Where Is My Thumb?

12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.— 1 Cor. 12:12 NLT

1 Cor. 12:12-21 NLT


According to the latest polls and surveys, the percentage of people attending church on a regular basis is still declining year after year.  “So, what has that got to do with me?”, you ask.  Well, let’s continue Paul’s comparison of the body of Christ to the human body.  Let’s say that in the church you attend, the thumbs don’t show up when they should.  Let’s further say that we have a lot of things that need to be picked up and moved to a different spot in the building.  Not having thumbs makes this job a lot more difficult, if not impossible.  Let’s say that we plan a Wednesday night visitation program, but the feet don’t show up, going door to door is still possible but much more difficult.   The head of the church wants to do an outreach program but the arms don’t show up.  How can we reach out without our arms?  The head of the church wants to start an elderly care program but the heart is missing.  Because the heart is missing, no one cares enough to help each other or anyone else.  A human body can’t survive without a heart beat and neither can the body of Christ.  Are we willing to take the chance that we are not each a part of the heart?

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-26-2019

Body Parts

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27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. – 1 Cor.12:27 NLT
 
Paul, using the comparison of the physical body to the Spiritual body of Christ, continues to emphasize over and over, the importance of each part. The parts of the Spiritual body are the gifts that the Holy Spirit has placed in each of us. Each smaller body of Christ, the individual congregations, must have the parts to function in unity. All of the gifts are given to edify the complete body.  Each congregation must have those with gifts of leadership. But not everyone can be a leader, so there are other positions to fill. God has given each of us a specific gift that is necessary for the body.

 

10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. — 1 Peter 4:10 NIV

Each of us should study, meditate and pray so that we might know our gift and use it effectively. The gifts are not given to us for our own possession, but for the benefit of the whole body. Unless we share the gift, it is of no value to us or to our congregation. The gifts are given to each of us to share with others.

33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. — Luke 11:33 NIV


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-02-2018

Thank God for Thumbs!

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21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.—1 Cor. 12:21-2​2 NIV

There is a reason for every part of the human body.  In today’s world, we know that there are parts of the body which we can live without. We can live without an appendix, but our excretory system will not function as well as it was designed to function with a healthy appendix. Scientists have now determined that the appendix holds good bacteria.  After a bout of diarrhea that destroys the good bacteria in the gut, the appendix repopulates the good bacteria. Tonsils and adenoids help prevent infections from entering the body. We have two eyes and two ears which suggest that we should watch and listen more than we talk. We can live with one eye and/or one ear, but we will be hampered in some areas.  The body of Christ is the same. It can function without everyone using the gift that God gave them to edify the body, but it will not be as effective as it should be. Each of us should seek the leadership of the Holy Spirit in determining and using the gift that God has given us. Then our part of Christ’s body (the congregation where we worship) will be helping and not hindering the work of the Kingdom.

The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.—1 Cor. 3:8,9 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 03-30-2018

Discipline in the Body of Christ

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13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you. – 1 Cor. 5:13 NLT

Paul is not suggesting that we never associate with worldly people whose lives are controlled by their fleshly desires. Just as Jesus said, we “are in the world but not of the world”. We hold ourselves to different standards. We are not to think of ourselves as “better than” nor are we to think of ourselves as “holier than” anyone. What we are to do is to separate ourselves from our Christian brothers and sisters who have chosen to live unholy lifestyles. We are as Paul puts it to “expel the wicked person from among you.” This seems harsh to us. We had rather hide behind verses such as “judge not lest you be judged” and “pull the plank out of your own eye before you point out the toothpick in your brother’s eye”. (my paraphrase) We must keep the Temple of Christ clean and holy.
1​ Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.—2 Cor. 7:1 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 02-12-2018

Giving Our All to Jesus

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17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”–John 10:17,18 (NIV)
The Holy Spirit has been given to us as our guide, but He will never make us do anything against our own will. We have the power and the authority to make the same decision that Jesus made. We can decide to hold onto our earthly, physical lives if that is what we want or we can decide to put our lives on the cross that Jesus gives us to bear. We will never do this as long as our own pride and other people’s opinions of us are more important than pleasing God. There is one funeral that we all need to attend and that is the death and burial of our fleshly desires. Anything that we put above our love and obedience for God has to be removed. It is a decision that Jesus had to make and so must we. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus ended His prayer with “not My will but thine be done”. So should our prayer be as well.
44 Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Having said this, He breathed His last.–Luke 23:44-46 (NIV)
Are we ready to commit our whole lives, mind, soul, body, and spirit into the hands of God? The way of the cross leads home, but we have to go through the cross, the blood and the darkness to get there.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 01-08-2018

Focus on Jesus

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1 And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and are partners with those called to heaven, think carefully about this Jesus whom we declare to be God’s messenger and High Priest — Hebrews 3:1 NLT

We must keep our minds and our eyes focused on Jesus, He and He, alone, is our example to follow. Jesus is the author and the completion of our faith. He is faithful to God always. There are times when we stumble and fall, but Jesus picks us up and carries us until we are able to walk with Him again. We are the church built on Christ the foundation. We are the body and Christ is the head. The builder and the head should be praised and glorified. That is our duty to glorify God at all times. We are His household and we can boast of nothing in and of ourselves, but we can point to Jesus, our Redeemer and be proud of the confidence we have because of His faithfulness.

13 If we are unfaithful,  he remains faithful,  for he cannot deny who he is.

 — 2 Timothy 2:13 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 04-21-2017

One in Spirit!

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14 And God will raise us from the dead by his power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead. — 1 Cor. 6:14 NLT

By the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was physically raised from the grave. Because of that, we can know that one day, He will raise all those who have trusted in Him.  We are members of the body of Christ and have been instructed to keep the Temple holy. Nothing sinful will be allowed to pollute the body of Christ. God the Holy Spirit abides in us now and one day we will be completely one in Spirit with Jesus Christ. We have been purchased and washed by the blood of Jesus Christ. If we want to honor Jesus, we must keep ourselves from the very appearance of sin. Our love for Him should cause us to want to keep our bodies pure, without spot or blemish.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 03-17-2017