2022 Day 3 Devotion

CLCSB 2022 Fasting & Prayer Devotion
Day 3: One Body in Christ 

As we continue our journey through Romans 12, we come to verses 4 and 5 where the Apostle Paul begins to focus on the importance of unity within the body of Christ. This lesson seems to come at just the right time for us as we face some of the most stringent divisions in our world today, even in the body of Christ. 

Nevertheless, Paul offers us a glimmer of hope reminding us that though we are great in number and have many differences, we are all still one body. The Holy Spirit works in each of us in different ways. Yet God uses it all to fulfill His will. As each of us has our particular function in the body of Christ, God somehow makes what we do work together to bring about change in the lives of others and change in our world. 

For this to happen effectively, transformation and the renewing of our minds is extremely important. This level of unity can only come about as we yield our hearts and minds to the power of the Holy Spirit. This is exactly what Paul encourages us to realize in Romans 12:4-5. Here is how it reads in the New King James Version: 

Romans 12:4-6
4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

Like our physical bodies, the body of Christ is comprised of various parts. Each part has its own distinct function. Some parts are very similar to each other, and some are extremely different. Yet still, each part is a member of the same body and was made to work together to care for each of the other parts. Ephesians 4:16 in the New Living Translation depicts this concept very well. Here’s what it says,

Ephesians 4:16 NLT
16 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.

One of the first things that is important for us to realize from this verse is that unity among God’s people is a work of the Holy Spirit. Notice in this verse that it is “He” (Jesus) that makes the whole body fit together perfectly. 

Each of us has our own responsibility to work cooperatively with the Lord and with one another to bring such unity into existence. There is something that we all individually offer to others. And at the same time, there is something we receive from others. This is congruent to the way our physical bodies work. 

Every organ in our body performs a specific task to provide health and growth to the other parts of the body. In turn, each part receives the benefit of what the other parts offer. As a result, the whole body becomes healthy and grows efficiently. Such is the case within the Body of Christ. We are purposefully made to give to each other and receive from each other. 

Ultimately, when the body of Christ is healthy, we are primed and ready to offer healing and salvation to a lost and dying world, offering each person their own opportunity to become a part of the body of Christ. When our gifts work together, yet in their own special way, we begin to see the lives of other people changed in a positive way. 

One simple correlation of the human body to the body of Christ that we often forget is that for a body to have movement, certain parts of the body must move in various, and sometimes opposite, directions. 

For instance, when we bend our elbow, the bicep is contracting while the triceps are relaxing. The two muscle groups are not fighting against each other even though they are simultaneously performing opposing tasks. On the contrary, their opposing motion is causing positive movement within the body. 

Likewise, when God wants movement in His body, He doesn’t call every member to do the same thing at the same time. The way movement in the body of Christ compares to movement in our physical bodies can best be seen in the physics of contracting and relaxing. The muscle that contracts is the muscle that is at work, while the muscle that is relaxing is the muscle that is releasing its effort. 

Thus, if the Lord is moving among His people through a certain gift, other gifts may begin to relax as the Lord works through the gifts He is using. This is more clearly seen in 1 Corinthians 14 as Paul states in verses 27-31,

1 Corinthians 14:27-31
27 No more than two or three should speak in tongues. They must speak one at a time, and someone must interpret what they say. 28 But if no one is present who can interpret, they must be silent in your church meeting and speak in tongues to God privately. 29 Let two or three people prophesy, and let the others evaluate what is said. 30 But if someone is prophesying and another person receives a revelation from the Lord, the one who is speaking must stop. 31 In this way, all who prophesy will have a turn to speak, one after the other, so that everyone will learn and be encouraged.

As the wisdom of King Solomon explains in Ecclesiastes 3:11, everything is beautiful in its time. There is an appropriate time for everything, including the respective function of our gift. Humility and servitude once again become significant attributes to keep us from overshadowing each other’s gift. James 3:17 describes this as godly wisdom that is “willing to yield”. To do otherwise would only lead to chaos and cause confusion among God’s people. 

When we allow our thinking to be renewed, our willingness to “relax” begins to show up as God highlights someone with a different gift. We must remember that while we are called and purposed to provide health and vitality to the other parts of the body, our “relaxed” state also provides us with the opportunity to receive what we need from others. This allows the whole body to do as Paul describes in Ephesians 4:16, to grow and be full of love. 

At the conclusion of verse 5, there is an important point to keep in mind. We are all a part of each other. This might sound a bit sappy, but it is nonetheless true. The hand is not independent of the foot nor is the eye independent of the ear. They each fulfill their respective role to benefit the entire body. 

And so it is with the body of Christ. We must walk by faith and courageously fulfill our respective roles while also allowing others to do the same so that the entire body can be healthy and whole, growing in love. 

As we allow our minds to be renewed in this area, we will see more consistent and effective movement in the body of Christ. And as we move together in unity, we will see the Kingdom of God advance and many lives will be saved, healed, delivered, and set free. 

Student Ministry:::
Day 3 Fasting Item: Fast Food, Sweet & Junk Food

Daily Bible Reading:  Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

God wants good things for you. He has good things in store for your future. You have got to choose to believe that. You’ve got to determine that nothing can or will change God’s love for you. When you start to believe that, then you believe that God has a good plan and a good purpose for your life. You begin to realize that God has called you to something. As you walk daily in your relationship with God, He will begin to reveal purpose to you. So today, choose to believe that God loves you and that His purpose for your life is good! Write your reflections.