The church is called the body of Christ. Have you ever thought about what it would be like if the members of our physical bodies behaved like the members of the spiritual body sometimes do?
HEART – “You know, I’m just stuck in a rut. For the last 45 years all I do is beat and beat. Lub, dub… lub, dub… lub, dub… I’m tired of it. It’s time for someone else to step up and do this job. Okay, feet, it’s up to you. You pump the blood.
LUNGS: We are so under-appreciated around here. I don’t think the other organs realize that they couldn’t do their jobs without us. If we quit doing our job for a few minutes, everyone will finally see how valuable we are to this place. The brain thinks he’s big stuff. Humph! Let him do without some oxygen for a while and we’ll see how important he is!
LIVER: “Why do I get all the dirty work? You think it’s fun making bile? I’ve been in this body for 45 years now and do you think anyone has ever asked me to make any decisions, pump any blood, or perform any functions that are noticeable outside the body? Sometimes I wonder why I bother.”
APPENDIX – “Ha! Just watch the rest of those organs work. Day after day, hour after hour, they work themselves do death. I’m just along for the ride. Why contribute when I can just sit here and get the same nutrients and oxygen that they get? Why get involved?”
You get the idea. The point is that the individual parts that make up our bodies were created specifically for certain tasks within the body as a whole. The body works as a finely tuned machine when all the parts do what they were uniquely gifted to do. There are no unimportant parts — except the appendix. Don’t be an appendix in your church. (An illustration from sermoncentral.com).
The body of Christ is made up of all of those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and the above illustration makes an excellent point about the vital role of each person within that body. Each person plays a role that affects the body’s health and welfare and even one person playing their part in lesser fashion then they were gifted to do makes the body, as a whole, less effective.
Paul illustrates this effectively in 1 Corinthians 12:12-26: “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
Paul goes on to inform the people of Corinth that, together, they make up one body, each with their special gifts to share and their unique roles to play. Along with that we have the freedom to use those gifts for the betterment of the whole or we can choose not to.
God urges you to “Earnestly desire the higher gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:31a) and His calling for you is to use those unique gifts and abilities to make a kingdom difference in the world by making everything you do a ministry. If you trust in Him to guide you, He will “Show you a still more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31b).
Together we are a mighty force for good, but divided we fall. There are plenty of appendixes in the world who are just along for the ride. Let God guide you to greater things within the body. “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:4-5). Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank you for including us into the body of Christ and help us to serve you with the gifts that help us to fulfill our unique responsibilities within it. Show us how to use what you have given us to strengthen the whole. Amen.