I Chronicles 12

Vs. 1, “These were the men who came to David at Ziklag, while he was banished from the presence of Saul son of Kish…”  There is an old adage, “no one declares independence, only allegiance.”  Throughout our chapter today, we will see that David did not need to seek out warriors.  David was able to attract soldiers from all the tribes willingly ready to follow him.  Soldiers came to him because of his reputation and godliness; a stark contrast from King Saul. David went from a fugitive king to the rightful anointed king.

Regarding application…Loyalty.  Vs. 38, “All these were fighting men who volunteered to serve in the ranks. They came to Hebron fully determined to make David king over all Israel. All the rest of the Israelites were also of one mind to make David king.”  It was David’s loyalty to God that would help bring unity to all of Israel.  Question: How?  David’s allegiance to the LORD was infectious in a positive way.  The people of Israel saw his devotion and desired to have that same type of loyalty.  We are still a people today who value loyalty whether we realize it or not.  That is why clubs, sports teams, organizations, etc…are still fabrics of our life.  We want to feel like we belong to something important.  We must be careful though; because loyalty is a subjective thing.  The decline in church membership and the divorce rate at nearly 50% show that loyalty is more to self than anything else.   Let us be people who are loyal to the Lord and His church!

I Chronicles 11

Vs. 3, “When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, he made a compact with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel, as the LORD had promised through Samuel.”  Because of the details from Samuel’s account, the chronicler gives us a short synopsis of David taking the throne.  The emphasis in this chapter lies in the unity that David was able to bring to the kingdom.  They united together in conquering Jerusalem (vs. 4-9).  The chronicler than spends time reviewing David’s mighty men (vs. 10-47), who would be the modern-day equivalent of our special forces/secret service.  These exploits of David’s mighty men are amazing feats of courage and strength!

Regarding application…Importance of Unity.  Vs. 10, “These were the chiefs of David’s mighty men—they, together with all Israel, gave his kingship strong support to extend it over the whole land, as the LORD had promised.”  The chronicler makes sure to emphasize how David, the mighty men, and all of Israel supported each other.  Question: Why?  Because the original audience were the Jews who had been returning from the Babylonian exile.  It was important for the people to rally behind the history of God’s faithfulness in the past to see the realization in the present.  Likewise, we too are building God’s growing kingdom in the 21st Century.  Unity is the heart of Jesus’ prayer for the church (John 17) on the night before His crucifixion.  Take time today to consider ways you can help bring unity to your church family.

John 17

Vs. 1, “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.”  Jesus lifted his eyes up to the Father in surrender.  We are upon one of the most beautiful chapters of prayer!  It is a prayer in which Jesus prays for Himself as He faces the cross (vs. 1-5).  He also prays for the disciples knowing their life was going to very difficult and that the enemy would attack them (vs. 6-19).  And Jesus also prays for us (the church) that through our unity the world would see Jesus in us (vs. 20-26).  We see the heart of Christ in this prayer as He soon would be obedient to death on a cross.

Regarding application…Prayer for Unity.  Vs. 23, “I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”  Question: What is unity?  Jesus isn’t talking about doing away with denominations or different churches.  What Jesus is referring here is that when people come to the church or when the church reaches out to the world…they would see something vastly different.  They would see a people unified through the love of Christ Jesus!  When we look at the world and it’s organizations (schools, workplace, etc) we realize that there is probably gossip, slander, hatred, bitterness, etc.  Jesus looked to His future church and prayed earnestly for us that we would not fall into the ways of the world.  When a parent see’s their children loving each other and getting along, I’m sure their heart is filled with joy!  This is what Jesus is praying that we too would love each other so richly that the world would see something so different.  Question: What can you do to help unify your church?