fbpx
South Fellowship Church

Words for the World | Romans 10:5-17

[vc_row height=”small” el_class=”dailyBody” css=”.vc_custom_1465516518912{margin-top: -25px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][us_image image=”29145″ size=”tnail-1×1″][ultimate_heading main_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ sub_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ alignment=”left” main_heading_font_family=”font_family:Allerta|font_call:Allerta” main_heading_style=”font-style:italic;” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” sub_heading_style=”font-style:italic;,font-weight:bold;” sub_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” main_heading_line_height=”desktop:15px;” sub_heading_line_height=”desktop:22px;” margin_design_tab_text=””]

Missions is bidding the nations, sing with us. – John Piper

[/ultimate_heading][us_separator height=”20px” size=”custom”][us_sharing providers=”email,facebook,twitter,gplus”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. – Romans 10:5-17

 

“Missions is bidding the nations, sing with us.” As a worship pastor it may not surprise you that this is one of my favorite definitions of missions. Another favorite quote by John Piper is, “missions exists because worship does not.”

When we read 1 Peter 2, we’re reminded of our identity because of Jesus as well as the method we use to live out that identity. Peter calls us a ‘royal priesthood,’ and a priest is a mediator between God and people. That means we, too, are mediators between God and the world. Peter also tells us how to go about our priestly duties when he says, “proclaim the excellency of [God].” The way we mediate is by proclaiming how wonderful God is. That is worship!

In today’s text, Paul describes carriers of the gospel as people with “beautiful feet” (Roman 10:15). But, what makes a proclaimer’s feet beautiful? Well, if the content of their message is the excellency of God and it is the feet of the worshiper that brings the message to those who have not heard it, they carry a beautiful message everywhere they walk.

Now, what words do we have for the world? The words we have for the world is that our God is good. I believe the highest form of evangelism is genuine worship. Evangelism is an invitation and recommendation for others to worship the God we’ve grown to love. And, we usually recommend the things we love. We share them with friends and family. We review them on Yelp for the world to hear. So, if you were going to review your relationship with God, what would you recommend about him? If you’re not sure, that’s fine, but reflect on what Jesus has done for you and who you would be without him. Let gratitude well up inside of you until you can proclaim the excellency of your God. Go about your day and recommend God to someone today by simply telling them one thing you love about him.[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Aaron Bjorklund 

[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
[/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Words for the World | Romans 10:5-172017-03-03T08:27:30-07:00

Words for Family | James 3:1-14

[vc_row height=”small” el_class=”dailyBody” css=”.vc_custom_1465516518912{margin-top: -25px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][us_image image=”29144″ size=”tnail-1×1″][ultimate_heading main_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ sub_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ alignment=”left” main_heading_font_family=”font_family:Allerta|font_call:Allerta” main_heading_style=”font-style:italic;” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” sub_heading_style=”font-style:italic;,font-weight:bold;” sub_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” main_heading_line_height=”desktop:15px;” sub_heading_line_height=”desktop:22px;” margin_design_tab_text=””]

Sometimes words leak out of our mouths, never to be un-heard. 

[/ultimate_heading][us_separator height=”20px” size=”custom”][us_sharing providers=”email,facebook,twitter,gplus”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.  How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. – James 3:1-14

 

We don’t get to choose our family.  What we see is what we get – struggles and all.  I’m sure there were, and are, times where we wish we had a different family, but that’s not how it works.  We have to take them and they have to take us.  And there are times in family dynamics where we say and do things reflecting our frustrations. It’s sometimes painful and causes deep, long-lasting wounds and scars. Deep-seated anxiety, anger, hate, and other destructive emotions are the product. If left un-lanced, seemingly irreparable relational harm can result.

Now, Peter tells us as followers of Christ, we’re a chosen people, a holy nation, for God’s own possession (1 Peter 2:9-10).  Reflecting on these words can bring a weight with them.  We’re God’s people.  He’s selected us.  Just like God chose the Israelites, God has chosen us.  This makes us all family.  And, just as in our own families we experience the darts of disdain, the same can happen in our God-chosen family without thought.  These aren’t literal darts, but they’re words we say to each other, sometimes purposefully.  In James 3:1-14, James is writing about the cause of this strife, the tongue, and despite its diminutive size, it has great impact on those around us.

It’s an amazing thing to be in a conversation with someone and have words pass through the mind that aren’t edifying or helpful.  Sometimes those words leak out of our mouths, never to be un-heard.  We’ve all done this to our earthly families and to our God-chosen family. All of us, at some point, have heard and said awful things to each other. The tongue and the sin behind it, is destructive and scarring.  Reread the passage in James, and allow the words to sink in.  Let moments come to mind where you’ve said or heard unkind words, intended or not intended.  If you’ve said them, seek forgiveness from those you’ve hurt.  If you’ve been hurt by words, forgive those who’ve said them.

[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Rich Obrecht

[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
[/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Words for Family | James 3:1-142017-03-02T05:00:07-07:00

Words for Self | 1 Peter 1:3-4

[vc_row height=”small” el_class=”dailyBody” css=”.vc_custom_1465516518912{margin-top: -25px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][us_image image=”29143″ size=”tnail-1×1″][ultimate_heading main_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ sub_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ alignment=”left” main_heading_font_family=”font_family:Allerta|font_call:Allerta” main_heading_style=”font-style:italic;” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” sub_heading_style=”font-style:italic;,font-weight:bold;” sub_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” main_heading_line_height=”desktop:15px;” sub_heading_line_height=”desktop:22px;” margin_design_tab_text=””]

The good news is not just a matter of our eternal security but a matter of our daily identity and purpose

[/ultimate_heading][us_separator height=”20px” size=”custom”][us_sharing providers=”email,facebook,twitter,gplus”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. – 1 Peter 1:3-4

 

The Apostle Peter was a man of many words. Yet, of all the things he could’ve said to those suffering through the dispersion, he chose to remind struggling Christians of their second birth. Peter says, “According to his great mercy, [Our Father] has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4). He rehearses the basic core of the gospel by reminding them that change has already occurred. They’ve already been made new. They’ve already been made alive. They’ve already been included in God’s grace and mercy and eternal inheritance which can never be taken away. This means they’ve already been granted hope – forever.

Later, in Peter’s letter, he returns to this truth and selects four phrases to reiterate the newness these believers already possess. He tells them they’ve already been selected as a “chosen race.”  They’ve already been purposed as a “royal priesthood.” They’ve already been set apart as a “holy nation.” They’ve already been claimed as “God’s own possession.” Peter offers these believers encouragement through words of identity and purpose. Why? Because words have power. And since we all deeply yearn to know who we are and what we’re living for, we need words to cling onto in times of confusion or hardship. Words that bring us hope. Words that bring us life.

This is the power of preaching the gospel to ourselves. We don’t just need to the gospel to get us into the doors of the Christian life, we need the gospel everyday of our Christian life. The good news is not just a matter of our eternal security but a matter of our daily identity and purpose. And, if we don’t preach gospel identity to ourselves everyday, our desire for approval or applause or affection will convince us that our identity is at the mercy of others and their words. Worse yet, if we don’t preach gospel identity to ourselves everyday, our self-evaluation or self-doubt or self-pity will convince us that our identity is at the mercy of the biggest critic of all – ourselves. The result is that we’ll inevitable be influenced by the enemy and his schemes and give him the power over who we are and what we’re living for. When it comes to identity, let’s determine to only give power to the One know we can trust – the One who claimed us as his own. Today, preach the gospel to yourself by stating out loud who God says you are and thank him for how that practically applies in your life. You can use Peter’s words because they apply to us as well. Read the text aloud and claim these promises as your own.

 

But you are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood,
a holy nation,
a people for his own possession,
that you may proclaim the excellencies of him
who called you out of darkness
into his marvelous light.

Once you were not a people,
but now you are God’s people;
once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.
– 1 Peter 2:9-10

 

[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Yvonne Biel 

[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
[/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Words for Self | 1 Peter 1:3-42017-03-01T05:00:00-07:00

Words for God | 1 Chronicles 16:23-27

[vc_row height=”small” el_class=”dailyBody” css=”.vc_custom_1465516518912{margin-top: -25px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][us_image image=”29142″ size=”tnail-1×1″][ultimate_heading main_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ sub_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ alignment=”left” main_heading_font_family=”font_family:Allerta|font_call:Allerta” main_heading_style=”font-style:italic;” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” sub_heading_style=”font-style:italic;,font-weight:bold;” sub_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” main_heading_line_height=”desktop:15px;” sub_heading_line_height=”desktop:22px;” margin_design_tab_text=””]

The melodies of our music, the volume of our voices, and the power of our praise mean very little unless the heart of our corporate voice lifts up the cross with Jesus on it and focus’ on the Father’s mercy and love

[/ultimate_heading][us_separator height=”20px” size=”custom”][us_sharing providers=”email,facebook,twitter,gplus”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and joy are in his place.
-1 Chronicles 16:23-27

 

We’ve been created and called to declare the excellencies of God in worship. Our unique position of privilege corporately (a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession) is to lift our voices together to display his glory.  Along with being given this identity, we’ve been given the vocal and language ability to express worship like nothing else in creation.

The astounding fact is God doesn’t need our worship, the triune Godhead has perfect relationship.  God isn’t egocentric or self-exalting in demanding our worship, either. John Piper concludes, “because we’ve been made by this God and for this God, our very identity, when we’re right with God, is to love him supremely, adore him and to worship him. It’s a supreme act of love on his part to demand it. Because it’s for our own good.”  If we don’t love God wholly, purely, and worship him alone, we become idolatrous and the idols we chose will never satisfy.

Worship changed when Jesus came. Just as the sacrifice of praise from our lips represent the new covenant, instead of sacrificing bulls and rams, the ability to worship from the heart is our new covenant priestly role. After Jesus’ death on the cross, each believer can approach the throne instead of depending on going through a priest to take them to God.  The melodies of our music, the volume of our voices, and the power of our praise mean very little unless the heart of our corporate voice lifts up the cross with Jesus on it and focus’ on the Father’s mercy and love.  The Westminster Catechism’s first question is “what is the chief end of man?”  The answer – “It is to glorify him and enjoy him forever.”  Take a few moments to listen to your favorite praise song and enjoy the privilege of worshiping God.

 

 

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name

bring an offering and come before him!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth;
yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, 

and let them say among the nations, 
“The Lord reigns!”
Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;

    let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy

    before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

    for his steadfast love endures forever!
– 1 Chronicles 16:28-34

[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Donna Burns

[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
[/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Words for God | 1 Chronicles 16:23-272017-02-28T05:00:11-07:00

Church as Voice | 1 Peter 2:9-10

[vc_row height=”small” el_class=”dailyBody” css=”.vc_custom_1465516518912{margin-top: -25px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][us_image image=”29141″ size=”tnail-1×1″][ultimate_heading main_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ sub_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ alignment=”left” main_heading_font_family=”font_family:Allerta|font_call:Allerta” main_heading_style=”font-style:italic;” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” sub_heading_style=”font-style:italic;,font-weight:bold;” sub_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” main_heading_line_height=”desktop:15px;” sub_heading_line_height=”desktop:22px;” margin_design_tab_text=””]

When the church decides to use its cohesive voice for the purpose of praise, it becomes an unstoppable force for good in God’s world

[/ultimate_heading][us_separator height=”20px” size=”custom”][us_sharing providers=”email,facebook,twitter,gplus”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. – 1 Peter 2:9-10

As spring peaks around the corner, the baseball season beckons. It’s one of my favorite times of the year because I still have hope for the Rockies! As an avid baseball fan, I went to a few of their playoff games in 2008 – a memory I hope I never forget. It was exhilarating to be filled with a stadium full of people yelling and screaming and cheering on our team. When the Rockies scored, the collective roar from the stadium rose to the heavens. I was struck by the fact that there is power in a collective voice. There’s an inspiring effect in hearing a multitude of people making one claim and joining their voices with one message.

When Peter wrote to the persecuted churches in the first century, he encouraged them to unite in one voice. However, the content of what he called them to exclaim was surprising given the mistreatment of Jesus followers in that day. He didn’t tell them to fight for their rights. He didn’t tell them advocate for better care. He didn’t tell them fight Nero. In 1 Peter 2:9-10, he wrote, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” Peter understands that there is great power in the words people use and he encourages the church to use their words – not to fight against the persecution they were enduring, but to praise the God who had rescued them!

There are over 100 verses in the Bible that point out the power of words. We know the saying, “sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is far from true. We have all been shaped by the words people have spoken to us, and the words we have said to others. However, there is even greater power in a unified voice – the voice of multitudes joining together as one.  When the church decides to use its cohesive voice for the purpose of praise, it becomes an unstoppable force for good in God’s world. Declaring the excellencies of him who called us is the most impactful thing we can do with our voice – that’s why Peter calls the church to make that announcement. If the church is a voice, let’s consider what others are hearing from her. Spend some time and think about the way words have impacted your life. In a practical and intentional way, today, use your words to declare God’s praise.[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Ryan Paulson

[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
[/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Church as Voice | 1 Peter 2:9-102017-02-27T05:00:00-07:00

We Rejoice | Romans 12:9-21

[vc_row height=”small” el_class=”dailyBody” css=”.vc_custom_1465516518912{margin-top: -25px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][us_image image=”27682″ size=”tnail-1×1″][ultimate_heading main_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ sub_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ alignment=”left” main_heading_font_family=”font_family:Allerta|font_call:Allerta” main_heading_style=”font-style:italic;” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” sub_heading_style=”font-style:italic;,font-weight:bold;” sub_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” main_heading_line_height=”desktop:15px;” sub_heading_line_height=”desktop:22px;” margin_design_tab_text=””]

God made each of us and has a glorious plan for our lives, but we won’t accomplish his will if we’re comparing and envying each other.

[/ultimate_heading][us_separator height=”20px” size=”custom”][us_sharing providers=”email,facebook,twitter,gplus”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  – Romans 12:9-21

What an astounding compendium of Christian conduct. Paul writes describing transformed lives living in community. It’s breathtaking – so noble, so lofty, and so seemingly unattainable. It calls us out on behaviors that come so easily but are so harmful. They’re opposite of our natural inclinations. Blessing our persecutors and empathizing with suffering, blast us with indignation. Typically, we don’t feel good will toward someone who’s hurt us or happy when someone gets the good stuff. It’s unfair. We don’t want to be sad when someone else is sad. We have enough of our own unhappiness and unfortunate circumstances without theirs. This passage is asking a lot.

Paul challenges us personally and corporately with this list. The goal is not to live like others but to live like Christ. So, we keep our minds on Christ and not on the worldly things to let God transform how we think. Living like Christ in a community of faith shows the world there is a caring God and the church is real. When everyone in the community of faith lives like Christ, Christ is the one being lifted up for all to see. But, there’s no comparison here. God made each of us and has a glorious plan for our lives, but we won’t accomplish his will if we’re comparing and envying each other. We live for Christ and please him. It’s the whole body of Christ celebrating the power of the resurrection, living transformed lives that the world needs, to make our loving God known.

It takes an amazing humble person, filled with Jesus rather than himself, to live out what Paul suggests. It takes a selfless person willing to sacrifice for the cause of Christ to show the world God’s love and care. Now, you can show you care personally about the body of Christ. You can express your gratefulness to other believers and explore possibilities for caring for others. When you take a step toward caring for the body, you’ll share in their joy as well. You’ll begin to rejoice with other believers who are rejoicing. You’ll be blessed by blessing others. So, make a point to worship God with others this week by rejoicing in community as Christ leads.[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Donna Burns

[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
[/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

We Rejoice | Romans 12:9-212017-02-23T05:00:17-07:00

We Suffer | 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

[vc_row height=”small” el_class=”dailyBody” css=”.vc_custom_1465516518912{margin-top: -25px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][us_image image=”27681″ size=”tnail-1×1″][ultimate_heading main_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ sub_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ alignment=”left” main_heading_font_family=”font_family:Allerta|font_call:Allerta” main_heading_style=”font-style:italic;” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” sub_heading_style=”font-style:italic;,font-weight:bold;” sub_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” main_heading_line_height=”desktop:15px;” sub_heading_line_height=”desktop:22px;” margin_design_tab_text=””]

It’s precisely through the lament and in the tears, where we receive true comfort.

[/ultimate_heading][us_separator height=”20px” size=”custom”][us_sharing providers=”email,facebook,twitter,gplus”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

I think everyone is a liar at some level. Just think about how many times this week you’ve answered the question, “How are you?” by covering up the truth, even ever so slightly. It’s fascinating and frustrating how many of us walk around trying to deceive both others and ourselves. We want others to notice our intelligence, our strength, and our competence. And, we want to believe those about ourselves too. Just peruse social media posts for a second. It’s full of people communicating the best and most presentable parts of life.

Okay. So, maybe we’re not all intentionally lying and deceiving ourselves, but we certainly want others to see the best and most presentable parts. When we start getting real and becoming transparent, we give others the ability to hurt us. It’s feels safer to keep things positive and picture perfect. But sadly, if we refuse to open up and allow others into the messy and unpresentable parts, we also refuse the comfort, love, and true healing we need most. We all desire to be known, valued, and loved. But to get there, we have let others share in the raw and difficult parts of life too.

In the list of Beatitudes, Jesus states, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). Mourning is an experience of deep sorrow – sadness over a loss, frustration, disappointment, or painful wounding. Sorrow is one of those things we try to cover up. Instead of handling it with honesty and vulnerability, we feel bad about our complaints and we apology for our tears. But, it’s precisely through the lament and in the tears, where we receive true comfort. Jesus says, “we will be comforted,” because he is the source of true comfort. This is why we need others to be Jesus to us in those times. We need the body of Christ to be Christ to us by receiving our tears and hearing our laments – not to correct us or make us feel bad – but to love us in the pain and the suffering. Today, share your lament with someone you trust or invite someone else to share theirs with you. Church as body is the safe place where we can sit with each other in pain and sorrow to give and receive the healing comfort we truly need.[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Yvonne Biel 

[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
[/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

We Suffer | 2 Corinthians 1:3-72017-02-22T05:00:45-07:00

Jews and Greeks | Galatians 3:23-29

[vc_row height=”small” el_class=”dailyBody” css=”.vc_custom_1465516518912{margin-top: -25px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][us_image image=”27679″ size=”tnail-1×1″][ultimate_heading main_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ sub_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ alignment=”left” main_heading_font_family=”font_family:Allerta|font_call:Allerta” main_heading_style=”font-style:italic;” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” sub_heading_style=”font-style:italic;,font-weight:bold;” sub_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” main_heading_line_height=”desktop:15px;” sub_heading_line_height=”desktop:22px;” margin_design_tab_text=””]

The truth is – we need diversity. 

[/ultimate_heading][us_separator height=”20px” size=”custom”][us_sharing providers=”email,facebook,twitter,gplus”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. – Galatians 3:23-29

When the Apostle Paul describes church as body, he brings up a challenging but incredibly important aspect of being a part of the Body of Christ. He says, “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews and Greeks” (1 Corinthians 12:13). Yes. That’s right. Paul names both Jews and Greeks and tells them they are to live as one body. Paul challenges his audience on diversity. In another letter to the Galatians, he draws attention to this same topic by saying, “you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Perhaps because believers all around the world need to hear this repeatedly.

Sadly, it’s hard for us to practically live amongst diversity. So, the reality is that many local church bodies look more homogeneous than diverse. It’s natural for us to want to be around people who are like us. We desire to be around people we can relate with or people who have gone through similar experiences. This means we gravitate toward people of the same socioeconomic status and even people who look like us. But, when we stick to people of similarity, we miss out on the radical gospel experience of unity amongst diversity.

This is exactly what Paul is saying with the illustration of the body. “The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you” (1 Corinthians 12:21). The truth is – we need diversity. Living amongst diversity challenges our own ideas and opinions. We need people who are different than us to give light to our blind spots and help kill our pride. As we together learn to surrender to the one we call ‘Lord,’ we sharpen one another and heighten our awareness of what it means to be “one in the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13) and “one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Make a list of the people within your local body you’ve labeled, ‘weaker,’ ‘dispensable,’ or unpresentable.’ Confess your need for them before Jesus and pray for them by name today.[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Yvonne Biel | See Other Authors

[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
[/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Jews and Greeks | Galatians 3:23-292017-02-21T05:00:57-07:00

Mutual Need | 1 Corinthians 12:21-26

[vc_row height=”small” el_class=”dailyBody” css=”.vc_custom_1465516518912{margin-top: -25px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][us_image image=”27680″ size=”tnail-1×1″][ultimate_heading main_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ sub_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ alignment=”left” main_heading_font_family=”font_family:Allerta|font_call:Allerta” main_heading_style=”font-style:italic;” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” sub_heading_style=”font-style:italic;,font-weight:bold;” sub_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” main_heading_line_height=”desktop:15px;” sub_heading_line_height=”desktop:22px;” margin_design_tab_text=””]

Interrelationships and, yes, community, are paramount to the health of the church.

[/ultimate_heading][us_separator height=”20px” size=”custom”][us_sharing providers=”email,facebook,twitter,gplus”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. – 1 Corinthians 12:21-26

I was talking with some friends a while ago about the intricacies of the human body. The complex intimacy in how our body parts relate with each other was a topic we considered for a good while. Perhaps this sounds like a strange way to think about the human form, but in reality, the way our body interacts is so very intimate. When one organ gets just a little off balance, it’s as if someone knocked over a house of cards. One issue cascades into another and before too long, we’re in the hospital trying to get better. This interrelationship is the example used by Paul in his letter to the Corinthians in an attempt to describe how the church is designed to work as a body.

The verses are almost comical. Considering how parts of the body might talk to or compare themselves with each other is ridiculous. But, in its simplistic and humorous way, Paul provides a strong visual for how the church body is designed to behave. The idea of interrelationships and, yes, community, are paramount to the health of the church. We can’t all be doing the same thing or the body will collapse. We’re meant to be in community with each other, and each of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are needed to maintain a healthy body.

Just as the human body reacts when something is amiss, we react when we see people in our community struggling. If we don’t help those who are struggling in the manner that God’s given us the ability to, we’ve missed an opportunity to strengthen our relationship. God has given us each of us various gifts through the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8-10). From God’s intimate relationship with us, we exhibit the fruits of his Spirit as well (Galatians 5:22-23). These gift and fruits are what we’re designed to share with those we find in need, to help restore them to their health in the church body, just as the early church did (Acts 4:32-35). Talk to a least one of your closest relationships and discuss with them the use of your spiritual gifts. How do they see you using your gifts for the maintaining of church body?[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Rich Obrecht

[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
[/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Mutual Need | 1 Corinthians 12:21-262017-02-21T05:00:45-07:00

Church as Body | 1 Corinthians 12:12-26

[vc_row height=”small” el_class=”dailyBody” css=”.vc_custom_1465516518912{margin-top: -25px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][us_image image=”27678″ size=”tnail-1×1″][ultimate_heading main_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ sub_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ alignment=”left” main_heading_font_family=”font_family:Allerta|font_call:Allerta” main_heading_style=”font-style:italic;” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” sub_heading_style=”font-style:italic;,font-weight:bold;” sub_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” main_heading_line_height=”desktop:15px;” sub_heading_line_height=”desktop:22px;” margin_design_tab_text=””]

When God invites us to be a part of His Body, he calls us to move beyond simply associating with others. He calls us to connect our lives with others.

[/ultimate_heading][us_separator height=”20px” size=”custom”][us_sharing providers=”email,facebook,twitter,gplus”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. – 1 Corinthians 12:12-13

There are Legos all over my house. My son tends to leave them on the floor of his room and I often find them when I walk in to kiss him goodnight. He loves getting a box of Legos, following the instructions, and building something magnificent. Recently, I was struck by the fact that each Lego creation he makes is simply the intentional linking together of individual pieces. Legos scattered about the floor are lone Legos, but they have the capacity to be so much more when they intentionally combine with other Legos.

By God’s good design, our lives function in the same way. We can choose to remain as individuals, but God’s intention is that we would connect with the lives of others to create something more significant and beautiful. In 1 Corinthians 12:12, the Apostle Paul writes, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” Paul uses the imagery of a body when he describes what it means to be a part of the church. When we view church as body, we begin to see our lives as a part of a much larger whole – we are one Lego piece, joined with other pieces, creating a masterpiece. Indeed, the sum of our lives together is greater than sum of the parts individually.

When God invites us to be a part of His Body, he calls us to move beyond simply associating with others. He calls us to connect our lives with others. This joining together demands sacrifice – it means we no longer view our life as our own, but part of a larger whole. This joining together demands we keep in mind the reality that Jesus is the head of His Body – the church. This joining together means we get to be part of something much bigger. We get to be part of God’s ongoing creative work as we participate in the Body God is building, the story God is telling, and mission God is accomplishing.

Spend some time today and think about what it means for you to be part of God’s Body – the church. How might God be inviting you to move beyond mere association, to intentional connection?[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Ryan Paulson

[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″]

  • Subscribe to be notified when we publish
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
[/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Church as Body | 1 Corinthians 12:12-262017-02-20T05:00:56-07:00
Go to Top