prev Devotional Classic of DECEMBER 11 next

The church should exhibit unity in diversity

Octavius Winslow, image courtesy of Matthew Blair,

Today's Devotional

And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself—Luke 24:27 (KJV).

The perfect harmony of the Old and the New Testament confirms our faith in the divine authenticity of the Scriptures of truth…. “Your word is truth” is the glorious and triumphant inference fairly deducible from a fact so striking and self-evident at this. And in what particular is this beautiful harmony especially seen? In exalting the Lamb of God. The Old and the New Testament Scriptures … unite in a holy alliance, in a sublime unity of purpose, to show forth the glory of the Incarnate God.

Divine book! Behold an illustration of what the Church of the living God should be—a transparent body, illumined with the glory of Immanuel, and scattering its beams of light and beauty over the surface of a lost and benighted world. How much does a perfect representation of the glory of the Redeemer by the Church depend upon her visible union! A mirror broken into a thousand fragments cannot reflect the glory of the sun with the same brilliancy, power, and effect as if a perfect whole. Neither can the Church of God, dismembered, divided, and broken, present to the world the same harmonious, convincing, and effective testimony to the glory of Jesus, as when, in her unimpaired oneness, she is seen “looking forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.”

Oh then, by all that is precious in the name of Jesus, by all that is sanctifying in his glory, and attractive in his cross, by all that is sweet and persuasive in Christian love, by all that is solemn in the near approach of death and eternity, and by all that is blissful in the hope of eternal life, springing from the one atonement, reader, seek to promote the visible unity of Christ’s Church. Resolve beneath the cross, and by the grace of God, that you will not be a hindrance to the accomplishment of so blessed, so holy an end. Hold the faith with a firm hand, but hold it in righteousness. Speak the truth with all boldness, but speak it in love. Concede to others what you claim for yourself—the right of private judgment, and the free exercise of an enlightened conscience. And where you see the image of Jesus reflected, the love of Jesus influencing, and the glory of Jesus simply and solely sought, there extend your hand, proffer your heart, breathe your blessing and your prayer. Oh, this were to be like Christ; and to be like Christ is grace below and glory above!

Contemplate the story of the Incarnation day-by-day throughout the season of Advent in our latest publication, The Grand Miracle. Based on the writings of C. S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, George MacDonald, Dorothy Sayers, and others, each day’s reading offers a fresh look at the birth of Christ through the eyes of a modern author. Scripture, prayer, and full-page contemplative images complete each entry. 28 days, 64 pages. Preview the Devotional here.

About the author and the source

Octavius Winslow (1808–1878) was an ardent evangelical preacher who served in the United States and in Great Britain. In addition to many books that emphasized the life and work of Christ, he wrote morning and evening devotionals. Today’s, speaking of the Scripture fulfilled in Christ, seemed fitting for the third Sunday of Advent.

Octavius Winslow. Morning Thoughts. 1856.

Subscribe to daily emails

Containing today’s events, devotional, quote and stories