Romans 15:4-13


When we pray, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven", we are praying for the Messiah, for we know that the Kingdom won't fully be here – the will of God won't universally be done on earth as it is in Heaven, until Messiah comes.


But, there is one place where the Kingdom has already come – where the will of God is now done on earth as it is in Heaven: in the Body of Christ, the Church of genuine believers. In the Body, Heaven is already here. If Heaven isn't clearly manifest in the Body – something's wrong.


Wherever the followers of Jesus come together this ought to be a place where God the Almighty is receiving glory – the way He receives it in Heaven – where real praise is going up to Him.

                                                                 Not half-baked lip service,

not tired singing,

not little token sacrifice:

praise! Going up from the whole body as one voice.


The angels who visit our worshiping fellowship ought to be able to feel at home. They ought to hear that same music they hear where they come from. And the devils that are sent to confuse and divide the work of God among us ought to find that our hearts are so unified, our praise is so harmonious, that they can't break through. And people who come among us seeking God ought to be able to see and hear that they have stepped into another world – into one of the outer-courts of Heaven.


We glorify God with our praise and also with our message to the world – prophecy. The Word of God ought to be flowing forth across all our lips as a single voice.


Our worship ends, and we go forth in different directions but it's still one voice proclaiming to the world the wonder­ful works of God in His Son Jesus.


Not your voice.

Not my voice, but the voice of the Spirit of God giving us utterance about things that the world needs to hear. And what we say matches the message of saints everywhere, so that those who hear us know that what they are hearing is coming from above.


That together you may with one voice glorify God even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.


That's the way it has to be if we're going to accomplish the work God has given us to do: one voice. The job won't get done by tired churches – where everyone wearily goes through the routine,

or by noisy churches – where self-centered individuals are competing for attention,

or by ambitious churches – where all the members work together for the glory, not of God, but of dear old Messiah Church,

or dear old St. John's,

or New Life Center, "The Fastest Growing Church in Town!",

                   or by exclusive churches – where only those who are sufficiently refined and respectable are accepted.


One voice glorifying God.


People from every nation, all tribes and all tongues standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in His righteousness and glorifying the Father and the Lamb with a single voice.


This is not something we hope for some day. This is something we must have – now!


That single voice of praise going up to God.

That single voice of prophecy going forth to the world.


We can't bring about this unity, but God can and will. He's doing it. If we won't let Him do it among us, He'll do it elsewhere among those who go along with His program. God is creating unity where believers yield to the press of His Spirit at this hour.


May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify God even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.


In order to be able to glorify God with that one voice, there are three things we have to receive from God.


1. God-given steadfastness.

2. God-given encouragement.

3. God-given harmony.


When we have these three things, we have Heaven here on earth.


1. Steadfastness


There's not a person reading these words who has steadfastness in himself.

– you may be steadfast staying in your little rut,

– you may be like a turtle that steadfastly keeps its head pulled in,


but when it comes to steadfastness in the things of the Kingdom of God every one of us is about as stable as water. We're fickle. We're up today and down tomorrow. We're enthusiastic for a week, and then we burn out like a spent rocket and plunge back into the darkness.


Only God can make us steadfast.


He took that unstable Peter, called him a Rock and made him a rock.


He took hot tempered Paul and caused him to burn with a flame so steady that no wind of this world could even make it flicker.


He can take the most unreliable man – the most flaky woman in town and turn them into rocks for the Kingdom that cannot be shaken.


God will make you steadfast, if you will be obedient to Him in small things. God-given steadfastness is not a matter of being a big hero in the crisis, it's a matter of consistent obedience to God in small things. Then, when the big crisis comes, you're solid.


You have the power by God's grace to get yourself out of bed and pray.


You have the power to get things right, on your side at least, when there's something wrong between you and your brother or sister.


You have the power to get into fellowship with other believers.


You have the power to put in a decent day's work for God's glory.


You have the power to let it be known that you are not ashamed of the name of Jesus.


You have the power to share what you have with the person who is in need.


If you wait upon God in these small ways, you will never lack strength to get through the big storms or to make it across that trackless desert. The wilderness will not swallow you up nor will any danger sap your courage, because you are being renewed by God in steadfastness every day as you do the small things He shows you to do.


They that wait upon the Lord, (not by sitting around, but by doing those simple things before them) shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings as the eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.


The Body of Christ on earth is not made up of fly-by­nights but of saints who walk together in steadfastness in season and out-of-season across the battlefield of this world.


2. God makes us one by giving us encouragement.


And the place He gives us encouragement is in the Scriptures.


"That by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope."


If you're discouraged, it's because you won't let God encourage you in the one place where He always does it. That's what the scriptures are for. Flesh and blood men, men who experienced every temptation we've ever known, whose sins had to be covered with the blood of Jesus just as much as ours do, were given the job of writing what they saw God do on this earth in Jesus---to encourage us!


Every promise.

Every warning.

Every rebuke.

Every command from God in scripture is given to encourage us to go on and

experience the things of God for ourselves.


Don't get your encouragement second-hand. Don't always be reading what some man says about the Bible. Don't merely depend on the words of this preacher or that teacher. Go to the source. Go to the scriptures and ask God to speak to you---and He will.


Of course God won't speak to you if you pour over the Bible looking for arguments to clobber your brother, or if you open the Bible to get your horoscope for the day. But if you go there seeking God, God will surely speak.


Meet God in the Scriptures and He will show you that what you're going through is something He took care of in the lives of other saints and He will take care of it in yours.


He got Israel through the wilderness


– He'll get you through the wilderness.


He showed Joseph what to do


– He'll show you what to do.


He stood by Moses.


– He'll stand by you.


He transformed Mary Magdalene.


– He'll transform you.


It's the believers who live by the encouragement of the scriptures, not by fleshly dreams, or fantasies, or ambitions, but by the divine encouragement that comes from this word, who find true unity.


3. God makes us one by giving us harmony with each other.


And we get that harmony with each other,

not around doctrine,

not around gifts,

not around visions and revelations,

not around life styles,

but around Jesus.


God grant you to live in harmony with one another in accord with Christ Jesus.


Every one in the Body is to be in harmony with all the others seven days a week. By this, the world will know that Jesus was sent from God: because the unity of the Father and the Son is seen in the unity of the saints with each other.


God gives this unity to those who deny self and put their lives into accord with Jesus.


They put aside the venomous tongue and bring the tongue into accord with the will of Jesus.


They cut off that greedy right hand and put what's left into accord with Christ.


They pluck out that licentious right eye and put the rest of the body in accord with Christ Jesus.


Now if my life is really in accord with Jesus, and your life is truly in accord with Jesus, we've got to be in harmony with each other.


So, in each of our fellowships,  before we draw near to the Lord's Table  to eat of that one loaf and drink of that one cup – His broken body and His shed blood, let's ask God to show us where our lives have been out of accord with His Son. 

Where we've been holding back.

Where we've been unfaithful.

Where we've been deceiving ourselves.

Where we've been unloving. 

Let's ask God to help us to give in to His will at every point, that we may all come into accord with His Son and find harmony with one another.


Then Heaven will break forth upon our gathered assemblies as together with one voice we glorify God even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Heaven will shine forth from every soul among us as we go out and proclaim with one voice that Jesus has won the victory!