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Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Blessing and Power of Unity!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


As you begin to walk out your day, you can count on the fact that there will be something said or done that could annoy or insult you! You might immediately agree with me, or not! But just remember this and watch! It will happen. Why will it happen? It will happen because the devil knows that God's blessing is in unity and so his strategy is to prevent it by causing annoyance and offense!

Proverbs 12:16 (NIV) says, “A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult."  For the most part, an insult is an intended offense although many people say insulting things without ever realizing it. Then there are all the little annoyances that aren't really an insult but they provoke us like one. For example, the car that squeezes in front of you the second you allow just a little extra space in front of you on the highway. Or the person who cuts you off when you’re speaking because they weren't listening to what you were saying to begin with. If a list of things that irritate or insult people were constructed, it could be endless.

Some people let every little thing get to them and according to God's Word, that makes them foolish. "A fool shows his annoyance at once..." People that are easily and quickly annoyed have forgotten their own flaws and shortcomings.





Let me share two things that will help reduce getting quickly annoyed and lead to more unity. First, know that this truly is a strategy to rob you of blessing. Be smarter than that! Letting the multitude of possible annoyances get to you will eventually cause you to despise people. That would be a victory toward the devil's effort to deprive you of blessing. God's Word says we should not be ignorant of the devil's devices. So, lean on God, forgive others as God has forgiven you, and be merciful toward mistakes and annoyances knowing you are guilty of them too. Matthew 5:7 (NIV) says, "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy." Be merciful and you'll also be shown mercy. 


Secondly, know the blessing of unity. It is poetically revealed by God in Psalm 133:1-3 (NLT). "How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the LORD has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting." 
"For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil..."When the Bible talks about anointing, it is implying that the presence and power of God is there. And the Bible teaches that the anointing of God breaks the power and deceitful lies of the enemy.  So the takeaway is, unity is anointed and full of God's presence and help. It's refreshing like dew is to the ground when it's dry. Ultimately unity brings collaboration of effort that leads to greater blessing for all! This is why the devil tries to bring annoyance and offense—to get you made at people instead of being unified with them. When you watch the news, doesn't it seem like most of the world hates each other? Now you understand why! It's the devil's strategy—and it is exactly that, a demonic strategy.

Because you begin to show mercy toward others, patience begins to develop in you. You'll eventually become good at overlooking offenses—like water off a ducks back. Proverbs 19:11 (NIV) says, "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense." Once you learn these practices, you are on your way to more unity in your life! And unity will bring blessing making your marriage better and your friendships better. And the world will actually feel more friendly to you—at least if you turn off the news!

So, when something is provoking you, look within and see if you’ve done the same thing. Whether you have or haven’t, blow off any and every offense you can and enjoy people and life and unity more!

James 2:13 (NIV) "... Mercy triumphs over judgment!"

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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