As He Wanted

Sunday, July 07, 2013, 9:10 a.m. –I read 1 Corinthians 12 (NIV) this morning for my quiet time with the Lord Jesus. Speak, Lord, your words to my heart.

…There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good… All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it…

An Example

The Lord Jesus woke me with the song “That Man” playing in my mind. As I read through the lyrics of this song (based off some selected verses in John 3), and then read this passage of scripture, I could see some definite parallels between the two. For instance, some of John’s disciples, on the heels of an argument, came to him and told him that Jesus (that man) was baptizing, and that “everyone” was going to him. To this John replied that a man can only receive what is given him by God.

In other words, Jesus had his assignment and John had his, but they both came from God, so there was no need for John’s disciples to concern themselves with the fact that many people were going to Jesus, because it was John’s assignment to lead them to Christ, and not the other way around. And, they, too, were to put their trust in Jesus Christ and to follow him. John basically told his disciples that if they did not repent of their sin and put their faith in Jesus Christ, that they would face eternal judgment. Yet, if they put their faith in Jesus Christ, as well, they would gain eternal life. And, thus, John was fulfilling his role.

That Man / An Original Work / May 23, 2013

An argument between some men
Erupted out of resentment.
They came to John and said,
“That man is baptizing everyone.
They’re going to Him.”

So, John replied, “A man can
Only receive what is given him.
You yourselves can testify that
I said, ‘I am not the Christ.
I’m sent before Him.’” …

Different Gifts and Roles

This illustration speaks to several of the points in this passage of scripture. First of all it speaks to the teaching on the subject of different gifts and roles (body parts). We are not all the same. Though as the church we form one body, we have different gifts and roles. Yet, if the gifts and body parts (functions) are of the Spirit, then they all come from the same Spirit (God). Therefore, we should not raise one above the other, we should not be jealous or resentful of other people’s gifts, we should not accept the notion that we are somehow less important to the body of Christ just because we don’t have certain gifts or roles, nor should we reject others’ Spiritual gifts or body parts, i.e. the roles others have within the body. It is the same Spirit who gives them all, and he gives them just as HE determines.


Another issue this speaks to is the one of misunderstanding gifts and roles. I believe that in today’s church there is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding concerning the gifts of the Spirit and specific roles or functions we each are to fill within the body of Christ. And, I believe a great deal of that misunderstanding and misinterpretation stems from traditional thought and teaching, various interpretations of scripture, culture, and man-made religion. We confuse Spiritual gifts with natural abilities and talents. We confuse Holy Spirit body parts with man-made institutional church roles and responsibilities. As well, the fact that today’s church here in America is largely run like a business (corporation), and is marketed as such, it is a huge deterrent to following the Biblical role model for gifts and body parts.

For instance, my husband and I were church planters on two different occasions. The last time we did this, we went through a couple of days of intensive training. The one thing that jumped out at me the most was when the people leading this seminar said that when we start up a new work, it will attract many needy people. They said we should use them, because they will be quite dedicated and will help us get our “church” started. Yet, once we get up and running, we should replace these “needy” people with others who are not so “needy” because the “needy” people will just drag us down. So, it was a “use them, abuse them, and then discard them” philosophy. Inside myself I screamed “NO!!!”

I wish I could say this was an isolated case, but it is not. I can’t speak for all of America, yet in reading books and articles written by other reputable authors I have confirmed that what goes on here locally is wide-spread across the country. And, much of that is because this philosophy for how to build churches is being spread country-wide, and perhaps world-wide. I have personally witnessed church leaders wanting to replace gifted and talented young people, who had found a place of service, with those whom they felt were more gifted and talented and who would “draw in large crowds of people.” I have seen church leaders ask for the gospel presentation to be diluted so as not to offend people. I have also personally witnessed them rejecting certain people and even inviting people to leave their churches who did not buy into their humanistic goals and objectives hook, line and sinker, etc. All of this is being taught from high places, and is being passed down to our church leaders.

Just As He Wanted

Yet, in respect to those who would build, operate and market the church like big business, and who would reject, persecute, ostracize and/or kick out (or invite to leave) from their local fellowships those who do not fit in with their business plans and objectives, I offer this word of correction and instruction from God’s word here in 1 Co. 12. The Body of Christ is not a corporation or a business or an institution of man, and it should not be treated as such. It is the Holy Spirit of God who gives gifts as HE determines, and it is God who has arranged the parts of the body, every one of them, just as HE wanted them to be. We should not say to another part of the body, “I don’t need you!” Now, they may respond and say that you are welcome there, but it is not “you” who are welcome if your gifts and body part don’t fit in with their business plan. You will only be allowed to function within that fellowship so far as you conform to their business plan, goals and purposes, even if it means placating sin, diluting the gospel and falsely teaching the word of truth.

And, with respect to those who have been the object of such persecution and rejection I offer these words of hope and encouragement from God’s word: God is absolutely in control! There is nothing man can do to us or say to us but what God has allowed it, and he has allowed it for a purpose. He will show us what to do, and nothing other people can do can thwart God’s purposes or keep his truth from going forth. He will make a way where there seems to be no way. He had a plan and a purpose for our lives even before we were born, and he’s got it all under control. God has put the body together, and he will give greater honor to those who lack it, so there will be no division in the body.

These man-made leaders speak much of unity, but much of it is unity with man-made goals and objectives. And, if some followers of Christ might have the strong convictions of Christ and his word, and may serve as a threat to those man-made positions of power, and to those man-made (business) goals, they are sometimes then tagged as disunifiers and troublemakers, or as intolerant, and the congregation itself is warned against such people and is warned not to be among those who might cause “divisions” within the church; divisions “caused,” perhaps, because of the “troublemaker’s” Biblical convictions, which might detract from those man-made business and marketing plans and schemes.

Yet, the word of God teaches that unity should be with Christ and with his teachings. It is rejection of God and his purposes, and the rejection of his selection of people for particular gifts and roles within the body of Christ that causes true division within the body. So, when human leaders within the “church” reject other body parts and giftedness (saying “I don’t need you!), that does not stop God’s purposes. In fact, he already had a plan for how to use you within the body, though not necessarily within institutional religion, in order to fulfill your God-given role and responsibility. So, be encouraged! Being rejected of humans does not equate rejection from God, nor does it stop God’s work. Just find out what role God has for you, and then obey him in doing what he has for you to do. And, trust him with the results. And, if humans reject you, just remember that they rejected Christ first.

Should I Not Preach Jesus
An Original Work / July 4, 2013

Based off 1 Corinthians 9:16-10:13

Woe to me should I not preach Jesus.
I’m compelled to preach the full gospel.
I make myself a slave to ev’ryone
To win their hearts to Christ.
All this I do for my Lord Jesus,
And for the sake of His Name;
Do it for the sake of His gospel,
So that I, its blessings gain.

Scripture notates the sins of others;
Written down for us as examples
To keep us from setting our hearts
On evil as did those of old.
Do not worship other gods of man;
Do not give your hearts to them;
Not partake in immorality.
Do not test your Lord and King.

So, be careful if you think you are
Standing firm in your faith in Jesus.
God has given his word to warn us,
So through faith we will not fall.
No temptation has o’ertaken you
Except what is commonplace.
God is faithful to not let you be
Tempted past what you can bear.
He gives the way of escape.