Sunday, October 29, 2017, 10:22 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Zeal for Your House.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read several scriptures on the subject of the Body of Christ.
Different Functions (Romans 12:3-8)
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
No matter our gifts, our callings, our service (ministry), or our body parts, not one of us is superior to the other. Paul said, in essence, that all who are ministers of Christ are all servants of the Lord, but we just have different functions, yet it is God who causes the growth. So, not one of us has ever any reason to take pride in our callings or ministry, because God is the source of our gifts and callings, and there is nothing we can do for his service, apart from him. Only by and through him can we even have any impact for God’s eternal kingdom. So, since it all comes from him and is empowered by him, then he is the one to get all the glory and praise. Amen.
As God Desired (I Corinthians 12:14-20)
For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body.
I think that today’s modern (corporation) church here in America has lost sight of what the church is really all about. For one, the church, Christ’s body, is not a business, a corporation, an organization, a social club, a civic organization or a marketing venture. It is the people of God who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives. It is also not a building built by human hands. When we enter that building called a church, we are not entering into God’s house, and when we enter the worship center (formerly called “sanctuary”), we are not entering into the presence of Almighty God. We, the people of God, are his house, and his presence is within us.
As far as body parts go, it is important to note here that it is God who determines the parts (the roles, the assignments), not humans. He not only determines who gets what parts, but he decides the parts, i.e. what they consist of and how they are to operate, like he does with the gifts. As well, they are only operational in the power and under the direction of the Holy Spirit, which means the Holy Spirit has to have the freedom to work through these parts as predetermined by God. So, a body part may or may not coincide with an institutional church ministry, which may be designed by humans but then designated as a “body part.”
For example, a small group leader, who is a facilitator of someone else’s teaching materials probably does not qualify as a body part, because the part is man-made, and because it is usually confined to follow particular man-made objectives, purposes, plans and goals, which may or may not be consistent with scripture. And, it is normally all predetermined by humans, which leaves little room for the Holy Spirit to speak or to work, because consistently humans set the perimeters for this assignment, not God.
So, because the modern church is run like a business, it is not run like the body of Christ. Thus, it is often lopsided with a handful of leaders doing the ministry, and determining the ministries, which often must fit with the goals and objectives of the business. So, it is kind of like the whole body is an eye, and that there is no place for the other parts, which may lead some people to feel as though they are not necessary to the body, because they don’t fit, but all the parts are necessary, but again, as God determines, not man.
Rejected Parts (1 Corinthians 12:21-26)
And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
I admit I am very passionate about what this talks about here, partly due to my own experiences, some of them not so good, partly due to how I have seen others treated within the body of Christ, sometimes in the name of God, which is also not always so good, but mostly because Jesus lives within me and so I have his heart, his zeal for his body, God’s house.
If we are truly following Jesus Christ with our lives, and we are being led of the Holy Spirit, and we are responding to God’s leading, he will show us our gifts and our assignments within the body of Christ, which will be in complete agreement with his Word. But, they may not be accepted within these modern churches which have turned God’s house, his body, into a marketplace. So, we may be rejected within the church because our body part just doesn’t fit with their business goals and marketing schemes. And, they may invite us to go “someplace else” where we will be a “better fit.” But, where? So many of today’s churches have taken this business path and are following marketing schemes and humanistic philosophy, often over and above God’s Word.
So, what can we do? Well, we have to remember that the church is the people, not the organization, and that it exists worldwide. So, God is not confined to any specific location or group in order for him to use us as he chooses. He may have us start a Bible study with our neighbors, or he may give us a writing ministry, or a prayer ministry, etc. We also have to remember that God is completely sovereign, and he knew the church was going to turn this direction, so he already planned for this, which means our body part is not contingent on any one congregation accepting us. He will give honor to the parts which lack it (from humans) so that there may be no division in the body.
So, if you have been rejected, place this in his hands, and just follow his lead, and he will show you what he has for you to do. It will probably not be conventional, not in the sense of what we have come to accept as “church” ministries, most likely. It may be something “outside the box” of traditional “church,” but it won’t be outside God’s box or outside his wisdom, or contrary to his Word. What God opens, no man can shut, and what God shuts, no man can open, so just trust him, let him lead, and follow him.
Zeal for Your House
An Original Work / August 1, 2016
Based off Jn. 2:17; Ps. 69:9
Zeal for Your house, it consumes me.
Lord, I love my times with You.
I love to worship You and sing Your praises.
Time in Your Word brings me closer to You,
List’ning to You speaking to me,
Gently guiding me in truth.
Lord, You are my life’s example,
Showing me how I should live.
I love to walk with You where’er You lead me.
No greater joy have I when serving You.
Loving, giving, resting in Your strength,
I’m yielding to Your will.
Zeal for Your house, it consumes me.
See the church turned upside down:
Marketing ventures taking place of worship,
Men of the gospel turning into clowns.
Gospel message made appealing,
So the world will feel at home.
Lord, we need a great revival.
Turn their hearts, Lord, back to You.
Open the blind eyes, turn them all from darkness,
Lord, to the light. May they return to You,
Turn from their sin, forsake idols,
Be restored to God again.