One Body, One Lord

OneBodyOneLord

A lot of thoughts are swirling around in my head right now, from my devotions in 1 Corinthians 12 and 13; and trying to link to a couple of Stu’s posts from Oct 6th and 7th. Something God is explaining to me, something I’m trying to grasp.

1 Corinthians 12 is about the gifts God gives us (teaching, healing, prophesying, etc.) and about how they all work together in the Body of Christ; and 1 Corinthians 13 is The Love Chapter.

1 Cor 12.4-7 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

On Oct 6th, Stu’s daily verse was from Gen 1.27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

And my reply was, “Can you imagine- all the billions and gazillions of people ever created (note created vs ‘born’) and ALL in God’s image? He has so many facets, He is infinite!”

Jesus is God, and He is infinite. Also, we are created in His image. He works in/through all of us. Think of all the people who have ever been created, and all the gifts God designed into them; all working together as His body. In His timing, we meet up with one another, either face-to-face or through others, or reading/writing books, or radio / television, or online or whatever – we connect. God drops bits of Himself and His wisdom / Word / love through each of us unto others. We all work together for His glory!

Romans 8.28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

I think we can also all know that all things work together for Him, for His glory. It is to the good to those who love God; and to the not-so-good to those who do not love Him. All to His glory. Isaiah 48.11b I will not give my glory unto another.

And one of His miracles is that He works this, His glory, through US! So, whether we feel like it or not, whether we think we’re doing any good at all or not, whether we are obedient or not, God WILL get the glory.

Stu’s verse on Oct 7 was Colossians 3:12 NIV Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

My reply: “Even when there is turmoil and sadness inside, we can clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. We can put on Christ (Gal 3.27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.). Sometimes it feels like a front; sometimes it feels like a blanket. But it is always right.”

Here’s where 1 Corinthians 13 comes in. God is love. Whatever we think we know about love, we have to toss it if it isn’t God. Our love is not love. 1 John 4.10a Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us. 1 Corinthians 13 lays out some of the acts that we can do, some of the impetus that drives us; but if it’s not God / agape / love, then it is clanging, nothing, dismissed, ceasing, restrained, passing away.

Even when we don’t feel like it, we can still show God’s love. We can put on Christ (think avatar or actor), and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4.7).

God always blesses obedience. When we obey, even stiff-necked obedience, God blesses us. If we are disobedient, God will use someone else. But we will miss the blessing.

Be a willing, active part of the body of Christ.

A Tale of Three Boxes

Prologue: A tip of the hat to Tosin and Daily. 😊 Click here and read down through the comments to get the backstory.

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A Tale of Three Boxes

Long ago, in a country far away, a great man had three sons, all born together brothers. As his sons came to the age of maturity, the father called them to him.

“Sons,” said he, “I ordain for you a great purpose. It is the time in your lives to grow mighty in wisdom. I have a gift for each of you.”

He motioned to his servants, who entered with the gifts.

Father took the first gift and beckoned the first son to him. “Son, I present you with this box crafted from finest ebony wood.” The first son received the gift, bowed himself, thanked his father, and took his place again.

The father presented a box wrought with intricate gold to his second son, and a fine ceramic box to his third son, each bowing and giving thanks. The sons looked to their father expectantly.

“My sons, you know how proud I am of you. You have grown to be excellent young men, learned in many letters and languages and crafts. It is time for you to go out into the world and receive there the education the gods have for you. Bring with you your boxes. Fill them with the greatest things you find. And,” he added, with a twinkle in his eye, “return to me in one year to tell me of your adventures.”

The sons readied themselves. The day came for each of the sons, with their servants and processions and goods, to go their separate ways. The father called down prayers from the gods upon the heads of his sons and sent them off.

The father prayed and offered sacrifices to his gods for the safety and wisdom of his sons for the full year.

At last the time arrived, and all three brothers came to him as one. They fell upon one another with kisses and tears, and a great feast was held.

When the time came, the father called his sons to himself again, to give report of their adventures and of the greatest things they had brought back in their boxes. He called upon his first son to begin.

“Oh, my father! Such miracles as you could not imagine,” began the first son. He looked at his brothers. “We did not understand they were miracles at first, but we were overjoyed as they were heaped upon us. As you know, we three brothers set out in separate groups and in separate directions when we left you that year ago. I had traveled with my procession for no more than some few weeks when, lo, I spied another, larger cortege in the distance. As I drew near them, I could see also other groups converging on this same objective. You cannot imagine my surprise when we three saw and realized it was each of us, coming together to meet these new people!”

The second son continued the tale. “After we had exchanged our surprise to one another at thusly meeting, we set out to inquire the origin and purpose of this company moving west. We were able to ascertain the leaders, and to sit and commune with them.”

“As it happens,” the third son explained, “These wise men from the east – magi – had felt a call to follow that bright star – surely you saw it from home, Father!”

Father nodded.

The third son elucidated, “We had each of us wondered when we saw it, thinking mayhap it was a sign from the gods as we set out on our quests. We said so to our new friends, and they agreed with us! When we asked where they thought the star might lead them, they told us they expected to find the King of the Jews. Father, they wanted to worship Him!”

“We remembered,” explained the first son, “in our studies, learning of this peoples and their belief in One God, Jehovah. When we heard of their intent, we discussed among ourselves whether to disband from them or keep on. It was a funny thing,” he mused as he sought his brothers’ eyes, “we knew for a certainty, deeply in our hearts, that we must go with them.”

The sons looked at each other and nodded their agreement.

As the tale unfolded, the brothers learned of the wise men’s gifts for the Christ Child. They had brought with them gold, frankincense, and myrrh. When at last they reached Bethlehem, the brothers were agreed to add their boxes: the gift of gold was placed into the ebony box; frankincense was placed into the gold box; and myrrh was poured into the fine ceramic box. And they found and worshiped the Child King.

After the wise men had received visions to leave Bethlehem on a different route, the brothers elected to stay. They chatted with the locals, heard stories from the shepherds of a heavenly chorus, elucidation from the innkeeper regarding his choice of accommodations for the young family; spoke with Joseph and Mary before they departed with their infant son.

After a time, the brothers and their entourage traveled to Jerusalem, compelled to learn more about this God of Israel. They studied the Scriptures and held discussion with rabbis and leaders.

“And so, Father,” the third son concluded. “We have come to know and believe that the God of Israel is the one true God, and there is no other. He has provided a way of salvation to us, and it is through this child, this King of the Jews whom we met and saw with our own eyes. We filled ourselves instead of our boxes with the greatest things, and we brought this infinitely precious gift home to you.”

To be continued…