We are Not All the Same

Romans 12:1-2 ESV

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

The Lord put within my mind a song called “Breath of Heaven” (Mary’s Song), which is a song about Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the emotions that she might have gone through and the prayers she might have prayed to God the Father when she was chosen of God to carry the Son of God in her womb. So, let’s think about that here for a moment.

She was called of God to give birth to the Son of God who was conceived within her of the Holy Spirit. So she became pregnant out of wedlock, which was punishable by death in those days, I believe. Her betrothed Joseph could have put her away, but the Lord sent an angel to him to tell him that Mary was pregnant of the Holy Spirit and he believed the angel.

So, I am most certain she was shunned, falsely accused, rejected, made fun of, criticized, etc., because people did not understand that the child she was carrying was God’s Son, the Savior of the world. So, Mary must have felt all alone, at times, and she might have wondered, at times, why God chose her to carry His Son. And she probably faced fears and loneliness.

And I am most certain that she relied on the Lord for her strength and encouragement and for her help and counsel, and that she must have cried tears when people mistreated her out of ignorance, not understanding God’s calling upon her life. But she remained steadfast in faith and she persevered in the strength of the Lord, and she gave birth to the Savior of the world.

So, Mary is an example for us of someone who loved God with her whole being and who literally gave her body to the Lord as a living sacrifice for him, holy and acceptable to him. She was not conformed to the ways of this sinful world because God had set her apart for his service. And I am most certain she was not well accepted because of it.

Now, as followers of Jesus Christ we have also all been given the Savior of the world to carry in our bodies, not in a physical sense, but in a spiritual sense. And when we do, and when we give our lives to God as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, not conformed to the world, we, too, will be criticized, falsely accused, misunderstood, rejected, and cast aside.

Romans 12:3-8 ESV

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”

When we carry the life of Jesus Christ within us, we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit gives each of us spiritual gifts to be used for the glory of God in sharing the gospel and in ministering his grace to the body of Christ. And God assigns each one of us a specific role within the body which he planned for us to fill even before the creation of the world (1 Co 12).

No one else was called of God to give birth to the Son of God but Mary. And God has specific assignments for each of us which are ours alone to fulfill. But the problem with that today is that so much of the church just wants us all to be minions. We are all to get in a line, single filed, and follow the leader wherever he leads us, and that is just not biblical.

Each of us has been gifted of God with specific gifts and assignments from God and every part of the body is to be at work for the proper building up of the body of Christ to maturity in Christ (Eph 4; 1 Co 12). We aren’t all going to be the same. We aren’t all going to have the same function. But we are all necessary! And we need to make room for each part of the body to work.

Now, if someone is obviously speaking blasphemy against the Scriptures and they are obviously teaching what is not according to the Word of God, then we do not have to entertain that. But we should not reject other believers in Christ just because their body part is not like ours. Just because we don’t understand their calling does not mean their calling is not of God.

God didn’t call us to all get in a single file and to follow some human leader and then call that harmony. Harmony is when we have many parts that work together to make one beautiful piece of music. We shouldn’t have just one preacher or only hear the Scriptures taught from one man. We shouldn’t have just one music leader who picks all the music, either.

The Scriptures teach that we are to speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, so not all songs in church gatherings should be “praise and worship” songs, either, for we are supposed to be speaking these as messages of encouragement to one another, and “encouragement” is not just “feel good” messages, but it can be exhortations and urgings.

Some of us God may have called to be modern day Jeremiahs in sharing God’s messages from his Word in practical ways applicable to our lives and our world today. And these aren’t all “happy, happy” messages. But they are necessary in the times in which we now live because of the spiritual condition of today’s church which has become so much like the world.

So, if this is someone’s calling of God, this does not make this person a “negative” person who is to be ostracized and rejected because he or she is not saying what makes people feel good inside. We don’t put those people aside because they don’t fit in with today’s modern way of doing church, either, or exclude them because they won’t accept false teaching.

So, don’t shut out members of the body of Christ who bear the Son of God in their bodies just because they aren’t like us, or just because they don’t fit in with the modern way of “doing church,” or just because the message they are sharing sounds negative, even though it is biblical, or just because what they are saying doesn’t agree with the modern diluted gospel.

God didn’t make us all the same, and he didn’t gift us all the same, and he didn’t assign us all the same parts, either. We are different on purpose because we each have something to offer and to add to the whole body. So, don’t get hung up on modern philosophies about how church should operate or about business models or about this whole idea that everything that is from God needs to sound pleasing to our ears.

Let God be God, and make room for all his body parts unless, of course, what they are saying or doing is obviously contrary to God and to the word of God. We are not to be minions. We are to be the individuals that God made us to be, uniquely designed by God for his purposes. We each have something to contribute. And we’re not all going to be the same.

And guard against false gospels which come dressed up as something attractive and sweet sounding. Many are teaching a gospel which is not the true gospel but which is a lie, and it is corrupt, and it is not of God for it does not submit to God nor teach that we must forsake our sins and follow Jesus in obedience in order to have salvation from sin and eternal life with God (Lu 9). Test everything you hear against the Scriptures (in context), and know what the Scriptures as a whole teach, so you are not led astray.

Breath Of Heaven (Mary’s Song)

Songwriters: Amy Lee Grant / Chris Eaton

I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy father you have come
And chosen me now to carry your son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me now

Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven

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