Do not despise your gifting, but trust that God really has designed you for the good of the church, precisely as He has willed. Celebrate the variety of people God has placed within your local body and remember that He has done it all for the common good and the building up of the body. May God be honored in His church.
Jesus promised His disciples that He would build His church, “and the gates of Hell” would not prevail against it (Matt 16:18). And for the last 2,000 years, He has been faithful to do just that. He has saved men and women and brought them together for the praise of His glory and the good of the saints. And not only has He saved, but He has uniquely gifted each one, arranging His church, His body, in a very specific way. And this is the encouragement: That the church of God is arranged with purpose.
It’s one thing to understand that we are the body of Christ, and that we are each like different parts of that body. Some are like mouths and some are like ears. Some are like eyes and some are like hands. These are body parts with noticeable purpose. Still others can feel like pinky toes or the appendix. Not really sure why they’re there, but technically a part of the body. But it’s another thing to know that, not only am I a part of the body of Christ, but I am a purposeful part of the body of Christ.
You Might also like
By Nick Batzig — 2 years ago
As believers, we are called by God to train our minds and hearts to firmly latch onto the biblical teaching that we are passing through this world as pilgrims and strangers. We can never allow ourselves to become comfortable here. We are merely sojourners passing through this world on our way to glory. From the first promise of redemption in the garden (Gen. 3:15) to the glorious heavenly vision of the City of God (Rev. 22), the totality of the Bible focuses on the pilgrimage for which God has redeemed His people.
When God called Abraham to leave his family and his homeland, he “went out, not knowing where he was going” (Heb. 11:8). “By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise” (11:9). Moving from place to place, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob walked by faith in the promises of God. The Lord had promised Abraham that he would inherit the land; yet, the only land he ever possessed during his pilgrimage was a tiny plot that served as a burial place for him and for his wife, his children, and his grandchildren. The act of burial was the last great act of faith. It proved that he was looking for something better—the hope of the resurrection. Abraham never had a permanent home until he died. When he died in faith, he settled in “the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Heb. 11:10).
Joseph also lived and died as a pilgrim and stranger on the earth. Abraham’s great-grandson spent the better part of his life as an alien in a foreign land. He was cut off from his earthly family until the end of his father’s life. He was instrumental in the rest of his brethren coming and dwelling in a foreign land. When he died, Joseph “made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones” (Heb. 11:22). By charging his brethren to take his bones up from Egypt and into the promised land (which would not occur until some four hundred years after he died), Joseph was teaching the Israelites that there was a better city—one for which God would raise him up, body and soul.
After Moses fled from Egypt into the wilderness of Midian, he married the daughter of the Midian priest Jethro and fathered a son with her. Moses named his firstborn son Gershom (literally meaning “stranger there”). Scripture teaches us the rich biblical theological meaning of this name in Exodus 2:21–22, where we read: “Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah. She gave birth to a son, and he called his name Gershom, for he said, ‘I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.’”
We discover the secret to spiritual pilgrimage when we read:
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. (Heb. 11:13–16)
By Ben Johnson — 1 year ago
Bible-believing Christians say they will not cede the definition of marriage—or endanger believers’ ability to make their voice heard in the United States.
A Republican senator has said he will “absolutely oppose” a bill redefining marriage nationwide, warning that liberal activists plan to “use it as a weapon” to drive Christians out of the public square.
During Wednesday’s episode of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins,” Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) announced for the first time that he will vote against H.R. 8404, marketed as the “Respect for Marriage” Act, if it comes to the Senate floor.
“It removes all protections from marriage,” Lankford told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. The legislation, which the Senate could consider shortly, imposes a top-down mandate for every state to recognize any “marriage between two individuals.” That could include “time-bound marriages, open marriages, marriages involving a minor or relative, platonic marriages, or any other new marriage definition that a state chooses to adopt” — including any definition imposed by a judge or state Supreme Court, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom.
“I want to bring this bill to the floor,” said Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “We’re working to get the necessary Senate Republican support to ensure it would pass.”
“The far-Left is trying to say we want to be able to push this to the next step” of the sexual revolution and “take it where it has not ever gone before,” said Lankford. “And we are going to absolutely oppose that.”
Part of that effort involves silencing religious Americans from speaking out against them. If the Senate passes H.R. 8404, “in all likelihood, this bill will then come straight at every nonprofit that believes in traditional marriage, biblical marriages — quite frankly, historic marriages across all of time,” he added. Any tax-exempt group that upholds scriptural marriage “will be challenged on their tax policy and will immediately become a target of this federal government.”
Overzealous federal bureaucrats, left-wing legal groups, and LGBTQ pressure groups are no longer saying, “We demand recognition” of same-sex marriage, said Lankford; they’re now saying, “We’re going to crush anyone that opposes our belief in gay marriage.”
That is no mere speculation. The California state Senate passed the “Youth Equality Act” in 2013 to strip some state tax exemptions from organizations accused of “discriminating” on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The law “brings our laws into line with our values,” said its sponsor, then-state Senator Ricardo Lara, who is now the California’s Insurance Commissioner. The drumbeat to place organizations that affirm biblical sexual morality beyond the pale has since continued apace, as professors have lobbied regulators to reinterpret existing standards. Obama-era IRS Commissioner Lois Lerner, who crusaded against the Christian Coalition in the 1990s, mired the Obama administration in scandal by denying nonprofit status to Christian, pro-life, and limited government applicants.
By Tim Challies — 8 months ago
There is tremendous benefit in knowing creeds and catechisms and in reading the classics of the Christian faith. These are disciplines every Christian should practice with diligence. Yet these practices are meant to serve a greater purpose—the purpose of godly living. These practices are meant to equip us to master every circumstance, to meet each one with a stout heart and a deep submission, with the joy of salvation and the character of Christ.
It is good to be a man or woman of faith. It is good to be a man or woman who regularly attends church, who faithfully studies the Scriptures, who diligently puts sin to death and who joyfully comes alive to righteousness. This is all good and very good.
But every now and again it is important to ask something like this: What does your faith do for you? In those times when life is difficult, in those times when sorrows are many and answers are few, in those times when life is not going the way you had hoped, the way you had planned, the way you had dreamed, what does your faith do for you?
What does your faith do for your when wealth gives way to poverty and abundance gives way to lack? Do you forget all of the blessings you have enjoyed and neglect to give thanks for them? Do you grow disillusioned with God as if he is no longer worthy of your trust, your worship, and your adoration? Or do you profess, with confident humility “I can be content … for I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”
What does your faith do for you when you face the fires of persecution, when colleagues or family members or government officials harass you, disparage you, mistreat you, because of your love for the Lord? Do you respond to anger with anger and to insults with insults? Or do you respond peaceably, praying for that person and entrusting yourself to the God who judges fairly and faithfully?
What does your faith do for you when you are called to pass through trials? Does your heart rise up in rebellion against God that he has taken what you loved or failed to give what you longed for?