June 20 – Tools For God’s Use

“…so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them:” – Romans 12:5-6 (ESV)

The passage from we considered yesterday led us to understand that all faith believers are members of one body in Christ Jesus. This is true even though as that body we have done quite a job of division of this body. So we have a plethora of what are called “denominations.” But God calls all believers to live and work together with unity, plurality, diversity, harmony, and identity – and we’ve failed spectacularly. The terms identifying these five goals have been well redefined by the powers and spiritual forces of evil we wrestle against; (Ephesians 6:12). Thankfully Paul did not end his instruction with verse 5. Our success achieving the five goals comes by each member applying the spiritual gifts given to us. Spiritual gifts are tools, not toys. They are not to be used to attract people to ourselves but employed by God, through us, for His purposes and for His glory. Whatever our gifts may be—to do with speaking or with serving—they are given for the well-being of the church. God gives these gifts to be used as He intends so that body of Christ as a whole might be strengthened.


Sourced from the Bible Teaching Ministry of Truth For Life, a daily devotional by Alistair Begg

June 19 – Same Difference Together

“For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” – Romans 12:4-5 (ESV)

Belonging is important. Wondering whether we belong where we are presently is a pertinent question. It’s usually asked in relation to a country club, a gym, or something similar. We might be wondering, “Is this where we belong?” Paul used the illustration of our physical bodies to describe the church, both universal and local assembly. It is not a long reach for us to understand this. Each of us have a human body made up parts with different functions yet belonging to one body. Each function is important and if we were to lose a part of our body, we might be in a crisis situation. Just so when one part does fails to work, all the parts are affected. Our bodies rely essentially upon the control and functions of our heads. In the body of Christ this is manifest most clearly in each local assembly of believers. Jesus Christ as head of the church commands that we work together with: unity, not living in isolation; plurality, because of our different parts; diversity, because functions are necessarily different; harmony, as we work in cohesion; and identity, for we cannot be ourselves when we are by ourselves.


Sourced from the Bible Teaching Ministry of Truth For Life, a daily devotional by Alistair Begg

 October 21 – One Means One

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” – Ephesians 4:4-6 (NASB)

We have been promised as faith believers that we are one together. So it may seem strange, after reading these verses and understanding this promise from God that there is myriad of versions of Christian bodies each following a different interpretation or teaching. Paul, the apostle is teaching the body of believers in Ephesus that in all the world there is only one body of believers. Paul lists seven elements of unity centered on the three Persons of God. He focuses on the Trinity—the Spirit in verse 4, the Son in verse 5, and the Father in verse 6. Paul’s point is not to distinguish between the Persons of the Godhead but to emphasize that, although they have unique roles, they are completely unified in every aspect of the divine nature and plan. These are the basis for unity that should exist in the body of believers. One body refers to the universal church. One Spirit is the Holy Spirit who indwells the church. The words, one hope when you were called, all believers have a common hope regarding their future with God, a confidence that began at the time they were “called” to salvation.


August 11 – Whom To Please

Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.”– 2 Corinthians 5:8-9 (ESV)

Because heaven is a better place than earth, the apostle Paul would rather have been there, with God. This sentiment simply states Paul’s feelings and longings. There is nothing wrong and much is right to desire to enter heaven in the presence of the Lord. What might you choose to have instead of being in the presence of Jesus Christ right now? Is there anything that would hold you fast to this world? We are not suggesting that anyone should attempt to change God’s plan or timing. He has us here for a purpose and that is to please Him in all we think, say and do. To tell others of His grace. God’s timing for us is perfect. We will be here right up until the moment God has decided we are to be in His presence. And when we are there all that we hold dear now on this earth will be gone from our desires. Someday, we will be transformed to be like the body Jesus has after His resurrection. But now, we have our goal to proclaim the love of Jesus Christ and help others find Him as their Lord and Savior.


August 10 – Home But Away From Home

“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:6-7 (ESV)

True believers in Jesus Christ are confident with respect to the future even though we do not know what the future is going to be in this world. It is the very presence of the Spirit in the lives of believers that provides this confidence with the promises of God. Eventually our time and life on this earth will come to an end, when it does, we will be with the Lord. Now we are at home in a world that is not our own and even our bodies will someday be done away. Also it means we not in the Lord’s presence physically. ‘Being at home’ and ‘being away from home’ refer respectively to being in one’s own country and being a stranger living abroad. In other words, the image of the external being that we observe, is passive and passing, while the internal provision of faith is active and abiding. We focus our attention not on visible things that are temporal but on those that are invisible and timeless. We live not by what we can see in this world but by the faith God has given us to believe.


April 11 – He Was Wounded, We Are Healed

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24 (ESV)

It is during this time of the years that we increase our focus on the resurrection of Jesus Christ because it is Easter. After the Passion Week (Palm Sunday-Easter), How much do we think about Christ’s resurrection? Doesn’t it diminish for the rest of the year?* We know, however, that the Resurrection Day, falling on the first day of the week is the reason the disciples and apostles began the practice of meeting for worship, teaching and fellowship. In the first century, every first day of the week was like our Easter Sunday’s. Christ’s death and then resurrection was the why of following Jesus in His Way. Our promise today from Peter is that we have been given by Jesus, eternal life and saved from death because Christ paid our penalty and defeated death for us. Why not follow the early example of the believers and make that the center of our weekly worship? Worship happens in a community of believers as often and as regular as is possible. We need each other to remind all that we meet on Sundays mostly because the disciples set the pattern for us the first Sundays after Christ ascended into heaven.


*The Easter date floats on our calendar. Each year it is marked on the First Day of the week between March 22 (very infrequent) and April 25 (also infrequent).
Easter is always on Sunday, but it moves around more than other holidays.
Easter as early as March 22 is very rare. The last time it happened was 1818, and the next time will be 2285. Easter last fell on the latest date in 1943, and will again in 2038. Next year it’s April 20.
How the date is determined sounds simple but is pretty complex. Generally, Easter is observed on the Sunday following the first full moon in the Northern Hemisphere, or the first full moon after the vernal equinox March 20.

In depth explanation on how the Easter Date is set each year. http://assa.org.au/edm