“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body 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” Ephesians 4:15-16 (NLT).
As we speak the truth in love, we are functioning with compassion. Operating in love causes us to grow and be more Christlike. As we the Body of Christ do what we are called to do, we make growth possible for others, which in turn, causes everyone to grow in health and love. The amazing part about each one doing their part is that the Lord has fashioned us such that, as we each contribute what He has given us to do, it all fits together beautifully and everyone benefits. The picture I have of this is a patchwork quilt when there are many contributors, and yet as each part is sewn into place, and a new and unique type of beauty is created for anyone who desires it.
The Body of Christ, when in unity, is a marvelous and stunning thing to behold. As each member humbly submits who they are and what they are contributing to His Lordship, there is a sweetness and harmony and this is the breeding ground for the miraculous. I have served on many teams throughout the years and have come away with great lessons and memories. The most amazing teams have consisted of people who are more interested in what God wants than making a name for themselves. These teams consisted of people of integrity, excellent work ethic, love, wisdom, and understanding which always leads to preferring the other. Romans 12:10 says it best; “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor” (ESV).
As a beacon in our communities, believers need to operate in love, as the song says; “they will know we are Christians by our love.” This song inspired by John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (HCSB). Nothing unifies like His love, nothing inspires like His love, and surely nothing causes growth in people like His love. As we love the Lord and one another, we are capable of great exploits as we trust in our Creator to lead and guide us. I serve on the Care Team in our fellowship and I witness this preferential treatment amongst the team, as well as for those we serve. This team like many others is a microcosm of how the Body at large should function. Each team member is encouraged to operate in his or her gifting and calling, and as a result the other team members are blessed as are the shut-ins, elderly, those in hospital, and those celebrating the birth of a child. As we gather together we experience love, acceptance, forgiveness and belonging.
Belonging is the number one need of human beings according to psychological studies. God has called us to be in family, in community; “Now all the believers were one in heart and soul, and nobody called any of his possessions his own. Instead, they shared everything they owned” Acts 4:32 (NIV). This is a rich existence, which is why Ephesians 4:15 – 16, is central to the life of the Believer. Our Father loves us so much that He gave His only Son, a Son that would see to it that we had instructions for right living, being, and doing. In fact, He died out of His love for us, so we have to know that these instructions are for our benefit and the benefit of those we serve with, worship with, and pray for. Living the Ephesians 4:15-16 lifestyle blesses our community, and everyone with which we come in contact.
Be encouraged friend, for we have a Father that loves us beyond comprehension, and He has given us everything that we need in this life. And better yet, we get to spend eternity with Him and all of those with willing hearts that we have invited into His fellowship.