The Body of Christ

May 2014: A Word From Dr. Stanley

Have you ever gone to church with the weight of the world on your shoulders, hoping to get a little encouragement? Sometimes, despite the inspirational songs and great sermon, you walk out the door still carrying your burden. You might be tempted to ask, What happened? Why didn’t the Lord meet my need?

Oftentimes we try to keep our burdens just between the Lord and us, so we come to church hoping the pastor will say exactly what we need to hear. But God hasn’t appointed pastors to be the sole source of support and encouragement for believers. The church is the body of Christ, and it is composed of individuals who should grow and work together to carry out His purposes (1 Cor. 12:12-31).

When we fail to ask for help, we forfeit God’s blessing.

The Lord never intended for Christians to be isolated islands who never share their struggles with fellow believers. Instead, we need to lean on one another in our times of weakness. We can’t afford to let pride or fear rob us of the help God wants to provide through our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we fail to ask for help, we forfeit a great blessing.

There are seasons in life when you need to lean on someone because the burden is just too heavy. At other times, you can be the one who comes alongside someone else to help in his or her time of need. As the body of Christ, we are called to support each other in a variety of ways—by offering intercessory prayer, walking with someone through a challenging time, sharing a word of encouragement, or edifying a fellow believer with the truth of God’s Word.

The church is to be a place of reciprocal relationships. Ask yourself, Does anyone truly know your heart and understand your present struggles? And is there someone whom you are encouraging and edifying in Christ? If the answer is no, you need to ask God to help you find other believers with whom you can grow. We are meant to use our gifts to serve one another, and when we do, we accomplish the work of ministry (Eph. 4:11-16).

Remember, there’s a family of believers out there ready to offer a helping hand. They are one of the ways the Lord can meet your need. And what’s better, by reaching out to them, you might just bless someone else, too.

Related Topics:  Christian Fellowship

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12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

15 If the foot says, Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.

16 And if the ear says, Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.

17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?

18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.

19 If they were all one member, where would the body be?

20 But now there are many members, but one body.

21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, I have no need of you."

22 On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary;

23 and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable,

24 whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked,

25 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.

26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it.

28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.

29 All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they?

30 All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they?

31 But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.

11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;

15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,

16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

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