Building in Love

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From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Ephesians 4:16

In this day and age, it's tempting to toot our own horn, while downplaying the work and achievement of others. We look at our trophy cases full of achievements, we delight in the successes of our children as though they were our own. We rest on our laurels.

At home, we squabble over who contributes more to the household and whose role is more important or valuable. We believe we do the lion’s share of the work and that things would fall apart without us. Likewise, this thinking is extended to the church environment.

When we put ourselves above others in the name of competition and to get ahead or to gain recognition, it is against God's design. Our innate desire is to be the head when Christ alone is the head.

Only when we abide in Him, and acknowledge Christ as the head, do all the parts function and work together in love. Only then is there growth and unity. Likewise, we should not shy away from the body of Christ believing we are different from others and have nothing to offer.

Every believer is given gifts and talents such that the body of Christ can work together. No gift or talent is above the other, but each is valuable and useful in God's kingdom. A body missing a part or with a weakened part suffers and is limited in function. No one part can function on its own. Ligaments connect bones and provide stability and strength to a joint without which movement is severely limited or impossible. The church is healthy when every member joined together with other members and motivated by love is lead and directed from its head by Christ. This synergy causes growth in each cell (member) and the church as a whole.

In an increasingly lonely and isolating world, remember God’s design for us is to live in unity together. As each Christian becomes stronger and firmer in their own faith, they also grow in the body of Christ. We each have varying roles, but all are important for the life of the church and our own personal spiritual growth.

The great diversity within the body is a gift. The purpose of gifts was meant for the benefit of the whole body to do the work God prepared each one of us to do and not for the individual or for self-edification.

Action: Reflect on how the knowledge of the purpose of Christ's body impacts how you go about your own individual role or part.

Prayer: Help me Lord to see my worth and the worth of others in your Kingdom. Help me see that it's not all about me. Increase my desire to strive for spiritual maturity and to acknowledge you as the Head of the body of Christ. Lord, help me resist the temptation to put myself ahead of others. Help me resist the temptation of thinking that my role is insignificant in light of others. Amen.

Series: Unity 2023

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