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Who Needs The Church? #5

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

Thank you for joining me for installment number five of our “Who Needs the Church”1 devotional.  Over the next several days, I want us to think about and pray for the kinds of people who need a local church like Grace Evangelical Church. As I shared yesterday, a study of the New Testament reveals that there are at least seven different kinds of people who need the church. It is my prayer that we all would see ourselves in each of these or begin praying for someone we think might identify themselves as a member in a particular group.  Yesterday, I discussed the first kind of people who need the church as, Broken People. Today, I want us to consider the second kind of people, Dependent People Let me ask us all a question; “How many church members does it take to change a light bulb?” Ready for the answer?  At least four…one to stand on the ladder while holding the light bulb, two to turn the ladder, and one more to say there was another way to do that job. That’s how many feel that church people should be dependent on one another. Others would say church people are weak and that’s why they need one another. But are either of these opinions correct? What the Bible considers laughable is the thought that any member of the church (pastor, elder, deacon, children’s worker, divorced parent, etc.) would think he or she could get along without the others. The apostle Paul made this point in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. He used the image of the human body. Paul used our body parts to show how ridiculous it is to have a view that anyone of us could be either too important or too insignificant to properly function independently.   Scripture for today             “For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”             1 Corinthians 12:14-27 God is the one who has made us dependent on one another. No member of the church is ever justified in feeling he or she can go it alone…or that he or she is more important than anyone else. Or that he or she deserves more honor or attention than anyone else. From the pastor to the parking lot attendant to the most invisible prayer partner, all of us are considered essential by the Holy Spirit. We may not always be able to see or understand all the ways we need one another. But we don’t need to worry about this as long as we have the right attitude towards one another.   Our primary responsibility in the church is not to figure out our particular “body-part” or “spiritual gift” that we have, the Lord will take care of that. He will assemble and provide what’s needed for His church. We could do those things and still have self-destructive and cannibalistic tendencies as a church (Gal 5:15). For our part, we need to strive for and celebrate an interdependent attitude among the members of our church far more than our independent abilities.    Prayer for today Thank you, Lord, for giving us the Church and our church. Help me to be primarily dependent on You for my self-worth and value.  Help me to rejoice in the gifts and talents that You have given to me and use them in my church for your glory. Help me to not be jealous or envious of the gifts and talents of others. Help us all to see one another as precious in our church body. Help me begin by reaching out to others who are feeling isolated and alone, and be an encouragement to them. In Jesus’ name, amen I look forward to sharing more devotional thoughts about “Who Needs the Church”. Blessings, Pastor Tim

  1. Who Needs the Church?  Radio Bible Class, 1990

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