Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphæus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
The most remarkable phrase that I see in this passage is “These all continued with one accord.”
In the divided world we live in today, this is almost inconceivable. The first century world was turning upside down, but this young church did not waiver. They stuck together.
To the church at Ephesus, Paul would later write:
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Paul tells us that we must have the mindset of a prisoner or a servant. If our will comes first, there will be no unity. We are called to the vocation of being servants to God by serving our fellow man.
We must also remember to keep humble and be prepared to be offended. This does not mean that we should have our guard up ready to fight. It means that we must be ready to forgive even before we are offended. Why? Because we are interacting with others struggling with sin. Someone is going to make a mistake and say or do something wrong. And whether the offense is on purpose or by accident, we need to forgive.
Finally, Paul says that this unity is something we must endeavor to keep. We don’t have to create something in us to be able to walk in unity. Love and longsuffering are fruit of the Spirit dwelling in us. What we must do is endeavor. This means that it is a life-long struggle. This side of glory we are not going to find that perfect relationship, family, or church. We need to work together to find a taste of that glory while we are still here.
As a dear old friend (Brother Lee Roy Ivey) once told me:
If two people agreed on everything, one of them ain’t necessary.”
We are all necessary, and we all need one another.