“The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don't, the parts we see and the parts we don't. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance. You are Christ's body—that's who you are! You must never forget this.” (1 Corinthians 12:26-27, The Message) The church is truly the “body of Christ” - a living organism, not an organization. Just like our physical bodies are made up of different parts such as hands, legs, ears and eyes, so is the body of Christ made up of different parts (believers). Each part is vitally essential to the proper functioning and growth of the body. Let’s take for example your pinky finger – with one hand holding the other hand’s pinky, try closing your fist tightly …. OUCH! Amazing that this small member of our hand provides the greater percentage of the strength produced from a clinched fist, and to do so without it leaves us little strength/power and as you likely noted, in pain! Each of us – although made in the very image of our Creator (Genesis 1:26) – has been created and fashioned by God with a unique difference. Each believer is given at least one spiritual gift by the Holy Spirit to use for the glory of Christ and the edification of His body. Listen to God’s Word elaborate on the beauty of the different parts which make up His body, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good … All these (spiritual gifts) are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as He determines.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 11) His Word teaches us that each person has divine importance in the body of Christ and we, as fellow members of His body, need to acknowledge this importance as God does - equally (playing ‘favorites’ is a sin; “…don’t show favoritism!” James 2:1-4). From the layman who quietly prays for every member of his/her church family to the pastor who God has been called to shepherd a local flock – God manifests Himself different through every believer, yet in His eyes we are equal in our value and worth! For some, this Biblical truth may serve as a sobering call to humility as perhaps we have ‘ranked’ (whether directly or indirectly) the value of others by their titles / position. Is there various levels of responsibility for believers – emphatically Yes! James 3:1 teaches that those called to teach (preach) God’s Word will be “judged more strictly than others” (CEV) because of their area of responsibility, yet their value to the body is equally as important as every other member. Yet God holds each of us responsible for using whatever spiritual gift He has chosen to give us. Chris TieGreen in his devotional, Wonder of the Cross, writes, “Only heaven will reveal how many churches have failed because somebody who was planted in the church to play the role of an encourager, neglected their role, considering it too small or unimportant and walked away. This is true of many different roles that God has given to individuals. (Spiritual) roles that have not been fulfilled.” So today, let us be challenged to step back and examine the ‘spiritual mosaic’ of the church family where God has placed each of us for the current season of our life journey. Do we see the ‘divine beauty’ of the differences of God’s people which He has grafted into that local body of His? Do we see Him granted permission to weave these many differences (egs. age, race, family issues, life experiences, vocation, finances, health, etc.) through the sharing of life’s journey together into the beautiful and divine tapestry to which He calls “His Body?” Understand that no matter where He chooses to divinely place you and me, we ALL can be honored to be a part of God’s “family quilt” (His Church) which He is creating for His use & His glory! …Selah!
Today's Spirit-led video is by a Worship Team from Cairnhill Methodist Church in Singapore and so beautifully reflects the 'mosaic' of God's Church throughout all the world. The praise & worship song can be viewed by clicking on the song title, "I Will Build My Church" G3!