Altar Vision Devotional - Week 10

What is the connection between surrender and unity?

Scripture

“But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.” 1 Corinthians 12:18-21

Reflection

There are many metaphors for the unity of God’s people in the bible. In some places we are called a ‘People’. In other places we are called a ‘house’ or ‘temple’. The metaphor that I think has the most depth is when God’s people are described as a body. In 1 Corinthians 12, the author Paul spends quite a bit of ink on describing how all of us who have been baptized in Christ are made alive by the Spirit and form one body. If you are in Christ, you are in the body. There is no escaping that reality.

In the same chapter Paul says the body is a unit. It has many parts. Each bit is special and has a unique role. In other words, there is complexity to it. At the same time there is a wholeness. There is one head – Christ. The breath is the Spirit. Love is like blood. But Paul warns us that the body can only function as a body if we each submit to the Father who knows our place because he has made it specially for us. In Paul’s words, “If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.”

Paul also talks about the people of God as a body in Romans 12. Interestingly, Romans 12 is more well known for its opening verse. There it says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” To find our place in the body we need to offer ourselves. An act our will, in response to the loving mercy of God. This response of surrender allows us to receive life, purpose and meaning. We discover our place in the body by surrendering to the Father so that we can be positioned according to his plan.  

Action

Meet with three or four friends and ask them this question: How do I fit in the body? Be attentive to their response. Then consider how your local church fits into the body in the city, in the nation and world.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me life in Jesus. Help me to trust you to place me in your body in a way that glorifies you. Knit me together with others in deeper, more significant ways as I surrender to you.

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