The Discovery

DAY FOUR

DAY FOUR: RELATIONSHIPS WITHIN THE BODY OF CHRIST

Review:

  • God created the church, both locally and globally, to function as a single
    unit with a single purpose.
  • You are responsible for serving and lifting up other members of the body, putting them before yourself.
  • The accountability found through relationships within the body is vitally
    important to a believer.
  • Mature believers seek accountability.

Philippians 3:1-14

Although Paul felt confident enough in his assignment to oversee and equip
the churches that God had put in his charge, Paul was careful not to become
arrogant. Although he had attained a higher level of spiritual maturity than
many, he was careful not to become satisfied and complacent. Though he had lived
a Christ-like example, he did not consider himself ever to have reached
perfection. Paul was always striving to improve, grow, learn, and master his
sinful nature.

As you discover your assignment and begin to carry it out, you will
experience a fulfillment like you’ve never experienced before, a fulfillment
that will feed your passion for God and cause you to crave Him all the more. As
you look around at other believers who have not yet discovered this kind of
fulfillment and passion, you may be tempted to become judgmental, not
understanding why they don’t seem to understand or share your enthusiasm.
While it may be that God has allowed you to mature, be careful not to become
arrogant, satisfied, or complacent. Instead, like Paul, continue to compare
yourself to Christ, striving to reach the standard that He set, and you will be
made painfully aware each day of how far you still have to go.

Acts 18:23-28

Apollos was an impressive man in his day, a believer with enthusiasm and the
gift of preaching. He carried out his assignment with boldness and skill.
However, he still had more to learn. He was approached by two believers with the
knowledge that he needed to become an even more effective ambassador for Christ.
When approached, he could have bristled, taking their instruction as an insult,
hardening his heart against the information that they gave him, but he didn’t.
He listened, received the instruction, and became “a great help” to other
believers.

As you follow the path God has laid out for you and you alone, look for those
whom God may use to help you grow and mature spiritually. Their input is a gift,
not an insult. God is glorified by the careful giving and humble receiving of
sound spiritual doctrine, correction, and encouragement. Because it defies human
nature and kills the spirit of competition that we all struggle with, such a
relationship is a triumph of God because it only happens when two believers
share a genuine desire to please Him. Paul had such a relationship with Timothy,
calling him a “son” in the faith (1 Timothy
1:2
). Every believer needs a Paul/Timothy relationship. Read 2 Timothy 1:3-14 to get a taste of how
Paul mentored Timothy.

If you do not have a mentor, you should begin looking for a spiritual mentor,
a “mother” or “father” in the faith, someone who has walked with God longer and
more intimately than you. Make sure to select someone of the same gender. Spend
time with them, learn from them, and open yourself up to their correction and
encouragement. If you have not already established a mentoring relationship with
someone, see the “Mentoring Guide” on this CD for
ideas and help establishing a mentoring relationship.

Take a few moments and write your thoughts, concerns, and questions in your
journal. Allow the following thought suggestions to guide you.

Have you ever found yourself judging those around you because they didn’t
seem to be experiencing God the way that you do? What’s wrong with that kind of
attitude?

What can you learn from Paul’s attitude and approach to spiritual maturity?

When other believers give you advice, how do you respond to them? How does
your heart respond? Is there anything there that you need to work on?

Do you have a Paul in your life? A Timothy? If so, are those relationships
functioning the way God intended, pushing you both toward Christ?

What is God teaching you about your responsibility as a believer?

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