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Unity Pie

When I lived at home I remember my mom always having a pie, or cake, or something sweet around the house all the time.  When I came home from school, I would be tired from books and sports, and I couldn’t wait to taste that good ole pie or cake that would be waiting for me.  One time some of my friends from school came home with me and got the treat of mom’s dessert.  After they got one taste of what was waiting for me, they made it an ongoing habit to come to Faye’s Kitchen at least twice a week.  My mom was a hit and she made me a hit with my friends at school.  One day when I came home she had gotten busy and didn’t have a dessert and I was really disappointed and let her know about it.  She said, “You don’t realize all it takes to bake a pie or cake, so now is the time for you to see how it’s done!”  Mom proceeded to grab all the ingredients and put them on the counter and I was amazed at how many things it took to make one pie.  This particular pie was a pecan pie, so we had 1 – 9” pie shell, 1 ¼ cups of chopped pecans, 2 eggs, 1 cup of corn syrup, ¼ cup of brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon of molasses, 2 Tablespoons of melted butter, 2 Tablespoons of flour, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  She told me exactly how to get everything set up and when it was prepared, how long to cook it, and let it cool.  About one hour later, I had my pecan pie.  Whoa….I didn’t bargain for this and from that moment on I appreciated the effort she made to make sure I had a dessert waiting for me after school.  Why?  Because instead of just eating the pie, I realized the work it took to make it, and my perspective changed.

It’s amazing how we as Christians always feast off of things that have been done for us and never realize what it takes to make everything happen.  We come and anticipate our “pie” and when it’s not there we get all out of joint.  Unity is one of those things that we come to expect, but when we don’t see it we just go off to our corner and pout.    God is good about taking us by the hand into his “kitchen of wisdom” and showing us just what it takes for Christians to have unity.  Ephesians 4: 1-16 gives us some ingredients for unity and shows us how to cook it up right. 

Here are the ingredients:

1. Our walk must be aligned with the character of Christ.  In Verses 1-3 Paul tells the church at Ephesus to walk in a manner worthy of what we have…..Christ.  If you have Christ, you have a tendency to taste and experience unity by how you walk and live.  He gives some results of this Christ centered walk and lists something we all know about.  We are to have humility, gentleness, patience, tolerance in love, and diligence.  These ingredients will cook up the unity Christ wants us to experience.  You may notice we put ourselves on the back burner and selfishness is replaced with selflessness.  We are aligned with who Christ is when we have these qualities and the result is unity.

2. The reality is there is unity in Christ, but we choose to try wrong ways to achieve it.   In Verses 4-6 Paul states a foundational truth.  It is centered around the word ONE.  We are attached to the oneness or unity of Christ and God is the “big baker” who takes these ingredients and makes the best tasting Unity Pie.  If we get distracted from the fact that He is the foundation for Unity, then we only skirt the issue and never get to the purity of the truth.  He says it best when he says, “One God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.”  Wow!  Without God in control there is NO unity.  Forget it.  It’s not going to happen.  With God we can’t help but have unity.  It’s in our spiritual DNA.

3. He has gifted all of us in different ways, but in such a way to make our different gifts all work together. In Verses 7-13 Paul shares that the sacrifice of Christ for us sinners not only gave us the opportunity to live with Him forever in heaven, but also changed how we live with others here on earth.  When Jesus went to be with the Father He made the statement that we would do greater things than He had done. How?  He gave us His Holy Spirit and that power is the “heat that cooks this unity pie.”  Over a period of time He enables us to realize our different gifts and through His Word shows us how to use those gifts, with other believers, to further the Kingdom. He has taken the ingredients He put in each of us and now He is “really cooking” us into what He can use.  We even start to smell better and start to realize changes in our lives that encourage us to learn more, and be more like Jesus.  When this “cooking” starts to happen, we suddenly become a part of the church and with Christ as our head, we see that something great is going on and we are a part of the process.  Satan hates this and wants us to be confused about unity and lures our selfish side to come out and stop the process of unity and so the “unity pie” is undercooked and doesn’t taste good.  It is at this moment that we must pray and pursue God to protect our hearts and get the pie cooked completely.  When we hold on to God’s promises and attain the full measure of faith He gives an amazing thing happens. UNITY. 

4. The process is not through when we get fully baked.  We get to eat what we made. In Verses 14-16 Paul tells us there is a graduation to a whole new way of living.  Unity is our battle cry and God wants to protect it, so no one can come and eat from this pie who doesn’t need to.  This pie that has been made for each of us is waiting to nourish others as they taste the sweetness of Unity in our lives.  Christ, the master baker, continues to make more and more unity pies and the body of Christ grows in numbers every day.  Why?  Because God supplied the ingredients.  God is the one who puts it all together.  God is the one who bakes it.  God is the one who keeps on baking more and more.

Perhaps you didn’t know all it took to make unity a reality for believers and you have been the recipient, but you haven’t been in the process.  Take what this scripture has taught us about how to realize unity and get in the game of living UNITY.  The end result really tastes good.  Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”  You want unity.  Take a bite!!

The Pilgrimage continues….

David Warren

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