Tuesday, November 22, 2016
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If you're a photographer, you love seagulls. They soar so gracefully, almost like they're posing for the camera. They're beautiful – when they're alone. When they're together – not so beautiful. One gets on a perch, another comes and "boom!" knocks him off. One gets some food, others attack him for it. Actually, scientists put a red band on the leg of one seagull to find out what would happen. He was pecked to death by the other seagulls because he had something they didn't.
Contrast that with those Canada Geese some of us see migrating in the Spring and the Fall. They do everything together. Studies show that those geese almost always travel together, usually in those familiar V-formations. They rotate who's in front so one bird doesn't wear out. If one Canada goose is injured and can't go on, another goose will stay with him until he's ready to join another flock. They're like never left alone. The scientists even believe that the honking we hear is actually the geese cheerleading for each other, "Honk! You can make it! Mexico or bust! Honk!" I guess.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Flying Together or Flying Alone."
The bottom line on those geese from those who study them is this: they are able to fly up to 71% farther together than they could ever fly alone. So are we who belong to Jesus Christ. We're able to fly a whole lot farther together than we ever could by ourselves. It's just too bad that so many of us are more seagull than goose – we're up there soaring all by ourselves, doing our thing, but missing the power of flying together with our brothers and sisters.
That is so clearly demonstrated in Acts 2, beginning with verse 44, and that's our word for today from the Word of God. "All the believers were together and had everything in common. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, enjoying the favor of all the people."
Part of the power of these original believers was that they were geese, not gulls. They looked out for one another, provided for each other, and they pursued the Lord together. And they were powerful. The next verse says, "The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." When's the last time you saw that happening? But then, when's the last time you saw believers together like that?
The "geese" principle actually applies to your family, your business, the ministry you're in, the relationships between believers in your church, and to the relationships between believers in your church with those in other churches. We can fly a lot farther together than we could ever fly alone!
But whether it's your church, your family, or another group, you have to fight to keep the flock together – because too many of us are solo-flying seagulls at heart aren't we? Here's Paul's blueprint for keeping the flock together. See how much this describes how you're acting. "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit..." (Ephesians 4:2-3). That's "effort" as in "keep working at everyone staying together".
Maybe you're in a situation where it's prone to be cliques, power blocs, little personal kingdoms, personal egos, personal agendas, and polarizing individualism. Don't get sucked into that. Do whatever you have to do to keep the flock together or pull the flock together; write a letter, bring people together, get people praying together, ask for forgiveness, or help folks keep their eye on a mission that unites them rather than issues that divide them. If you need to, tell them about the gulls and the geese.
It's time to bring the flock together and see how far we can fly when we're flying together.