Philippians 2:1-2 - "If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose."

The four "ifs" in verse 1 are first-class conditions in the original Greek language. Basically this means each "if" is a certainty not a question. It is saying "If and you do" rather than "If and you might". And then because a follower of Christ possesses these four realities, the outcome or by-product would be unity and harmony in the church. And when there is unity and harmony, there is a completeness of joy realized that cannot be realized in any other way.

This is significant in the ministry and make-up of Meadow, and I must lead the way in modeling and making it a reality. It is not a question of "if and I might" possess these four realities. It is a statement that "if and I do" possess these realities - so how will I live them out? How will I work hard at pursuing unity where we are 1) unified in thinking; 2) unified in love; 3) unified in spirit; and 4) unified in purpose.

I/we will know these are actively present in our church when there is a level of joy that pervades and permeates my/our spirits and attitudes. I don't think we would be able to hold back the people who would start coming if we would actively live out the realities we possess. We have them. Now we need to live them.

What an amazig challenge! To set aside the petty things that cause division and disgruntled spirits in the church. And most things that cause division and disgruntled spirits in the church ARE petty. I mean think about it - aside from the basic, sure, unchangeable, and immovable doctrines of Scripture - is there really anything worth causing division over? The answer is no. And even at that, if someone doesn't agree with our doctrine or purpose - why stay and create division? Why not leave and find a church where there is agreement and thus a complete joy?

Bottom line is that I must pursue living out the four "ifs" and pursue unity at Meadow - leading to complete joy. Wow! What a challenge! What a pay-off!

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