Together, We Reflect the Glory of God
by Pastor Gene
We forget, don’t we? Life has a way of doing that to us. The old cliché that ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ may or may not be true, but, there’s no doubt that familiarity breeds forgetfulness.
We can easily forget how much we need and love those closest to us. The relationship we have with our parents and other older family members is a good example of this. We have a sense growing up that they’ll just always be there. Of course, we know that’s not true intellectually, but we go on as though it is. We don’t make time for people as we should because we fool ourselves into thinking that we can always visit them next weekend.
But then one is sick.
Then one is gone.
And, just then, it dawns on us that we’d forgotten how much we needed them.
Something that believers often forget is just how much we need other believers. Some forget because life happens, some because they feel self-sufficient and independent, some because of bad theology. But, for whatever reason, we tend to downplay the dependence that God has built into His Body of every member for every other member.
There are no little people in the family of God, no unimportant brothers or sisters. Yet, the members of Christ’s Body are to depend upon their brothers and sisters in order to realize His will in their community.
We – the Church, you and I together – are a reflection of Christ’s glory to the world around us. Together we love the unlovely, care for the poor and marginalized, and remind our neighbors that there is a God in Heaven who loves them and who longs to know them.
We tell them about this Heaven and the God who numbers the hairs of their head. We tell them of His goodness and the mercy that He lavished upon the world in the cross of Jesus. And we also tell them of consequences of rejecting God’s mercy – of their lostness and need for a Savior.
It’s a double-edged sword to be sure! Paul wrote, “to the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?” Good question, Paul! Who is equal to such a task? The answer is: none of us alone, but all of us together.
I’m a finger on the Body of Christ that needs the hand and the wrist and the arm to be productive. You’re a toe on the Body that needs the foot and the ankle and the leg to be productive. Any part of the Body cut off from the rest of the Body is useless to the Kingdom and unproductive.
Remember, the Body is the Body of Christ – and Jesus said, “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
So then, what exactly do we need one another for? We need one another to accomplish God’s perfect will. None of us can do that alone. But together, God is glorified in our midst.
Mark Dever said it perfectly:
“Christian proclamation might make the Gospel audible, but Christians living together in local congregations make the Gospel visible. The church is the Gospel-made-visible. God’s plan for evangelizing the world is the local church. God’s plan for growing you to maturity in Christ is the local church. And God has told us much in His Word about who should lead our churches and how our churches should be governed. May God help us to strive together to build churches which bring Him glory and commend the Gospel through obeying all that He has told us in His Word.”
Amen and amen! The church is a display of the glory of God. Next Sunday when you gather for worship, look at the person on your left. Then look at the person on your right. Then send up a prayer of affirmation to God that they are all – each born-again member in particular – a part of Christ’s Body with you. You need them, Christian – and they need you. For it’s together that glorify God and enjoy Him.
Let’s not forget that.
To consider …
- Think for a few minutes about the people God has used to bring you to the place where you are today spiritually. Think of those who could say the same of you.
Think of all the individuals God uses on any given Sunday morning to make the worship service a blessing to you.
- Consider the mosaic of Christ’s Body: the different nationalities and races, the males and the females, the introvert and the extrovert, the gentle and the rugged, the old and young, the serious and jovial, the educated and un educated, the rich and the poor.
Wonder at God’s wisdom! How astonishing that He is accomplishing His will through such a diverse group of believers!
- Consider the spiritual gifts that God has given you. Are you using them for the Kingdom? Are you doing your part in the Body? Or is there one hand with only four working fingers because of your neglect?
- Now consider the gifts you lack. Think of people within your local assembly that have and use those gifts for the Kingdom.
- Spend sometime today thanking God for fitting you in the Body and for those He’s given you to share in this work with.