You Have a Function
"Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many parts in one body and all the body’s parts do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually parts of one another. However, since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them properly: if prophecy, in proportion to one’s faith; if service, in the act of serving; or the one who teaches, in the act of teaching; or the one who exhorts, in the work of exhortation; the one who gives, with generosity; the one who is in leadership, with diligence; the one who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Love must be free of hypocrisy. Detest what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor, not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never repay evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all people. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12 NASB
It's God who draws the plan of life for each and every single person who has ever lived. We certainly live among people who believe the erroneous thought that someone's life was cut short. That they never had a full life. That they never got to do this or that.
That's an entirely unbiblical thought. We have a life to live as believers and it's to be a functioning part, a contributing part, to the body of Christ Jesus.
Within that scope lies a life with purpose and direction that, through obedience and trust that gives way to faith, others come to Christ through them. That's being a part of the body.
Life isn't sports, video games, movies, restaurants, sight seeing, hobbies or any and every other form of activity. Life in Christ is about Christ.
It's really disturbing to me to hear of the lamenting in the media and often in person of lives cut short. As my Mother said last night from a conversation she had had, to have such thoughts is to think that something happened to someone and that something caught God by surprise. Like God has ever reacted with "Wow! Didn't see that coming!".
We have a function in the body of Christ and we have a part in the Plan of God the Father's fir mankind's redemption. Sounds more than a tad bit important than the things we tend to look at that make up our lives.
If we are being transformed and are not conformed then new ways of thought and thinking should be a part of our experience.
To say the least in the last 5 months the Spirit has been doing a number on my thoughts and way of thinking concerning my life. Right off the bat He had me questioning my life's restart in this new hometown. Rethinking what will motivate me. Rethinking my purpose for being in this place. The list goes on.
I have a troubleshooting mentality. Always have. I tend to consume how-to videos, books etc. trying to understand something that I hadn't before. I might never need that information again but I hope to have learned something from the experience. It's always been weird how God's used that in me to solve problems for others. It's one of my purposes.
I am to work towards meeting the needs of my Wife. Helping where it's for me to do. That too is one of my purposes.
Those are also purposes in the body of Christ for me.
I have a computer repair ministry. I help whomever without regard to cost. If I get paid by them then I do. If I don't then I don't. If the person who is inclined to pay me something goes to the same Church as me, then I tell them to put it in the offering plate. Don't tell me what the amount is, just tell me when you did it. For those outside of the Church, that money goes towards supplies. I do not profit off helping others. This is something that I have been doing since the 1980's. It's one of my purposes in the body of Christ.
If I know people who need help and God leads me to help, then I help. This, too, is one of my purposes in the body of Christ.
As a Believer, you too have a purpose in the body of Christ. For however long a time you have on this Earth It's to be to fulfill your ministry in the body of Christ. Paul exhorted Timothy to fulfill his ministry. Our lives in Christ aren't to necessarily be spent on us. When we seek out joy and happiness for our own sake it certainly will not last as long as seeking it for the sake of Christ Jesus.
Satan's largest industry is in distractions to Believers to keep them from fulfilling their calling in Christ Jesus. To waste their time and lives to keep them from locating others to bring to Jesus.
False Believers exist that try to live lives they do as close to Christianity as they can without committing. In a body those are still called cancer cells. They can hold to many of the same attributes as a normal cell but do nothing for the true body.
A transformed life becomes something new.
A conformed life is the same life trying something new.
We are taught by this world of which Satan is still the god of...to be all we can be. To make others accept us as we are. To force that acceptance. To do extreme things to get the most out of life. Spend ungodly amounts of time, money, effort to change who we are in the pursuit of worldly happiness.
God, through the Spirit, has a much better plan in mind that brings out the best of who we are in serving the Savior who made it possible. In our being an active part of the body of Christ we will far exceed whatever we thought possible.
Nobody's life is ever cut short. Each person who's ever existed has had ample opportunity to come to Christ or to reject Him and His free gift of Salvation. That's the duration of a life.
I include even the unborn but in that they return to Jesus from which they came. They never reached an age of accountability before Jesus. Those with special needs and have disabilities will indeed find a different path to Jesus. I have seen it. The Spirit will never leave anyone to not know what's like to come to Christ. He can't, it's part of His own ministry.
We have a function in the body. If we aren't doing it, where it should be done, then we're not living in obedience. Our excuses for not going where we were called to go, won't hold up before Jesus. As followers of Jesus we are to obey in what we are called to be doing.
Our 21 years in the wilderness of our former hometown taught us things to be a better functioning part of the body of Christ. It taught me that what's true about real-estate is true about life in Christ. Location, location, location. There should be no "But God, I would have to move, to uproot, to leave..." type of conversation with God. At no point in the four Gospel accounts do we ever hear any Disciple say that to Jesus.
You have a God-given part of the body of Christ to be doing. Romans 12 points you in the right direction. You have something to use that was given to you by God when you came to Christ. Read this in Matthew 25 NASB:
"“For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. The one who had received the five talents immediately went and did business with them, and earned five more talents. In the same way the one who had received the two talents earned two more. But he who received the one talent went away and dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.
“Now after a long time the master of those slaves *came and *settled accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have earned five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter the joy of your master.’
“Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have earned two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter the joy of your master.’
“Now the one who had received the one talent also came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed. And I was afraid, so I went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you still have what is yours.’
“But his master answered and said to him, ‘You worthless, lazy slave! Did you know that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter seed? Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore: take the talent away from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’
“For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. And throw the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
You who are in Christ are also told to take up your own cross and follow after Jesus.
Are you? Is yours a transformed life or a conformed life?
Are you getting out of your life what you want or are you getting out of your life what God needs done?
You indeed have a function in the body of Christ if you came to Christ.
For those reading this who haven't come to Christ, trust me your biggest thoughts are around what you think that you will lose in life by coming to Christ for salvation. You will have thoughts on all you will have to give up. Look at a bigger picture. When Christ returns do you want to be left behind? Is all that you are thinking that you will lose, worth spending eternity in torment and anguish separated from God? Because those are the real stakes in this life. It's not about cars or money or houses or anything else. The real stakes are in what happens after your physical life ends. What you choose to do about receiving or rejecting Salvation in Christ Jesus determines everything for you for all eternity.
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