LifeLink Devotions (Click on link for audio version)
Monday, November 22, 2021
The fifth and final quality control test for the church is found in Ephesians 4:16.
“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
The comparison Paul has made here is to a living body – a skeletal system held together by all of the muscles and ligaments – that is growing and becoming stronger because each part of the body is doing its part.
It is tragic when the function of a vital organ is either diminished or ceases in a person’s life. In some instances it can cause immediate death. It is also tragic when a part of the body does not respond to the output of the vital organs and ceases to grow. We call such bodies “disabled,” and their usefulness is limited in varying degrees.
Every born again believer in Jesus Christ has been given a gift from the Holy Spirit to be an active working part of the body of Christ. Paul writes a clear description of this in 1 Corinthians 12 where he describes the interdependent nature of all the parts of the body.
There are three very import principles from that passage of Scripture. I hope you take the time to look it up.
- Everyone in the body has a unique and specific purpose and function. Some of you already know how God has equipped you to serve and you are doing it. Some of you know what it is you’re equipped to do but you’re not doing it. Why not? Some of you don’t know yet how God has equipped you to serve Him and you’re asking, “Where do I fit?” We can help you find your fit.
- No one’s function is dispensable. Just as our physical bodies suffer when one part isn’t working correctly, so the church suffers when each part is not working at its spiritual capacity. Indulge me in a golf example. I had some problems this past summer with my physical condition that greatly affected my ability to perform the way I usually do. Arthritis in my thumbs and a torn meniscus in my right knee bothered me quite a bit. I had to make adjustments that reduced the effectiveness of my swing. To function up to par (get it?) every part has to be working efficiently. So it is in the church. Your work is essential. Do not measure your value by your function. (“Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,”) Every function is necessary.
- No one’s function is indispensable. Let no one say or believe about themselves that the church cannot function without them, and let no one say or believe that someone else is indispensable. (The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!”) In fact, those parts of the body that seem dispensable and unnecessary are given special honor by the Lord so that there is unity in the body and each part works in harmony and peace with the others. As Jesus Christ, the Head of the church, looks down on your church, He sees equality of value and purpose in everyone’s gifts. Do not confuse influence with importance.
My prayer is for every one of you to discover your unique and wonderful purpose in the body of Christ, and to discover the fulfillment of your life by accomplishing that purpose for God’s glory in the local church. You are wonderfully created, uniquely gifted, fully equipped, and spiritually empowered to accomplish a specific purpose for God. Now get to it!