TITLE: The Body of Christ
By Angie Sheets
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I have a vision and hope for a place where men, women, and children can come to know true acceptance, forgiveness, and restoration; a place which is safe from back biting, jealousy, hatred, rejection and division; a place in which we can be who we are as well as becoming all that we were intended to be.
I believe that God has chosen and called our generation of leaders as well as the up and coming generation to become fore-runners in order for the true Church to arise and shine in the midst of the darkness which has through time and our present day deceptions hidden the truth of the hope and joy that the Body of Christ desperately have need of.
It is in the building of our relationships and in strengthening one another as the Body of Christ that we are demonstrating a pattern and example of the first fruit of our true Christianity, Christ; we are truly in His Name.
In this overflow of love and faithfulness toward one another we successfully are able to build and equip the Body as we are taught to do in Ephesians 4: 10-16. It is as a result of this that we are tearing down the walls which divide us and have the ability to touch not only those who directly come into our lives but ultimately all of the lives they touch as well.
Relationships house the harvest-
If we plant good seed and invest our time, money and even our emotions into others we will then become personal and intimate with his body just as we see Jesus was with His disciples;
Here in this place is where we begin to grow together with every joint fitting together building itself up in love, and accomplishing the will of the Father.
The Father has always been about relationship. If you take a close look at the Ten Commandments you will see it is a Manuel for succeeding in relationships, and staying in unity with the very nature of our creator.
The Father was not trying to be a bully by giving hard rules to follow. He loves us so much that He gives us a pathway to be successful, if we understand this we may learn to trust Him.
In this hour we have been given the ‘eyes of an eagle' having the ability to see beyond the ‘muck’ and focus on the potential of others.
He has given us the ability as the Body of Christ to reach into the hearts of others and draw out that treasure which lies hidden within.
If we can become committed to building a core group of leaders who will teach, strengthen and encourage one another in the things of the Lord, we would be as the hot lava spreading and covering every area we touch, having the potential to reach every life that we come into contact with.
Imagine for a moment; a city of churches and the leaders of these churches building personal relationships with one another through their own cell group or home meeting, having recreation time together, confessing and repenting and praying, breaking bread together, as One Body.
Now lets take it to yet another level,when these leaders become accountable to one another and in true relationship with one another having Christ as the head, if one of these churches lack a Worship leader or a musician and yet another of these churches within the same city has more then one, he willingly sends the other to the Church in need. What better way to begin sending our own into the field of ministry. What better way to bring peace into our communities, the very demonstration of Christ in midst of our city. No more jealousy, strife, most importantly getting rid of the lethargic mentality awakening in us a realistic manner the command to GO! And to SEND!
Who of us raises our kids to keep them within our four walls? In truth we train them up in the ways of the Lord and when they get mature we send them out. No, they won’t be perfect, yes, they will fall from time to time, but this way we make ourselves available to help them without holding their hands every step of the way. The church is no different; Parents with Children.
These things I believe will help us to reach this end-
1. Being and accepting who we are.
We must get rid of the masks we hide behind for the sake of acceptance or the fear of rejection. We should get to know ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses our abilities and disabilities-we all have them.
We must reject all feelings of failure, in Christ there is no failure, each experience becomes an opportunity to grow, and learn. Without taking risks we fail to live.
2. The reality of becoming vulnerable.
We can begin this process of being vulnerable and transparent by sharing our hopes, dreams, fears and insecurities.
Suppressing our hearts will cause us to wear the masks until we ourselves do not know who we are, or what we exist for, and even worse forgetting what or in whom we believe.
‘Trust’ its such a sensitive word, it has become more of an enemy for most;
How do we trust what we don’t know?
First of all we must take personal accountability here, if we are honest about our true condition then we will acknowledge that our negative experiences with trust have been because we have put our trust in the hands of others and therefore become disappointed.
One day the Lord exhorted me to quit putting my expectations in man because that is what I will reap, those who sow to the flesh will reap flesh. However those who sow to the Spirit will reap the things of the Spirit.
Wow, I could have had a v-8!
Believe in the potential of people but place your heart and expectations in the hands of the Father, not in the hands of the people.
We must learn integrity. If the Lord is going to trust us with His heart for his people we must be trustworthy. "Integrity" is accepting the word of God as infallible and our absolute truth.
The unity we all cry out for can only happen as a result of an integral heart.
There can be a true and powerful unity where we have united with Christ in surrender and complete agreement with His word.
Our soul must become one with His word or there is no hope for true unity.
Integrity is a rarity these days but we must have a pure and honest heart if we are to expect others to be safe enough with us to the place where they can see and embrace who they really are,’ the white heart’ within.
4. Becoming compatible.
We must never merely tolerate one another, it is a lie, and very easily discerned by others.
The hand must be compatible (in agreement with) with the fingers; the feet and legs must be compatible.
We can not be jealous of one another’s function in the Body of Christ or strive to become like one another. We must first accept our unique individual function and then position ourselves, to how we fit in the body of believers. It is here that we can we learn to work with the other members of Christ’s Body accepting one another’s function as absolutely necessary to the equipping and reproduction of Christ in this age.
Relationships house the harvest.
However if the cost is too great and we continue to reach out only because it is what we are suppose to do then we never really connect with the other parts as the Lord intended and then we are in danger of losing the harvest.
As Ezekiel was told in the days of old, Look out there and see the mess of bones which had no possibility of life, the question being, ‘do you believe that these bones can live?”
If we do believe they can live then we must speak to them, calling them up into their potential, position and preparing them for action, we need for them to come together as one man, as the Body of Christ. However as we prophecy to these bones then lets demonstrate it with our lives breathing on them the Power of His love.
‘It is not by might (physical, mental or emotional abilities) nor by power (financial ability) but by my Spirit says the Lord. Let’s agree with the Word of the Lord and shout GRACE! GRACE! (Meaning: Gods ability to do through us that which we have determined to be true of Him and His will)-and again I say, “GRACE!”
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