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
We must remain humble where God has put us. We need to learn “to bloom where we are planted”. In other words, we should work diligently where we are until God moves us. Be obedient to those He has ordained to be over us. Since we are all parts of one body, we must work together in unity and unison to accomplish the work God has for us. If it is truly God’s work, it is not just “busy” work. If we do our part, God will certainly do His part. Work well and willingly with others. Encourage and help others with patience and love. We must always seek to do good to others and let God take care of the rest. Even though, we may never see what becomes of the other person, the one thing that we can be sure of is this: God will not be mocked, each of us will reap what we sow.
If we are going to encourage one another, then we need to pray for each other and also we need to pray together. We need to meet with other Christians on a regular basis. Worshiping and praising God together is a great way to encourage each other. If we fail to communicate with other Christians on a regular basis, we tend to become discouraged in our walk with God. One of satan’s tactics is to separate us from each other. He uses the same tactics as animals that are predators. They separate one of the prey from the herd and it is much easier for them to kill the one they have separated. After all, satan is a “roaring lion” seeking those he can destroy. We must work together and be accountable to God and each other so that we don’t go on sinning. It is a good idea to have someone you respect and trust to be accountable to on a weekly basis. Just knowing that you are going to have to tell someone everything you did this week will help you to overcome temptations.
Because of His great love and compassion, God had warned the Israelites again and again. The people and the leaders would repent and be faithful for a while. Then they would go back to their wicked ways and worship the idols of the nations around them. God would bring up armies against them, but He had never allowed them to completely destroy Jerusalem. This time, they had gone too far. Just as the prophets had told Josiah, God would allow the city to be destroyed and the people taken captive. He brought the Egyptains against the city and the Judahites had to pay tribute to the king of Egypt. Then, God brought the Babylonians against Judah to completely lay waste to Jerusalem and the land of Judah. They took the people to Babylon where they would remain in captivity until Cyrus of Persia became king. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemened to repeat it.” is a statement attributed to George Santayana in 1863. Our nation can learn and remember what God did to His chosen people, the Israelites or we will be condemned to repeat their failures as well. God has repeatedly sent His modern day prophets and preachers to warn our country to repent, turn from our wicked ways and return unto the God of our Fathers. Let us join together in prayer that we and our leaders will learn from history so that God can continue to bless us and not allow our great country to be destroyed.
What an encouraging thought it is to know that almost two thousand years ago, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ was praying for us. He prayed for us then and even now, He is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. He is still praying the same prayer. He wants us to “all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you.” Not only is Jesus interceding on our behalf, but the Holy Spirit is praying for us. When we reach that point in prayer where words can’t express what we feel in our hearts, the Holy Spirit prays for us with “groanings that cannot be expressed”.
Romans 8:26-28 NLT God, our Father, is waiting to hear from us and to answer us, knowing our weakness, He planned for His Son and HIs Spirit to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. The Triune God, the Trinity, works as One to be sure that our prayers are heard and answered. There is no Friend so faithful in assuring that His plans for each of us will be successful. He plans our lives, He prays for our lives and He always completes His plan. He causes everything to work together.