Elder’s Thoughts – Body of Christ

Members of The Body – March, 2019

-Reagan Holland
This month we are focusing on Romans 12:4-8. There is only one body of Christ, but there are a variety of gifts within that body. This diversity ensures the health of the unified whole. If God by his grace gives everyone a unique task in the church, then there is no reason for people to think more highly, or lowly, of themselves than they ought to.
The church is not an organization but an organism, a living and unified entity with many parts. If part of a person’s body just disappeared, they would desperately seek it out. Do believers do the same when a member of their church disappears?
‘Exhort’ could also be translated as ‘encourage.’ People with this gift are moved to come alongside those who are hurting, weak, or discouraged. Abraham Lincoln once said, characteristically, “I am sorry for the man who can’t feel the whip when it is laid on the other man’s back.”
May we all seek to find our gifts and serve our Father in heaven as we grow in grace.

-Jack Vanderpool      MANY MEMBERS, ONE BODY
I think it is as difficult today as it was in the first century for people to grasp that the church is a relationship place. Paul often describes the physical body in order to help Christians understand how the church is a body made of many parts or members. He does not say that the church is like a body or similar to a body, but that it is a body. West Metro Church is a body! Recognizing this fact leads us to understand that West Metro is a relationship place where we need each other. We individually accomplish different functions that contribute to the well being of the whole body.
Likewise, as long as we are part of this church body (our congregation), don’t we have a responsibility to take ownership of this body? Don’t we have a responsibility to take care of, protect, and look after each other? Should we not consider each other as extensions of ourselves but with different vital functions? In calling the church a body, Paul stresses a relationship component for church life far more significant and meaningful than a mere organizational structure with punctual meeting times and correct answers to theological questions. West Metro Church is a living, breathing organism made up of members who are connected to and dependent on each other.
As members of this West Metro body we define ourselves by how we relate to each other. If I only attend one weekly service, am I the last one in the door, and the first one out afterward to rush to other things? Am I strengthening this church body? If I put more priority on other things than attending Bible study, am I strengthening the body?
As Paul writes in Philippians 4:8 “think on these things.”

-Phil Robertson Body of Christ
Our passage for this month, Romans 12: 4-8, stresses that we are all one body, but we each accomplish different purposes or serve different roles. This is undoubtedly true, but I think we sometimes place too much emphasis of finding our role and our place and deprive the Body of Christ of many additional blessings we could bring. Certainly, we should seek to fill the roles that Paul lists in this passage, but we also serve by just being “just Christians.” Our cheerful attitude when greeting each other, our concern with the everyday trials our brother or sister may be carrying, and our joy that we exhibit to others just because we are children of God all help to strengthen and feed and serve the body of which we are a part.
Jane, Christi, Maria, Libby, and I attended worship last Sunday with both the Campamento and the Buenos Aires congregations in Trujillo, Honduras. There were about 70-80 folks in attendance at each location. I recognized several of these people because I have come to know them over the trips I have made there. A larger number were people I was meeting for the first time. I do not know a lot about the personal lives, talents, or needs of most of these Christians. But there are some easily recognizable traits about these groups, despite the vast differences in our backgrounds and life experiences. They were happy to see each other and to see me. They were obviously closely tied to one another and I felt that attraction to them. They love to sing the same songs I know and love, despite none of us sharing the same language. They recognize God’s grace and blessings in their every day life and they share the joy that comes with that recognition. I don’t know which are the teachers, which are the exhorters, or which are the givers or the leaders or the merciful. But I didn’t need to know that in order to share their joy that we are all “one body in Christ.”
Let’s enjoy our time together today!

The focus of our monthly devotionals this year is spiritual maturity. In Romans 12:1-5, Paul talks about how we grow spiritually and some traits we need to develop. Beginning in verse 6, he challenges us to use the talents God has given each one of us. I believe that we all have God-given talents, and, as spiritually mature Christians, we should use them. We may not know what our talents are, but we need to step out and try something new to learn where we are gifted. The Bible has many stories telling how God used ordinary people to do great things, although their background did not indicate that they had any talent at all in the area of work where God placed them. I believe God will use us if we have the courage to step out and try something new. I challenge each one of us to step out of our comfort zone and try one of the suggested activities on the back of our scripture card and see how God blesses us.

One of the gifts written about in these verses is encouragement.
Written encouragement is deliberate. It conveys a careful, prayerful, thoughtful investment of time. When you receive a written note, you know someone had to sit down and organize their thoughts to convey their love and encouragement to you. That means something!
Written encouragement is definite. Have you ever meant to write a note, but failed to go through with it? Or meant to call someone, but never got around to it? What we’re planning to do “some time,” we typically end up doing “no time.” A written word of encouragement is a definite movement. You can write a note anytime, whether the person is with you or not. When it is done, it is done! 
Written encouragement is durable. A written note or card keeps on encouraging long after it is written and sent. We all have cards or notes that we look back on and enjoy reading over and over again. A written note never dies—it lives forever.


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