Wednesday, October 16, 2013

We Are ONE

"He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?" --Micah 6:8

"Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one." --1 Thess. 4:9-12

"The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." --2 Peter 3:9

"For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall." --2 Peter 1:5-10

Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with Him and towards others. Work hard, mind your own business, have knowledge, control, steadfastness, godliness, brother affection, and love. He is not slow to fulfill his promises.

This is hard to do, isn't it? Sometimes we like to keep to ourselves and not rely on anyone. However, God designed us to be able to lean on each other in the good and bad times.

In fact, 1 Cor. 12 explains exactly what I've been thinking lately, specifically verses 11-31 which you can read here: Unfortunately, I think the American church is far off from Paul's message; we've lost heart. The heart of church is failing; if it were working, we'd be loving. If we were loving, we'd be aspiring to help each other out more! But I digress ... 1 Cor. 6:7-8 says it better than me: 

"To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!"

Yet, we don't even seem to care. We just enjoy living lives in our comfortable little bubble called "our life." We hurt each other, take offense, and leave the body or make bad choices. As 1 Cor. 6:15-17 says, 

"Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, 'The two will become one flesh.' But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him."

The real problem lies in ourselves. Individually, we are selfish by nature. If we weren't, we'd be actively serving with the gifts God has given. Who knows the limits of the church except God, if we actually did something?

"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift ...

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love." {emphasis added}

In the above verses (Eph. 4:1-7; 11-16), it specifically states we are one

Today, we need to start encouraging, building, loving, working, and trying for the church. We do NOT sit back. We step UP to the plate and the challenges God has brought into our lives and come with open hands to be molded into what He needs.

If becoming one with the body starts with us, it means we need to get rid of the bad in us. More living like Jesus, less selfish living like myself. I believe God created each and every one of us uniquely and for a different purpose. However, He wants us to purge ourselves of the bad and then flourish in the good He's graciously given us. However, with all the good in ourselves (which isn't much, might I add), we can only accomplish so much. Thus, the reason for the body of Christ.

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus promises, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

When we are too tired, WE are to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Ephesians says so. When Jesus says "come to me, " He means to go to Him, as well as rely on the body of Christ.

We wonder why so many people leave their faith, yet at the same time, we know exactly why. So today is the day to make a change and make an eternal impact. Find out your strengths and your weaknesses OR just get involved SOMEWHERE in the church, and you'll quickly find you aren't a superhero and will have many weaknesses. However, you will bring a freshness and audacity with whatever strengths you didn't even realize you had. So start on your knees asking Him what He needs from you. Then, get involved somewhere, have a little faith, jump in with a few seconds of courage, and He'll be ready to set you up.

No comments:

Post a Comment