Monday, April 27, 2015

the body of Christ

Romans 12:5  NLT

so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

 

1 Corinthians 12:20  NLT

Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.

 

The last several days I was part of a “Walk to Emmaus” weekend.  I did this personally about 2 and 1/2 years ago, and this time I was part of the team leading the event.  It was, once again, a great time of learning and seeing God change lives.  There are several things that stick out in my mind that I would like to share with you.

 

There were people from very different parts of life on this walk.  The youngest pilgrim (that is what people on the walk are called) was about 20 years old, and the oldest I believe was in their middle 70’s.  Some of the people were from well-to-do families while others struggle from pay check to pay check.  Many had been in church all their lives but others might have only been part of a church for a year or two.  Some were Methodist, some Baptists, some non-denominational, some Pentecostal and a few others in the mix too.

 

It was a great group of people from the pilgrims to the team leading, and each person was obviously inspired by the events that took place.  I was touched by the way many responded to what God was doing in their lives.  The stories are often personal in nature, yet there is a common thread always of forgiveness and love given from our gracious God.

 

The body of Christ looks a lot like this weekend did.  That is one of the greatest things about the ministry we are part of all the time.  Christians come in all different sizes, from all different backgrounds and so on.  The grace of God is the same for all.  Salvation is offered to anyone, as is purpose for life.  Each gave themselves to all the others on this special walk to work and learn together.  Our differences were talked about some, but the focus was on growing in Christ and being active in our churches and serving others as Jesus did.

 

Much the same is true for the ministry that The Community Fellowship is part of.  There are people from lots of different churches and backgrounds that choose to serve.  It really is a varied group of awesome people who have chosen to use their gifts for the betterment of others.  By working together, by agreeing to serve and love others together, we are able to make a greater impact than we can alone.

 

Unity is a big part of what God has called His church, which is made up of all Christians, to have in our lives.  Often churches are known for conflict, division and problems, but when we work together, the cause of Christ is lifted higher, and God uses us and His message to change lives.

 

We are not supposed to isolate ourselves from people who don’t know Jesus.  Christians do have a tendency to do that to ourselves and to our families.  Yes, we must not let sin invade our lives, but to influence people in the world we have to be in their lives.  The greatest way to make a difference is not by telling people they are wrong.  The greatest way to make a difference is by showing them how great and gracious and loving our God is.

 

By choosing to work with others we are becoming more and more like the true body of Christ active in the world to do what God sent His son to do.  My prayers is that more people will work together, seek God together and be the genuine and loving body of Christ that those who don’t know Jesus need.

 

Philippians 2:2  NLT

Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

 

John 3:17  NLT

God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

 

NOTE: if you would like to know more about the “Walk to Emmaus” or to go on a walk, let me or anyone who has been on one know.  You can learn more by going to http://www.danriveremmaus.net for more about our local group.

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