Families/Individuals with no young children, please follow this devotional by Pastor Russ Fairbanks:
Philippians 1:1-2(NASB) 1Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons: 2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul identifies himself and includes Timothy by saying, literally, they are "slaves" of Christ Jesus. He addresses everyone so that nobody is left out, and begins this letter in his typical way, by putting Jesus Christ at the very center of all that binds them together. He spends the rest of Philippians coming back again and again to what truly unites them.
It's so easy to get busy doing the best we can to further the cause of Christ. The best people I've known in life have been those who served the Lord diligently and did so emulating the character and love of Christ. One of the most exciting and difficult aspects in the life of the church is how everyone brings their own life experiences, personalities, and gifts to the table. The exciting thing is that together we are much more than we could ever be apart from one another.We are, truly, the body of Christ. The difficult part is staying on the same page with each other when there is so much work to do. This is why it matters the most that Jesus Christ is at the very center of everything we do. Listening to the Master's voice, as the leader of our lives and of his church, is the most important thing we can do. Otherwise, we can work hard at building our own version of the Kingdom of God and doing it in a way that brings more division than unity. Our first allegiance and goal is to continue to seek the Lord's direction and guidance in all things and depend on him to unite us as "slaves" to him. He brings us together in spirit, humility, and purpose. We are blessed when we always put the Lord front and center and seek the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Question for discussion (or personal reflection): Why is unity among believers so important?
Pray that God would help you to put Jesus Christ at the center of all you do and that he would unite us with others in him.