron's beard, down upon the collar of his robes. 3It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.

That is the whole psalm. It is one of the most beautiful expressions of the blessing of unity in Scripture. Most of us have witnessed very little of this type of unity. We are such demanding individuals in the flesh that, while in our flesh, this type of unity is impossible. The only way to arrive at this wonderful blessing is to do as the Apostle Paul said, "Esteem others better than yourself." Only when a group of people come to real humility in Christ can they find this blessing. In most assemblies, we find more division and disunity than anything else!

I have witnessed unity in a couple of different settings. One was in a cult. All members gave up their individual beliefs and preferences to follow the leader and submit to his teaching. That is not the unity written about here. This unity in the psalm has the blessing of God, life forevermore. The other setting was amongst a group of pastors who focused on Jesus and His salvation, the need to win the lost, and to touch their town with His love. They differed on interpretation of Scripture, on style, and even on how best to get to the goal, but they were united in purpose. They humbled themselves to listen to one another in hopes of the LORD leading them to the victory they so longed for. They realized that if one of them was successful that they were all going to be blessed.

Verse two compares unity to the anointing of Aaron for the priesthood. The anointing oil, a picture of the Holy Spirit, ran down over his beard and dripped on his priestly robes. When we humble ourselves and experience unity, we will see an overflowing of the Holy Spirit, not just a drop. Then he compares it with dew on Zion. The heights of mount Hermon would have dew when the rest of the nation was dry and dusty. Unity is attractive because it is so rare. The morning dew must have made the buildings on Zion glisten as if they were all made of silver. Unity makes everyone look anointed, shining, because Jesus is able to shine through.

Remember: Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that He might exalt you in due season.

November 2

2 Timothy 2:14-15 (NIV) 14Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

We can become so technical and precise that we are constantly correcting others, insisting on our preferred wording. It helps to remember that you once did not see things as clearly as you do today, and that tomorrow you will hopefully see things more clearly. That means you express yourself somewhat differently as you grow in the knowledge of the Lord. So cut yourself and others around you some slack. Don't focus on what you can correct, but what you can learn from others. It is pride that insists on others seeing the details as you do. It may be helpful to share your understanding in humility. You may find the person you are trying to correct will give you greater insight. Quarreling about words only ruins those who listen. It is a warning sign that you are in a prideful spirit. It never helps.

Paul told Timothy to do his best to present himself as an approved workman. His work is handling the Scriptures. They apply to every situation, speak to every audience, and correct every problem, if we know which ones are applicable by the Spirit. Our part is to be familiar with them so that the Spirit can quicken them.

Are you doing your best to present yourself to God as one approved? Are you familiarizing yourself with the Scriptures so that they are available to be applied to your life? Sometimes we discern the appropriate verse, but we don't make the applications and share the Word with those who need it. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind the appropriate passage AND to make an application. Then, share it with those who need it. It will be an example to them and give you the guidance that is needed for the moment.

Remember: We need to let the Word of Christ live in us richly (Colossians 3:16).