There should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. – (1 Corinthians 12:25-26)
First and foremost, we are called to be a part of the body of Christ. We were created for relationship with God and with people. His intention was not for us to hide out with a few fellow like-minded souls for His sake, but rather to invest in the bigger body of Christ. We are called to contribute the gifts that He has placed in each of us, and to love and care for one another, despite our differences. Our hearts ought to celebrate the strengths of our sisters and brothers, not become points of envy nor contention. When someone is suffering, we are invited to walk beside them and extend our strength and support, and as one is honored, we are meant to rise up and rejoice alongside them in their accomplishments. Unity in the body comes as we live life together – in sorrow and in celebration. As we are able to be real with one another, we are creating bonds in the body as Christ intended. May we go forth this day in faith, with genuine concern for the body of believers around us. Let our hearts be united in purpose as we seek to serve Him well.
find way enter in;
for though we’re many,
we are all for Him.
No gift is greater,
but all are the same;
granted by Jesus,
to spread His great Name.
Build up the body,
united in Him;
grieve when there’s mourning,
rejoice when they win.
Walk with each other,
united in love;
as God intended,
our hope from above.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You created each of us with different gifts for different roles to build Your church. Thank You that no role nor gift is greater than another in Your eyes. Thank You that You ask us to love one another the same – to suffer with the suffering and to rejoice with those who are honored. Forgive us for seeing ourselves as less than or greater than we ought to, and help us to focus all of our attention on what we can accomplish for You and in You, rather than anything that is focused on self. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may operate in the light of Your love. Lead us to love well, so that we may invest in the lives of those around us. Show us how we are to grieve with those in mourning and celebrate with those who are rejoicing. May many come into a saving relationship with You as we seek to honor You in all that we say and do. Be glorified, O God, as we live and love as Your body of believers. Amen.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3
The congregation of the church works as separate members but all too often forget that they exist as one body and need each other. The Pastor often is the heart of the church, although sometimes there is another who functions in that place. If the heart is damaged or diseased it affects the whole of the body. If it is healthy it circulates well and the gospel and intent of the church are usually healthy as well. But when there is disease in part of the body and it is not treated, eventually in spreads to the whole and can easily kill it. We know that when we have a diseased limb and it can’t be saved, it must be removed, but do we consider the church the same way? Or do we just accept the diseased portion because it adds to the whole?
1 Corinthians 12
King James Version (KJV)
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.
25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
When we’re united,
in purpose in Christ;
He in us, will rise.
Comfort in His love,
sweet with compassion;
setting self aside,
serving with passion.
Joy is made complete,
when we work as one;
give for His purpose,
not selfishly done.
offer helping hand;
look not for reward,
hope for fellow man.
Look to the model,
Jesus gave to us;
let His Spirit lead,
all one in purpose.
(Responding to Philippians 2:1-5)
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your plans and purposes for us are not as islands, but as part of a body, united in purpose – so that we might strengthen and encourage one another as we seek and serve You with all that we are. Forgive us for the areas of need that we have neglected, and help us to hear and obey You well. Unite us as one in purpose in Your power, so that many may come to know the compassion and care that comes closer still, when we have a personal relationship with You, the Redeemer of our soul. Unite us in Your purpose, I pray. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. –John 14:12
“You will receive power” (Acts 1:8a). “Eagerly desire the greater gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:31a). Anything that God has ever done for a soul He will do for anyone else, if the conditions are met. The Lord who blessed these men that I spoke about, and the thousands who followed them but whose names are not known, is willing to do the same for us as He did for them.
Unbelief says: Some other time, but not now; some other place, but not here; some other people, but not us. Faith says: Anything He did anywhere else He will do here; anything He did any other time He is willing to do now; anything He ever did for other people He is willing to do for us! With our feet on the ground, and our head cool, but with our heart ablaze with the love of God, we walk out in this fullness of the Spirit, if we will yield and obey. God wants to work through you!
The Counselor has come, and He doesn’t care about the limits of locality, geography, time or nationality. The Body of Christ is bigger than all of these. The question is: Will you open your heart? The Counselor, 121.
“This thought is very convicting, Lord. I know I’ve been guilty of praising You for Your power and goodness, while secretly doubting that You were really going to work in my present situation. Forgive me that duplicity, Lord, and give me faith to believe You for Now, for Here, for Me. Amen.”
For as the body is one and has many members, but all members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
For in fact the body is not one member but many.
If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?
And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?
If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be smelling?
But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.
And if they were all one member, where would the body be?
But not indeed there are many members, yet one body.
And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have not need of you.”
No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.
And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on thses we bestow greater honor, and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty,
but our presentable parts have no need. But God compose the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it,
that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.
And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?
Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.