You Are A Joint!

You are a joint

(image courtesy of Freelyphotos.com)

If you have been spiritually born into the family of God then you are a Joint!  Ephesians 4:7-16 says that Jesus gave gifts to the church for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ and that the members are joined and knit together by what every joint supplies and what every part does in edifying the body to growth and maturity to the stature of Christ Jesus!

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV  And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ–from whom the whole body, joined together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

So, what is your motivation in going to church?  Is it to give or to get?  We all look forward to gathering together at church to see our friends and participate in worship and hearing a great message from our Pastor, but what is our individual purpose?

If we are going to be givers of our supply then we need to adjust our thinking to be pro-active, looking forward to our church attendance as a means to share what God has placed within each of us that will benefit the whole body.  It’s always fun to be on the receiving end of things, but Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Acts 20:35 NKJV  “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak.  And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”

Matthew 10:7, 8 NKJV  “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons.  Freely you have received, freely give.

God has placed within each of us what we need to be joints in the whole body of Christ!  He has equipped us with gifts and talents that we should be sharing when we come together to worship Him.  What He has freely given to us is intended to be used to change the lives of others!

1 Corinthians 14:16 NKJV  How is it then, brethren?  Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation.  Let all things be done for edification.

When we come together in corporate worship, the Apostle Paul says we all have gifts that can be used, but they should be done in balance and to build up the body.  The Corinthian church was an exuberant church that was imbalanced in the extreme use of their gifts, but today in many of our churches we see an imbalance in the non-use of God’s gifts.  Where is the balance?

I think the answer to that question has to begin with a willingness to be used of the Lord for whatever purpose He has in our gathering together.  It’s not wrong to be on the receiving end of what God is flowing through another, but we all should be looking for the opportunities to give as well as to receive.

Hebrews 10:23-25  NKJV  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Here we see a caution to not go to the other extreme of not joining together in corporate worship, but to use that time to stir others up in love and good works.  We are to be a people who give out of the abundance of God’s gifts to each of us using them to express His love and encouragement to do and be the best that He has gifted and called us to be.

1 Peter 4:10  NKJV  As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Do you know what gifts God has placed within you?  Could that be what may be holding you back from giving your supply?  Pray before going to church that God will show you what He wants you to do and say that would build up the body of Christ and be the supply that you are to give for that day.  God has a place for you to fill in His church.  He has gifts that He wants to express through you.  Are you willing to step out to be a vessel of His use to bring glory and honor to the name of Jesus and help in building up His body?

Father, I thank You for the gifts that You have placed in each one of us as born again believers in Christ Jesus.  I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ that You would awaken their spiritual eyes and ears to see and hear what You want them to do and say as they meet together with other believers in a corporate worship setting.  I pray that You will give them Your heart of compassion to speak into people’s lives that which will build them up and bring growth and maturity in the lives of the hearers.  I pray that in turn they would be edified and grow into more mature believers as they yield themselves to be vessels of honor for Your use.  Cause us to have boldness to step out in faith that You will do what only You can do in us and through us to build up the Body of Christ.  You alone, Lord, are the giver of the gifts and deserve all the glory for them!  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

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Here’s Another Lemon, Lord!

lemons

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Have you ever looked into your life and thought you could see nothing but lemons….hard, sour times where there seemed to be no good that could possibly come out of them? Well, I have good news for you today! God makes the BEST lemonade!

Psalm 103:6 Msg. GOD makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet.

Wow! Hooray! There is redemption for all things in your life when you bring them to God!

Just look at the life of Joseph. He was 17 when he had a dream that his brothers would some day bow down before him and he would reign over them. They already hated him because he was his father’s favorite, but after hearing of his dream they hated him even more. So much so, that they were going to kill him, but instead sold him to some traveling Ismaelites and convinced his father that he had been devoured by a wild beast. This one act of hatred toward their brother set him on a course that would forever change his life as well as that of his brothers and father. For approximately 18 years his life had many ups and downs, times when he experienced much difficulty as a direct result of what seemed to be the lemons in his life. But there came a time when God said enough is enough! The time was right for Joseph’s lemons to be made into lemonade. And as a result the dream he’d had at 17 became reality when his brothers stood before him and said “Behold, we are your servants.” (Genesis 50:18) And Joseph replied to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?” “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (Genesis 50:19, 20)

God will take what is meant to harm you, just like He did for Joseph, and turn it into something good; something of value that will be fruitful in your life for His glory!

Ecclesiastes 3:11 NKJV He has made everything beautiful in its time……

My friend, you may think that God can’t do anything with the failures and disappointments that you’ve experienced in your life, but don’t be disheartened. He is in the redemption business! Trust Him to change your life when you turn it all over to Him.

Psalm 103:4 NKJV Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.

God redeems, or buys back, our failures, sin and disappointments. He places a crown on our heads of His lovingkindness, His goodness, His mercy, His salvation that makes all things new again. He is the God of restoration! Jesus died to redeem your life from destruction! Have you given Him your heart? If not, why not make today your day of salvation? Pray and invite Him into your heart; give your lemons to Him, and let Him make your life brand new!

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