"Who Glued It There?"

Dear Friends,

Last week, my friend shared with me an amusing conversation she had recently had with her two-year-old daughter:

Daughter: (Pointing to her own neck) "Is this my neck?"
Mummy: "Yes, it is."
Daughter: "Who glued it there?"

Whilst we may laugh at her wording. This two year old is asking a very good question. After all, we believe that we have each been uniquely created by God.  He has "glued" us together in remarkable ways. 

We read in Psalm 139:13-16
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvellous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed. (NLT)

We are incredible beings, fashioned by God.  Each part of us has a function and a purpose - limbs, skin, ligaments, muscles, bones, eyes, ears, heart, kidneys, liver, brain etc. God has made us with a body, mind and soul and we are "wonderfully complex!" The more I learn about how the human body works, the more in awe of God I am.

In several of Paul's letters to the churches, he uses the body as an illustration to help us understand the church as a spiritual body. I want to share a few of these with you now. (You may want to take your time as you read the following verses, and ask God to speak to you through them.)

Romans 12:4-6
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. (NLT)

The Message version puts it this way: In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvellously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.

1 Corinthians 12:12-26
You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts—limbs, organs, cells—but no matter how many parts you can name, you’re still one body...14-18 I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” would that make it so? If Ear said, “I’m not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,” would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it...19-24 But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of.
25-26 The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance. (The Message)

Ephesians 4:16
He joins and holds together the whole body with its ligaments providing the support needed so each part works to its proper design to form a healthy, growing, and mature body that builds itself up in love. (VOICE)

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know how much I love to share and teach God's Word.  Recently, myself and another member of our Preaching/Teaching Team provided our church with some mid-week Bible Teaching. It was such a wonderful and blessed time. Have you experienced for yourself the delight there is to be found in doing what God has called and created you for? From my point of view, there is nothing else like it. As we read in Ephesians 4:16, I was working to my proper design.

However, I was just one part of this. I was not able to do it all myself. God has not made me to do it all. We read in Romans 12 that God has given each of us spiritual gifts to do certain things well. I needed my co-teacher to do his part. He also provided what was not within my skill set - excellent resources such as folders with a cover design, a master PowerPoint slide and other technology.

But again, the evening wasn't dependent on just the two of us. Many worked in the background to print our student notes and set them in order, to prepare the room, prepare refreshments, work from the sound desk so that there were audio copies of our teaching etc. 

The end result, I believe, was excellence. Not because I did it all (because as you can see, I didn't), but because parts of the church body were doing what they were created for. They were fulfilling their God-given function. If one part had decided they were not going to play their part, then the whole would have suffered. The outcome would not have been the same.

I believe it's vital for each of us to know and understand what our part is within the church body. I need to recognise what my strengths are, and know that I have them, not through my own merit, but because God, in his grace, has given me certain spiritual gifts. The same is true for you too. I am to do those things I've been created to do, and not try to do those I've not been created for. If I try to, I will only make myself miserable and I will fail. To use the example of the body: if I am an ear, it's no good me trying to be an eye. It just won't work and would cause problems. However, when I am the ear God has created me to be, I can function well and leave those who have been called to be eyes, to play their part.

God has created our human bodies so that each part has a particular function and purpose. When each part does what God has created it for, we see the glorious handiwork of God.

In the church, when each part carries out its own God-given function and purpose, we see the church working as it should. We see a healthy, growing and mature body. And each part brings glory, not to itself, but to it's maker, to God.

To Think About
Do you know what your particular function and purpose is within your church body? If you do, are you doing what God has created you for?

If you don't know what your part is then ask God to reveal it to you and wait on him for his answer. It can also help to talk to a mature Christian who knows you well, as sometimes it's easier for someone else to see what our spiritual gifts are.

Are there any ways God wants to develop those gifts in you?




Popular posts

Do You Know You Are God's Prized Possession?

The Blessing Of Pain

Praying Psalm 139

Mary and Elizabeth's Friendship

My Verse and One Word for 2018

Do You Know That God has Tattoos?

Encouragement for Mums

Book Review: A Tale of Beauty from Ashes: A Six Session Bible Study based around the live action film 'Beauty and the Beast' by Liz Carter

The Apprentice Prayer

Book Review: Forever Loved: Eve's Story by Joanna May Chee