Time Alone with God daily devotionals

Time Alone with God daily devotionals

Written by Pastor Phil Stout, JAXNAZ church lead pastor

Tuesday, October 11

Read: 1 Corinthians 12:14-27

1 Corinthians 12:14-27New International Version (NIV)

14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

Start

Consider: The metaphor of the physical body is incredibly powerful for communicating the realities of the church—the body of Christ. As you read Paul’s words, your mind drifts between insight about the physical body and understanding the spiritual body. The realities of both are clear to see.

I think the reason this is such a powerful metaphor is the fact that it really isn’t a metaphor. I think Paul and the early church believed that they were literally the body of Christ.

When Christ—who existed before creation (John 1:1-3)—came to us, he put on a physical body (John 1:14). The cosmic Christ came to us in Jesus of Nazareth. I always say that what happened in the manger of Bethlehem was not Jesus coming into existence, it was Jesus coming to our neighborhood.

As he left us in the flesh, he promised us that his Spirit would live with us and in us. In the second chapter of Acts we read where this same Spirit—the Spirit of Christ—was poured into the physical bodies of the church. You and I are literally the body of Christ. We are his actual hands and feet. We are the manifestation of Christ in this world.

Take some time to reflect on the ramifications of that truth. If we really are the body of Christ, what does that mean about how we treat one another? What does it mean when it comes to serving the body? What does it mean about our affection and love for the church?

It is life-changing and life-transforming to understand—with our whole being—the New Testament vision of the church.

Pray: “Lord, help me to see the church as you see it. Thank you for making me part of your body.”

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