Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Body of Christ - III

Bodies also need to be fed. Food provide material to:
  - create energy for work and movement;
  - build, repair and improve.

Scripture refers to the Word of God as bread, or the most basic of foods. But, in order to receive any benefit, it has to be applied (fed) to our hearts. Scripture does not stand alone. The Spirit does not stand alone. The Spirit applies Scripture to our hearts.

In the same way, our bodies could have an iron deficiency, our spirits could have a deficiency. The Spirit applies different "nutrients" to our hearts. He applies encouragement, sometimes discipline, and always adjustments to our world view. We need to see the world with two world views, the ideal and the real. In other words, we should see the world as it should be working; and we need to see the world as it is really working. The Spirit teaches us, and we move our values, our expectations, our reactions, our goals and our desires away from what they are currently to what they should be. So, we move step by step to living in reality like Jesus.

I have heard people say they were going to leave one church for another, because they were not getting "fed."

It is important to be wise when joining a church. We are born into the family of God. But there are numerous "branches" of that family. Just as physical families are organized differently, these "branches" are also organized differently. Some take the roles of the Spirit and Scripture more -- or less -- seriously. Some are organized with mind-set more in keeping with clubs or businesses. And people have the right to choose which "branch" to belong. We should choose a "branch" that takes the roles of the Spirit and Scripture seriously, and gives strong priority to God's priorities, purposes and mission.

But no matter which "branch" we associate with, it is not responsible to "feed" us. Ultimate responsibility rests with God. It is the Spirit who creates the channel into our hearts, and initiates the flow of God's grace and love to us. It is the Spirit who knows our state, our needs, the nutrients that are best for us, and the best way to communicate with us, so that we hear his word to us.

Secondly, responsibility rests with us. Life, love and grace do not flow to our hearts unless we have focused our hearts on God. And no one can communicate with us, if we do not make ourselves available to listen. We need to set our hearts and our "ears" to receive from him ... or we will not be fed anywhere.

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