Thursday, October 25, 2007

Increase The Body

From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:16 (KJV)

"Each part... helps the other parts grow." Ephesians 4:16 (NLT)

Really, the scripture is speaking to us about networking here. Not necessarily in the sense we think of on our job, with clients, other sub-contractors or sales reps.
But, in a spiritual sense, we network. The body, Paul said is "fitly joined together", "we are compacted by that which every joint supplieth"..........
then read on....................."according to the effectual working"...........
Christ effectively molded and built the church, strategically placing us where we can grow, but also where as we network with the body, where we can be an asset. As the church reaches her potential, the members who are fitly framed together, who know their place, who have fulfilled ministry, who walk in the Spirit and are led by the Spirit of God, they grow together. As they grow, they help develop the entire body. Paul said every part....helps the other to grow. It isn't a show. It isn't always something that can be seen outwardly. It is a spiritual growth.

Next time you're walking in the woods, imagine what's taking place under your feet. As the roots of trees come into contact with one another they form an underground support system. One has access to water, another to nutrients, another to sunlight, etc. A networking is taking place that strengthens them all. This is what Paul had in mind: "[Under His direction], the whole body is fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love." Some of us independent types have difficulty when it comes to networking. We fly solo, until we crash and burn! Eventually our pain, not our brain, shows us our need for things like:

(1) Mercy.
"Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others" (Col 3:13 NLT).
What motivates us to show mercy to others? God's mercy to us. You'll never be asked to forgive someone else more than God has already forgiven you. this is an integral part of the network of the church. It is essential for us to show mercy in order for the body to increase.

(2) Understanding.
"Be sympathetic ...kind...gentle, and patient" (Col 3:12 GWT).
Sympathy meets two fundamental human needs we all have: the need to be understood and the need to have our feelings validated. The problem is we're in such a hurry to fix people that we don't have time to sympathize with them. We're too preoccupied with our own hurts. Self-pity dries up sympathy for others. We forget the time it took for us to grow from the tender young plant to the old oak tree we are now.

(3) Encouragement.
"I want us to help each other with the faith we have. Your faith will help me, and my faith will help you" (Ro 1:12 NCV).
All of us are strengthened in our faith when others walk with us and encourage us.
" And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. " Ecc. 4:12
"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." Jas. 5:16
So today, practice networking!!!!!!!!! Pray for one another, call out the name of a friend to God in prayer.
Encourage someone who is slipping.
Bring a neighbor to church Sunday.
Pick up that child in your neighborhood and bring them to Sunday School.
Be understanding instead of judgmental. Oh, come on know I'm right!!!!
Remember God's mercy in your life, and show mercy to someone today.
Let's network the Love of God, let's network the Mercy of God..........

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