An orchestra is composed of various musical instruments. As they tune-up to play, the noise can be deafening and disturbing, but when the director steps up and gives the signal, those individual instruments can produce beautiful harmonious music. A local church with all its various spiritual gifts can be noisy and unproductive, but if it is directed and controlled by the Holy Spirit, it can become a winsome melody. That is the essence of what the Apostle Paul was saying as he penned his 2nd letter to the Corinthian church in 2 Corinthians Chapter 13. He knew that one of the greatest threats to harmony and progress within the church is disharmony, caused by the passion to satisfy fleshly desires, by the temptation to own stuff, and by the pride and desire to control others. So he urges God’s people to examine themselves using the teachings and example of Christ. He counsels them to respect and accept his leadership as Christ’s appointed apostle. He then closes his letter with these affirming words. “Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.” Today, every church should heed these words of exhortation. When believers do this, observers will be drawn to embrace our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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