“Therefore, having put away falsehood,
let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor,
for we are members one of another.”
Sunday morning is always an all-out spiritual battle for how I will spend my time. My body and mind are weak-willed after 5 straight days of having to get up and go to work, and so week after week — especially Sundays — I must fight to leave the comfort of my soft warm bed and resist my self-centered desire for “me time.” But all I want to do is mindlessly scroll Facebook, followed by reading and clicking on endless headlines on my Apple news app, and finally turning on the TV and choosing the first of whatever beckons me on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.
Why fight? What’s the big deal?
Experience. Experience has taught me that I am never more vulnerable to slow spiritual decay and disillusionment than when I separate myself from the regular encouragement, spiritual gifts and ministry of other members of the body of Christ as found in a local Christian church. What begins with one Sunday morning of “me time” is the first step for me of separating myself from the flock God has placed me in not only for my own protection and growth but for the protection and growth of others.
Scripture clearly teaches us that God has given each born-again believer in Christ a very specific spiritual gift to build up the body of Christ in love. Rather than keep our gifts to ourselves, our gifts serve others “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.” (Ephesians 4:13-14)
I depend on the different parts of my physical body to work together. I wouldn’t cut off my hand and expect it to work alone apart from the rest of my body. In the same way, there is not a single member of the body of Christ which does not need the other members to accomplish God’s purposes.
And that’s why I fight my self-centered nature on Sunday mornings.
Reading: Ephesians 4:1-16
~Thank You, Lord, for all of my brothers and sisters in Christ who are faithful to be a part of the body life of your Church. Protect them from being harmed by shepherds and other sheep, and where there has been harm or hurt feelings, restore and reconcile your people for your glory. Expose any wolves in sheep’s clothing trying to blend in among the flock, so we may deal with them in truth and minister to those who have been hurt. Where there has been harm, Jesus, lead the wounded to healthy churches where they will be tended to and loved. Heal them by your grace, for your glory, and bring them back into the fold to be built up and strengthened. Amen. ~
Joyful in Hope,