Serving in the Body of Christ

The Body of Christ is too busy for its own good. We neglect our Lord and one another, because we make our own pursuits more important than God’s will for our life (1 Peter 4:10; Ephesians 2:10).

The government took over so many of our ministries, because the needs went unmet. Take, for instance, the care of our elderly. They go unvisited and feel unwanted, because we do not make them a priority in our churches.

Elderly Saints, who ministered for the Lord all of their life, need and deserve our attention. Rides to doctor appointments, visits, taking someone out to lunch, cards, phone calls and praying for one another are just a few ways that we can minister to our elderly.

Parents are so busy today that children’s workers in the Body of Christ can fill in the gaps and encourage our children to grow up in service to God. Many adults give their children and youth leaders credit for their dedication to God. We influence eternity by our service to children now.

However, caring for the children attending our churches is another neglected ministry. We already raised our children, or we are in the process of raising them, and we want nothing to do with children’s ministries in the Body of Christ.

Single parents need the most help. We can babysit to give these parents a chance to allow their Inner Child to play. Gifting these hardworking parents with a certificate to go out to eat or to buy whatever they need at a retail store is also helpful on their tight budget.

Many churches end up hiring people in order to have someone committed to the children, since very few people will commit to this ministry. Our children need Godly authority, responsibility, approval and nurturing in the same way which God relates to us (John 3:16; Romans 5:8).

If we all band together, the care required in these vital ministries will not be a burden on any one person, but will be a blessing for everyone involved (Romans 15:7).

We can make time for God and His Body as a priority in our schedule. Before we do anything, we consult the Lord and live each moment in His perfect will for us (Ephesians 2:10). While living by the Spirit, we will all function as a valuable member of the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to love Your Body as You love us. Allow us to be Your ambassadors to Your Body. Unconditional love and acceptance gives Your Body the assurance we all crave as human beings, regardless of our age or social/economic status. Remind us to give one another grace in our failings and to encourage one another in our successes.

Give us listening ears and the ability to recognize body language in order to be present with one another, rather than taking each other for granted. Help us to make one another feel safe to share our issues with each other, so we can bear each other’s burdens as You expect us to do (Galatians 6:2).

Thought for the Day:
If Satan can keep us in bondage to our failures, he cripples us in our service to God and His Body; as we learn to nurture and forgive our self, we will have an increased ability to accept, nurture, affirm and forgive one another. – Mark 12:30-31

United with Christ

God originally created mankind in the image of the Trinity (Genesis 1:6). Adam and Eve lived in an existence of body, soul and spirit in close fellowship with the Father (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

They enjoyed the same immortality, which Christ exhibited after His resurrection. Yet, when they believed Satan’s lies, they chose to ignore their spirit and to give in to the temptation of their human nature.

As a result, their spirit died, and we all reap the consequences of their choice. Knowing this before He created the world, God planned to become man as Emmanuel (Genesis 1:1; Matthew 1:23).

He paid the ransom for the sin debt of anyone who chooses to submit to His will rather than to our human desires or the devil’s temptations (Romans 4:25, 5:6; John 3:16-18).

The reason that God’s Spirit regenerates our spirit and sanctifies our soul is so that we will live in the divine life of Christ in us, rather than through our human life with its earthly thoughts and desires (2 Peter 1:4; John 1:1, 12-14).

This is possible once our spirit is Born Again. It is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us (Romans 12:2, 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 3:3-4). We live, move and have our existence in Christ alone (Acts 17:28).

We are united with Christ in our spirit, in the same way that Jesus’ humanity was united with His Godly nature, while He lived on this earth.

The life, which we live in this body, is lived through the faith of God’s holy Son (Galatians 2:20). We continue the work of Christ on this earth, and we do greater works as we function as His Body (John 3:3-6, 14:12).

We think, feel, speak and act in the will of God as we follow the leading of His Spirit through every decision we make, every word we speak and every action we take.

This affects our words and behavior in our vocation, marriage, extended family, neighborhood and church Body. We live as a city on a hill, and we never hide the light of Christ within us (Matthew 5:14-16).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for sending Christ to redeem us from sin and its destruction. Thank You also for helping us to renew our mind through the washing of the water of Your Word (Ephesians 5:26). Since Christ set us free from sin, then help us to stay free from its demoralizing clutches (Galatians 5:1).

Teach us how to walk in the divine nature of Christ in us. Help us to live and move and have our being only in Him, so that we can walk in Your will, exhibit Your character and do the works of Christ all the days of our life.

Thought for the Day:
Since Christ abides in us by His Spirit, then even though our body will die because of the sin, which cursed this world, God’s Spirit gives us His life in our spirit, soul and body, because of His holiness. – Romans 8:10

The Problem with Happiness

Happiness is a fleeting emotion, easily interrupted by negative thoughts, words and actions. Humans can experience the switch between the heights of euphoria and the depths of depression in a matter of seconds.

When we seek happiness from areas such as: circumstances, people, events, pets, career, home, gardens, hobbies, and church, we can experience both elation and disappointed.

In disillusionment, we even give in to fear and anxiety. We feel apprehensive about the future. God taught me to find freedom from fear by not focusing on more than one moment at a time.

Fear will dispel happiness quicker and put us in a deeper depression than any other emotion, especially if we suppress the anger, which we feel along with it.

We have the right to pursue happiness, but we cannot maintain it. However, there is good news in the midst of this negative prognosis.

We can continually dwell in an emotion deeper than happiness. This emotion is spiritual and depends solely on the presence of God in our life. It is a fruit, which God’s Spirit works into our nature.

It is also our strength to traverse the negative path we experience in life (Psalm 28:7). There is no earthly issue, which can ever shake us from this positive outlook on life. It is called JOY.

Even during dire circumstances, the Body of Christ world-wide, both in times present and past, is an example of a people who love and trust our amazing God for His constant provision.

Living in continuous joy depends on our focus and attitude. If we focus on the negative circumstances, it affects our attitude and dampens our joy. If we keep our mind on the delight Christ sets before us, we abide in His joy (Hebrews 12:2).

Prayer,
Father God, You reach down Your arms and hold us until our grief and fears are gone (Psalm 68:5). You walk within us and guide us through the depths of grief, distress and insecurity. Regardless of the negative circumstances, Your peace and joy are our constant companions.

You love each of us the same amount and in the same way, regardless of our sinful past. We are confident of Your continual, unconditional love for us (John 3:16-17). This one fact gives us all the joy we need to traverse the worst circumstances we will ever face.

Thought for the Day:
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy always comes with the dawning of each new morning. – Psalm 30:5

Effective Prayer

The Body of Christ performs a vital ministry for our spiritual life. As we confess our sins to each other, we hold one another accountable. Also, prayer unites the Body of Christ more deeply than any other spiritual discipline. When we pray for each other, we are healed. There is no disputing the fact that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16).

A wonderful way to learn God’s Word, and to gain the insight of Saints who already walked the same path, in the season of life in which we are living, is called discipleship. However, there is no better source of discipleship than sitting at Jesus feet (Luke 10:38-42). Through prayer and by reading His Word, God’s Spirit teaches us all things (1 John 2:27).

Our developing relationship with God gives us a more intense desire for holiness, as we realize how deeply our behavior affects our witness and our relationship with our Lord. The clearer we hear God speak to us, the more closely we can follow His voice in our daily life (James 1:5; Jeremiah 29:13; John 10:27). Otherwise, we suffer from impaired spiritual hearing (Matthew 11:15).

God lives in us and we are as close to Him as is possible; but we can form a deeper, more personal bond with Him by spending more time hanging out in His presence. Intimate communication in our prayer closet allows our relationship with God to deepen, because we are spending quality time with our Father (Matthew 22:37; John 17:3).

Prayer:
Father God, You are never far from us. We, however, allow the busyness of life to drown out Your voice and to rob us of our intimate times with You. Remind us to pay attention to You in every moment of every day, so that You can approach us more intimately than ever before (James 4:8). You will fill us with more of Your holiness, as well as Your Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). Then we will walk in Your power and victory over sin, the world and Satan (John 14:12-14; Acts 1:8).

Thought for the Day:
New Testament Saints made prayer a priority; why don’t we?
– Acts 1:14

Following Jesus’ Example

Jesus lived every moment of His life in dependence on our Father. He did not make His own decisions or live His own life, but consulted the Father throughout His day (Psalm 62:5-12). Our Savior and Brother gave us His perfect example of how God wants each and every Born Again Believer to live his/her life (Romans 8:17); totally surrendered to God and completely expended for Him without any reservations.

 

Christ’s death atoned for the debt of our sin. He died in our place and took our punishment upon His own body (2 Corinthians 12:9). He redeemed us by shedding His own blood (Matthew 26:28). Now He sits on His throne on high and intercedes for us (Hebrews 7:25). He is our advocate with our Father (1 John 2:1). At the same time, He dwells within us by His Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16), empowering us to live a transformed life (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

Jesus is the head of His Body, comprised of His Born Again Saints (1 Corinthians 12:27). The only way for us to truly experience the power of Christ’s resurrection is to conform to His death and become like Him (Philippians 3:10). As we die to our flesh Christ manifests His life in and through us (Romans 6:5). He impliments and perfects His life in us.  As we share in His sufferings, our comfort abounds (2 Corinthians 1:5).

 

Are we ready to die to the world and to our goals, aspirations, desires and wants for God? Does anything in our life mean more to us than God? Jesus did not come to do His will, but our Fathers (John 4:34). Do we have a separate agenda of our own that we prefer to follow instead of God’s will for our life? Living in the center of God’s will is the happiest place on earth.

 

Prayer:

Father God, knowing You in an intimate relationship is the reality of eternal life (John 17:3). We do not need to wait until heaven for this to occur. We can know You now. Bring us into spiritual maturity so that we can obtain the complete fullness of Christ in our body, soul and spirit (Ephesans 4:13). Remind us that as we conform to Jesus’ death, we live victoriously in His life. In eternity, we will also share in His glory (1 Peter 4:13).

 

Thought for the Day:

Only as we die to self will the life of Christ manifest in our life.

Eternal Connection

Prior to Jesus’ death on Calvary’s cross, no one had the privilege of Christ dwelling in them. Only those of us born in this dispensation of time have this blessing of union with Christ (Colossians 1:25-27). This is one of God’s mysteries, because it seems impossible for all of us to have Christ in us at the same time. However, this occurs by God’s Spirit dwelling within every Born Again Believer as one Body (1 Corinthians 6:17; 1 Corinthians 12:27).

We are no longer two separate beings. Jesus dwells in us and we dwell in Him. He functions through us as one entity. We are one spirit with Him (John 17:21). The entire power and majesty of the Godhead dwells in Christ and He dwells in us (Colossians 2:9). Our carnal humanity is replaced with His divinity within us, which manifests through the process of sanctification (Romans 8:9; Galatians 2:20).

Jesus changes our whole life. We fellowship with other Believers and enjoy Jesus in them (1 John 1:7). We feed on His Word. We depend upon His fullness in us (Proverbs 30:5). We tithe of the first fruits of our income to increase the ministry of His Kingdom on the earth (2 Chronicles 31:5). We praise Him with our whole heart, because He inhabits our praises (Psalm 22:3). No exercise or ritual can bring us closer to Him than we already are.

As we stop relying our self and others, and trust in God instead, we grow in faith with a new perspective on trials (John 3:30). Now, we experience trials as adventures ending in God’s special miracles, tailored just for us. There is no need to draw any closer to the God of the universe, who is sitting on His throne in Heaven, because this same Christ is eternally connected with each Born Again Believer.

In our union with Christ, we live, move and have our entire being and identity in Christ, who is our whole life (Acts 17:28; Colossians 3:3-4). He is now the central focus of our choices. We are not autonomous any more, which also means that we are no longer afraid, insecure, lonely, unhappy and unfulfilled. We follow God’s plan for our life, and we exemplify His nature to the world around us (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:4).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that we are no longer the focus of our life. We no longer live to amass worldly goods and prestige for our self. We live only for Your honor and glory. Regardless of our lot in life, we are forever linked with the almighty power of Your Godhead dwelling within us in complete fellowship. We are Your children and Your Spirit leads us moment by moment throughout the day (Romans 8: 14).

Thought for the Day:
We are dwelling in Christ, and He is in perfect union in us.
– John 15:4