A visitor was being shown around a leper colony in India. At noon a gong sounded for the midday meal. People came from all parts of the compound to the dining hall. All at once sounds of laughter began to fill the air. They were laughing at two young men, one riding on the other's back, were pretending to be a horse and a rider and were having loads of fun.
As the visitor watched, he saw that the man who carried his friend was blind, and the man on his back was lame. The one who could not see used his feet; the one who could not walk used his eyes. Together they helped each other, and they found great joy in doing it.
Imagine a church like that—each member using his or her strength to make up for another's weakness. That's what should be happening in every congregation of believers.
"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all...that the members should have the same care for one another" (1 Cor. 12:7, 25).
Paul likened spiritual gifts to various parts of the human body. Eyes see. Ears hear. Hands work. Feet move the body forward. All are essential. And when each fulfills its function, the whole body benefits. All of us have weaknesses, but we also have strengths. God's Spirit has gifted each of us for the good of the church. We need each other. In the church, there are no nobodies.
(Pastor Joel Phillips, The Center Foursquare Church, Escondido, CA)
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1 Corinthians 12:12-14:
"For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many."
The Bible clearly teaches that believers in Christ, those born again from above, are members of Christ's Body—the New Testament church. Every member is valuable and vitally important in order to fulfill God's Kingdom purpose. There are no small parts or unimportant members. Somehow, much of the church doesn't seem to understand the importance of living committed to Christ, connected to one another, and submitted to the Head. This passage in Corinthians goes on to indicate that we should actually give greater honor and importance to the members that might seem least honored. The picture above and the description of those pictured are an illustration of the importance of each person fulfilling their God-given role. I often point out in order to illustrate the importance of each member that the most hidden part of my body is in my shoe inside my sock, and yet it is the very foundation upon which I stand—my feet! The next time you stub your little toe and are hopping around the room trying to hold your foot; just try to tell that smallest member it's not important. I think you get the point!
Many people feel overlooked. That must change. God has placed in the church uniquely gifted, anointed leadership to lead and help build up the church into the fullness of Christ. These leaders are to be an inspiration and instructors in righteousness and stimulate believers to good works. Church leadership must never be guilty of being misled by demonic deception into allowing their selfish ambition to cause them to manipulate, intimidate and ultimately dominate believers. We are called to stimulate people to good works through the power of God's Word and His Spirit. Consider the following important teaching from the Apostle Paul:
"And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love."
If Christians would only understand the importance of these verses. These individuals were set in the church and sent by God with divine enabling and supernatural anointing to help build up the church into the fullness of the stature of Christ. When this happens, each member will understand the importance of direct connections with other members, true connectedness, and they will also understand that there are indirect connections with other members of the body that are just as vitally important. When each member submits to the other as unto the Lord and follow the leadership of the head (Christ Himself), the church will be BUILT UP IN LOVE.
Please ask God to make you a source of inspiration and encouragement to those who too often feel overlooked and unimportant. Every member of Christ's body is a precious, vitally important part. To fulfill God's Kingdom purpose we need one another. No nobodies—every member is important.