Ephesians 4:16 “From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (NIV)
A tremendous amount of teaching occurs in the New Testament concerning the body of Christ, the importance of believers to one another, and the work of God being done through the body of Christ. When you look across the Christian landscape - in our churches, small groups, and Bible studies - you do not get the sense believers truly value the importance of other believers in their lives. How often do believers disconnect with a church, Bible study, small group, ministry, or another association with Christians out of their own self-interests rather than out of God’s purpose and work? 1 John 3:16 illustrates the kind of love you ought to have, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” Today’s Scripture gives you a picture that demonstrates the importance of other believers. Your very ability to live out God’s calling in your life is vitally connected to other believers. A strained relationship within the body of Christ is the same as a pulled ligament in your body. Just as you would nurture a pulled ligament back to health, you should also nurture a strained relationship back to health by giving time, attention, and demonstrating humility to reconcile and restore the relationship. You can better understand why God places such importance on the body of Christ when you connect it to God’s active work of love. 1 John 4:10-11 teaches, “God is love and His love was disclosed to us in this: that He sent His only Son into the world to bring us life. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” In love the very essence of God is released. When you try to live your Christian life in isolation or amidst broken relationships, you risk becoming disconnected with Love – the God of the universe. This type of environment makes it easy for your flesh to take over and for God’s work to erode due to the lack of sharpening and encouragement that God designed to occur in the body of Christ. As the human body has systems to take care of itself, God has created you to thrive in the fellowship of believers where you learn, grow, are challenged, are convicted, are held accountable, and drawn to be all Christ wants you to be. Pray that God gives you a new perspective of other Christians and your part in their lives. See opportunities with other Christians not as strife and challenge, but as an opportunity for the very hand of God to actively work in your life.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (NIV)