What do you think of when we speak of The Church? Is it a building? Is it tradition? Is it an interruption to your otherwise relaxing Sunday morning sleep in?
The church is God’s idea, and the church is us! It is who we are and is a part of our identity, that’s why we don’t stay home and watch it online – even though it might be more comfortable!
God expects us to operate as members of His body and He has gifted all of us with spiritual gifts for the greater good of the body. You might sit back and say, “Mark, that’s all well and good for you, but I don’t have any gifts! I don’t really have anything to offer!”
Well, I have news for you – you do! Corinthians 12:7 says, “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good”, and, in verse 27, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” So, God promises to empower those who are a part of the body of Christ through the Holy Spirit with gifts for the common good (Corinthians 12:4-7). If you attend Cross Culture, that means YOU! There are no exceptions!
Now, don’t be confused or put off by the fact that you might have a different gift to someone else. God doesn’t always move according to our expectations but will move in a way that meets the needs of the church. A good analogy is that of a diamond ring: there is one diamond with many facets.
On Sunday, we completed a little exercise where we had a jar of one-dollar coins, and each member was given one coin and instructed to give it away along with encouragement and prayer. Boy, was I blessed! I was stopped four times on the way to my car after the service and given a ‘coin’ and you know what? I am coming back to church next week so I can make sure these coins re-enter circulation!
One of the wonderful benefits of being a part of the body of Christ is that we are called to provide for each other’s practical needs within the Church (Acts 20:34-35; Romans 15:26). We are also called to pray for each other (Acts 12:5; Philippians 1:3-4) and to show honour (Romans 12:10), compassion (Ephesians 4:32), encouragement (1 Thessalonians 5:11), and love to one another (1 John 3:11).
Friends, can I encourage you again and leave you with this: we are all a part of the body of Christ. Each one of us has a part to play and a gift to give. There are people in this church waiting to be blessed by a gift that God has given you. So, step up and step out! You will be amazed at how God moves through you, and you might just be blessed back!