For as the body is one, and hath many members,
and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also
is Christ for by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether
we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made
to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If
the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is
it therefore not of the body?
But now are they many members, yet but one
body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor
again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
Paul is talking about the relationship of
Christians in Christ’ spiritual body to show that there are many members
but one body.
I believe that there is a place for every
member. If you are a Christian, there is a place for you in the body
of Christ. Think about it. It doesn’t matter what your status in life might
be there is a place for you.
A lot of people don’t believe that there is
a place for them in the body of Christ. It is ridiculous for you to say
that there is no place for you in the Church. The mouth has a different
function than that of the ear. You might not think you have a place in
the body because you don’t have their ability. But as Paul was trying to
get across is that there is something you can do.
I’m afraid that this may describe you. Have
you ever felt that you are unneeded in the church? Have you ever felt unloved
in the church? That maybe some people don’t know that you exist. You
might feel that they just don’t care about you. Some of you don’t feel
this way but maybe some of you do. Some of you may feel that you would
not be missed if you quit coming to Church all together. In fact, some
may feel that you are just a number among many numbers. I’m just a knot
on the log. I am nothing. The church would be no worse off if you just
did not come to services anymore. Do you feel that you would not be missed?
If you do, then you fail to realize the importance
of being a member of the Church of Christ. Just like the parts to the human
body we are important to the function of the body. Many of you don’t feel
that way. You feel wanted, needed, and important to the body. That is wonderful.
All people should feel this way.
But, that is not always the case. We are
a people who believe in numbers. We all have a Social Security Number,
driver license number, and credit card numbers. We have employee numbers
and tag numbers. We are just a number to Florida Power. We may think that
in the Church of our Lord "I’m just a number". It is not meant to be that
way. You are not just a number to God. You are an individual and
God loves you. He loves you so much that he gave his son to die upon the
cross for you, so that we can be with him forever. God is concerned about
the individual. The world is concerned about the masses. Whether
the church is large or small, God is concerned about the individuals in
the small church as well as the ones in the large church. Whether the body
is small or large there is a function that the finger holds, as well as
the foot, eye, and mouth. Although there is one body there are multiple
functions for that body.
I am not everybody, but I am somebody
I cannot do everything but I can do something.
And what I can do – by God’s Grace – that
I will do.
This is a motto that every Christian should
have imprinted in their mind.
I am reminded of a story about a young
man from Nebraska. One day this young man laid in the field of wheat
and stared at the sky. As he did he wondered if he would have to work in
the fields all his life. He really did not want to, but he did not know
what he wanted to be. On this particular day, he was watching the clouds
It appeared to him that the clouds were forming
letters in the sky. He was able to identify them. First there was the "P"
then an "R" then came a "E". As he waited for the clouds to pass over he
was able to see "PREACHER" written across the sky. He immediately realized
that God wanted him to be a preacher of the gospel.
After his senior year in high school, this
young man went to college in Tennessee. He was determined to become a preacher.
He studied hard, but for some reason he never was able to conquer his fear
of speaking before an audience. Finally after his second year, one of his
teachers came to him and told him that it just did not look like he chose
the proper profession. The young man told the teacher what he had seen
in the sky and how he knew that God was speaking to him.
The instructor asked him if it was possible
that he misread the clouds. Could it have possibly been "TEACHER" that
he saw? He was told that God loves a Bible teacher as much as a preacher.
The young man was happy again. He now knew what was his true calling was.
He returned to his home in Nebraska and volunteered
immediately to teach the Bible in Church the next week. Again the young
man had problems teaching. He was not afraid to speak to the children in
Church, but he had a bad time controlling the children. He lost his temper
several times and shouted at the children. Finally he had to be removed
from being a teacher. The young man was devastated. What could God have
meant for him to be.
The young man gave up. He became a farmer
like his dad, he married, and had several children of his own. He was successful
because he had a good head for numbers and managing the family business.
He treated everyone with respect and became very influential in the area.
He continued in his religious upbringing, and he and his family attended
every time the Church’s doors were open.
He became a deacon, then an elder. By the
time that young man was 60 years old, he had helped in the building of
3 church buildings in the town. He was responsible for leading his wife
and 3 children to Christ, as well as 6 grandchildren, 2 of his neighbors,
4 of his co-workers, at least 12 acquaintances that he met through his
farming business. He had participated in nearly 100 home study classes
and raised more than $300,000 for overseas missionaries.
To this day, he still believes that what was
written in the sky said "PREACHER", but now he knows it was meant for another.
It might have said "TEACHER", but if it did, it too was meant for another.
But if it said "REAPER", well then that is just what he was. You see he
was reaping souls for Christ.
You may not know what you can do. However,
don’t judge yourself by the work of others. We get that idea from the
office or businesses. We see what others are doing, we think we must do
the same. So we feel we must do the same at church. God does not judge
us on that basis. Some one may convert 3 people to Christianity - others
even more. You say I just can’t do it. God doesn’t judge us on what
others are doing, but what we are capable of doing. He does not judge this
congregation on what other congregations are doing. He does not judge us
on what others contribute financially, but on what we are capable of contributing.
Maybe you can afford to give twice as much. We should not expect of ourselves
as we see others doing.
You might say: "I don’t think God can use
me because I make too many mistakes." Well who doesn’t? The ones who
make the most mistakes are the ones who do the most. If you don’t make
mistakes then you are not doing anything. People who have done the most
for God are the ones who make the most mistakes. Take Abraham for example.
He told lies – he told that his wife was his sister.
There is David who committed adultery
and then had her husband sent to the front of the battle where he was killed.
God said "this is a man after my own heart". Not because of these mistakes
but for the things David did for God.
There’s John Mark who went on the first
missionary journey. He failed to do what Paul expected, but God used him
mightily later in his life. Over and over again people in the Bible have
made mistakes. You don’t see where God turned his back on them. He had
them learn from their mistakes. God can make you stronger because of them.
Don’t ever feel this way. God can use you.
Don’t measure yourself against anyone here.
Don’t think that you are incapable of going to heaven because you are not
like so and so. None of us are perfect. You should desire to be perfect
– but none of us are.
Every one of us has a place to do the will
of God. You don’t have to go to the church to do spiritual work. There
are things that we do at the church building, but there are other places
where we can do God’s work.
You have a place in your home. The church
is not the home. God set up a home before he set up the church. Where there
are parents of small children they need to teach them and train them in
the way of the Lord. Parents should not feel guilty for spending quality
time with their children. Take for example – over the last 50 years – if
the people of the church, had properly raised their children to respect
and to give honor to God. Think how many of the church there would be right
now. You have an important place in the home. And if you train and encourage
these children, then they are well on their way to heaven. We need godly
parents in the home.