This is message eleven out of thirteen, and if you’ve been following along I greatly appreciate your willingness to hear my whole story. And if this is your first message or you’ve only seen a few, thank you for taking the time to consider what I have to share. As I’ve said previously, I have no ulterior motive – I’m not trying to get you to join any specific church, or read the Bible from cover to cover, and I have absolutely no interest in your money – my mission is to help you develop a relationship with Jesus. God has instructed us to love one another and I therefore sincerely care about your well-being and want you to feel God’s presence in your life the way I do.
True followers of Jesus are dedicated to the understanding that we serve God by serving others. This is the most important instruction found in the Bible, and it typically rings true for unbelievers as well, because we all feel God’s presence when we offer help to others. Whenever anyone reaches out to offer assistance to someone who is struggling, there is always a warm feeling of satisfaction when the service rendered is well received. It feels good to help someone in need! I’m suggesting to you that the good feeling we all experience is the Spirit of God pleased by our effort to share his love unselfishly.
If you’ve trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, the Spirit of God has an undeniable presence in your life. All followers of Jesus are connected together by the Spirit of God. In the Bible, believers are called the body of Christ, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27 NIV) As a follower of Jesus, you become an important part of God’s complex creation – you are part of the body of Christ, with Jesus at the head controlling all the connecting members. Each of us has a specific role to play. As a believer, God has placed you where you need to be and has given you the tools to accomplish your mission. Your service to God is solely dependent on your devotion to him and your adherence to following his instructions.
God’s primary instruction for all believers is to love God and love your neighbor. Jesus identified these two elements of his teaching as being the most important. In fact, Jesus said that everything else we do hinges on these two fundamental commitments. True love for God means a dedication to becoming more like Jesus; it also means we are dedicated to serving God by serving others. Finally it means we are dedicated to helping others develop a relationship with God. When we follow these simple steps our lives take on a much deeper meaning.
Of course, as a follower of Jesus, we don’t have to accomplish any of these tasks on our own. As a part of the body of Christ, we always have plenty of additional hands, feet, eyes, and minds to help fulfill our mission. When we reach out to our brothers and sisters in Christ and work together through the power of the Holy Spirit, there’s no limit to what can be accomplished. In God’s infinite wisdom, he created us all to be different. As a member of the body of Christ, everyone has a unique role to play, just like the parts in your own body. There is no other believer who shares your life experience, your personal contacts, or your spiritual connection to God. All of these things will factor into how God chooses to use you.
As a new Christian, finding your place in the body of Christ may take some time as you grow and mature in the Lord. Initially, your place may be to simply receive instruction. Over time, you will discover God’s plan for your participation in his mission and begin to take on a more essential role. As you grow in your walk with Jesus, your place in the body of Christ will change and adapt to your talents and experiences. As a believer, those people you come into contact with every day are not there by accident. They are there for you to guide or be guided by – all in an effort to reach spiritual maturity.
Finding your place in the body of Christ has enormous benefits – spiritually, emotionally, relationally, physically, and financially. In other words, knowing Jesus changes everything.
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