WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 28, 2022
TOPIC: LET THERE BE NO DIVISION
BY T. O. BANSO
“But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand’” (Matthew 12:25 New King James Version).
In Matthew 12, there is a principle we can learn from the statement of Jesus in reaction to the accusation of the Pharisees that He was casting out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.
Here is the story: Someone had brought to Jesus a man who was demon-possessed, blind, and mute. Jesus healed the man and he could see and talk. The multitudes were amazed and wondered if Jesus could be the Son of David. However, when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons” (Matthew 12:24 New King James Version).
The Bible says, “But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand’” (Matthew 12:25 New King James Version). He built on that in verse 26. Take note of the phrases “is brought to desolation” and “will not stand” in the verse quoted. The Contemporary English Version puts Matthew 12:25 this way: “Jesus knew what they were thinking, and he said to them: Any kingdom where people fight each other will end up ruined. And a town or family that fights will soon destroy itself.”
The lesson you should learn from Jesus’ statement is the need for unity. A marriage, family, church, business, organization, or nation that is divided against itself will not stand. No matter the potential of these institutions, if there is no unity, not much can be achieved. Let there be no division in your marriage, family, church, business, etc. Don’t encourage disintegration.
The devil does not want people to walk in unity. He creates problems in relationships and makes everyone believes that he is right and everyone else is wrong. Therefore, each person goes his own way and does things as he likes. But, in most cases, everybody’s efforts hardly amount to much eventually. Working together in unity would have produced better results. Differences should be resolved, agreements reached, and individual talents, gifts, strengths, and other resources pulled together to make a greater impact.
Unfortunately, many don’t realize in time the need to walk in unity. Some could still salvage the situation but for others, it is already too late. Be very careful. Don’t let the devil sow the seed of discord in your marriage or between you and others. Many marriages have broken down because the wife or the husband developed an independent spirit instead of marital cooperation.
Don’t let the devil make you believe that you don’t need your spouse or act like it. Don’t let the devil deceive you that you don’t need relationships with other pastors, fellow Christians, your colleagues in the office or neighbours at home, etc. It doesn’t mean everyone must be your friend but you must avoid strife. “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray” (Proverbs 12:26 New King James Version).
Teaching on the need for unity in the body of Christ, the Apostle Paul wrote, “But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary’” (1 Corinthians 12:20-22 New King James Version).
He continued in verses 23-26, “And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (New King James Version).
Let there be no division. A house divided against itself will not stand. We need each other and one another. You’re better when you work with others that you share similar beliefs, goals, values, attitudes, etc. I’m not talking about entering into or continuing sinful relationships or compromising on the Word of God. I’m talking about avoiding any strife that can cause the untimely termination of good relationships.
Romans 12:18 says you should do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible. “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” (Romans 14:19 New King James Version). Also, Hebrews 12:14a says you should pursue peace with all people. God is not a God of disorder but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33a).
The words of David are helpful here: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the LORD commanded the blessing — Life forevermore” (Psalm 133:1-3 New King James Version).
There is a blessing in working together in unity. Anywhere people are pursuing a good cause in unity, the devil is not happy. Watch out! Forgive from the heart those who wrong you (Matthew 6:12, 14-15; 18:21-35; Mark 11:25-26; Luke 6:37; 11:4; 17:3-4). Don’t let arguments over things that can be mutually resolved bring an end to profitable relationships just because everyone is holding to his position.
In Acts 15, as Paul and Barnabas prepared for their second missionary journey, there was a division between them over John Mark, Barnabas’ cousin, who had gone with them on the previous mission but departed from them at a point.
Barnabas was determined to take with them John Mark, but Paul insisted that they should not take him along. The contention became so sharp that they parted ways. Their team ministry split abruptly. Barnabas took Mark along while Paul chose Silas and went different ways. The story is recorded in Acts 15:36-41. God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, but we don’t know if the church lost something because of that separation of Paul and Barnabas.
Paul and John Mark reconciled later and worked together in the ministry. But the Bible does not record what happened in the ministry of Barnabas after the separation. It’s not for me to say who was right or wrong between Paul and Barnabas. But Paul later wrote to Timothy, “Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11 New King James Version).
In Genesis 13, Abram and Lot parted ways because there was strife between their herdsmen (verses 7-13). Avoid strife. James 3:16 says where envying and strife exist, there is confusion and every evil work. A house divided against itself will not stand. Any kingdom where people fight each other will end up ruined; a town or family that fights will soon destroy itself.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I pray for unity in my marriage, family, church, business, ministry, city, and nation. I come against the spirit of division. Father, anywhere there is fighting or disunity, let peace be restored and let true love reign; let there be unity.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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