Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Benefits and Advantages Of Growing Up

Good morning everyone. I used the wood stove for the first time last night and it warmed the house wonderfully. I hope you stayed snugly warm last night wherever you are. Continuing with Ephesians 4.

Yesterday we considered the group of trainers that our Father has set aside for our benefit. The apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers exist for the benefit of the Church. They are responsible for preparing us for works of service. In other words, they exist as servants to the Body of Christ. We considered how important this training is because works of service lead to unity of faith and knowledge in Jesus. This unity leads to maturity which allows for the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. This whole process is incredibly important, especially in the age in which we live because the fullness of Christ brings us to a whole different plain of understanding and perspective. Consider this:

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. vs. 14

I am so tired of the fads of man becoming false movements of God. People are so fickle, running from one experience to another. It seems every week there is a new book hitting the self that will tell us how to improve ourselves in some way spiritually in so many easy to understand steps. How many different winds of teaching exist that blow people around like a discarded chip bag on a windy day? Infants, that is all we are. But that is not what God intended for us:

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 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. vs. 15-16

I get so excited when we talk about the Body because she is such an elegant and beautiful Bride. Her designed purpose and the benefits of being part of her are enormous as we grow and mature. It requires love, the mature and overwhelming love of Jesus, not our pathetic love. Such love is only understood with maturity. Children cannot understand the strength of a parent's love until they gain maturity. They benefit from that love, they can feel it and see it but they cannot understand it. We can understand the love of the Father but we need to grow up into him who is the head.

Paul had such incredible insight into the Church. I love his descriptions of her: from Jesus the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love. as each part does its work. You realize he is talking about us, having been trained in works of service, building up each other so that we are united in our faith and knowledge of Jesus, becoming mature and gaining the whole measure of the fullness of Jesus. I so want to be there. I so want us all to be there. Now you can go from here and study 1 Corinthians 12 and you will soon begin to understand the importance of being trained by the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.

Please excuse the liberty I am about to take to write again what I wrote yesterday. I consider this vital for the Body. We need to free up the trainers from other tasks we put on them so that they are free to serve in the anointing they have. They are not managers or book keepers; they are not taxi drivers or entertainers; they are not janitors or fund raisers. We need to allow the deacons to wait on the tables so the trainers can  concentrate on the training because ... I want us to be there! I want the Church to possess what is being described right here in these few verses! I want the world to see how the love of Jesus not only unites us but transforms us into the radiant Bride of Christ. I am so jealous for this, for what our Father has intended for us to have and to be. Let's do our part. Let's submit to the training and learn the works of service so we can be part of what God is doing.

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