DAY TWO: ENCOURAGING THE BODY
- God created the church, both locally and globally, to function as a single
unit with a single purpose.
Your responsibility to the body of Christ goes beyond your ability to carry
out your assignment without malfunction. You are also responsible for serving
and lifting up other members of the body, putting them before yourself.
Read the following passages, paying special attention to the verbs:
- Romans 12:3
- Romans 12:10
- Romans 12:16
- 1 Corinthians 12:7
- 1 Corinthians 12:21-27
- Ephesians 5:19-21
- Galatians 5:13
- Colossians 3:5-17
You cannot carry out fully your responsibility to the body of Christ if you
remove yourself from the church. Your assignment may require you to carry out
much of your ministry outside the walls of the church. If so, be careful that
you do not allow yourself to drift away from relationships within the church. If
you do, you will not only deny others the support that God intends for them to
receive from you, but you will also deny yourself the same support, the kind
that can only be given by other believers who are simultaneously carrying out
their own assignments and earnestly seeking God’s direction in their lives.
Some might argue that it is more important to build relationships with the
lost. Building relationships with the lost is very important, but doing so
creates spiritual tension in the life of a believer. We all struggle with our
sin nature, doing our best to keep it in check. The spiritual pull toward the
desires of our sin nature that comes from contact with the secular world must be
counteracted with a “life-line” relationship with other believers much like that
described in Ecclesiastes 4:12 if we
are to survive and carry out our assignments successfully and without
malfunction. If there are seasons that you are not “getting much out of church,”
remember that often times it is not about what you get out of church, but what
you can give to it.
Take a few moments and write your thoughts, concerns, and questions in your
journal. Allow the following thought suggestions to guide you.
Do you ever struggle to maintain relationships within the body? Why or why
As you read through the scripture passages, what instructions stood out to
you as areas that you needed to work on?
Have you ever watched a believer distance themselves from the church in the
name of ministry? What happened? If not, what dangers do you imagine would be
associated with doing so?
Are you a life-line to other believers? How can you improve?
What is God teaching you about your responsibility to the body of Christ?