We started our new discipleship study on Wednesday, the message was “The Church and You.” One of the scriptures was I Cor. 12:12-31, where Paul writes about the importance of the individual parts of the body in comparison to the individual members in the body of Christ.
We started talking about how everyone is important and needed in the body of Christ. And that even the person who doesn’t think they have an impact on the body of Christ, does impact it. And what about the members that are missing, those that have made a decision to walk away from God?
I started to think of the small body parts, that we so often take for granted, like the appendix, spleen, toes and chromosomes. Each one has the ability to impact the whole body, even though they are so small – some causing lasting damage.
The appendix is about 3 1/2 inches long, some question its purpose in the body, however if it becomes inflamed, it can burst and if left untreated can cause death. The little lady that sits quietly on the pew each week without saying a word, overlooked by many. She may seem like she has lost her passion and has no purpose. Maybe she is alone and has no one to share her burdens. Maybe she is the lady that prays the powerful prayers of faith heard only by God. If no one reaches out to connect, what if the cares of this world start to inflame her prayer life?
The spleen is four inches long, if it has to be removed there is life long consequences as the body is less able to fight off certain infections. I am sure that there are many spiritual warriors that have went on to be with the Lord. They left a legacy that will continue to work God’s mercy in the life of the church. What if this generation’s warriors are not being taught about spiritual warfare? How will they continue to fight off the infections brought by principalities and evil forces?
Birth defects develop when something is wrong with the genes or chromosomes. Genetic disorders like Down syndrome or chromosomal disorders like cystic fibrosis are caused by an altercation in one of the smallest parts of the body. Sometimes these altercations make an impact on the way someone looks. Other times they cause developmental delays. Some disorders can lead to death. All this because of a small altercation in the smallest part of the body or because it is missing. I wonder what we miss because certain members do not carry out their God-given function in the body of Christ. Or when we are not completely obedient to God’s directions. Certainly when individual members act out, it can cause the lost to look and make judgements about the appearance of Christ in this world. Or maybe the delay in miracles happening or great moves of God being slow to come is because the members of the body do not act in unity with each other and in accordance with God’s plan for each individual. And how many are lost because of the failed actions of individual members?
People with amputated big toes may have some difficulty when they attempt to run or increase the speed of their gait. This is because the body uses the big toe to push-off from the ground when it wants to accelerate. How much momentum is lost in the body of Christ when we cast aside those that fail? Is the rate in which the lost are reached decreasing because there is no one to push-off of and no one getting those members left in forward momentum?
I realized that maybe I will never be Billy Graham, Joyce Meyers, John Bevere or Francis Chan, but I have a role in the body of Christ. It is an important role. Although there are times that I question my purpose, I know however small my part I must play it.
I know that in order for the Body of Christ, the Church to reach its full potential, it will take me, all the great leaders, and each and every Christian. We must each be doing what God has laid before us, because no one else can do our part. An eye can not be a toe, a finger can not be an ear. We each have a role, and even the smallest part must be played out to the full.
I Cor. 12:12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.