"The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit."1 Corinthians 12:12-13 NLT
Thoughts for Today
God has a perfect plan for the members of Christ's body. And a plan for each part of the body with gifts and abilities to help fulfill that plan. Each "piece of the puzzle" has a unique and special function. And yet sometimes there are missing pieces to the puzzle because we exclude people we don't think fit in.
We might exclude people because they are a different race, a different color. Maybe they don't dress the way we do. Perhaps their culture or lifestyles are a little different. Maybe we don't trust them because of the sinful life they came from.
Consider this …
It surely grieves our Father when one of the pieces of his puzzle making up the body of Christ is missing because of exclusion. We have all been placed in the body of Christ by God, and God does not make mistakes. The Bible says he has set all of us in the body as he has pleased. None of us are mistakes or misfits. We belong to one another. Different parts of the body look different and perform different functions--but we need one another to make a whole!
When we place our sins at the cross, God gives us a clean slate. He looks at us as though we've never sinned. How can we do less for our fellow believers? How can we deprive them of belonging and serving when God has forgiven them?
And God likes variety! God has given us different gifts, different backgrounds, different personalities, and different strengths for a reason. Just as the unique pieces in a puzzle fit together to make a perfect whole, so we, as different parts of the body, can fit together to make a dynamic whole--serving God, loving one another, and reaching out to a lost world. We can learn from one another because of our differences. And we can accomplish more because of our differences.
Father, forgive me for the times I've excluded people because they were different or because of their background. Help me remember you created each of us and you love us unconditionally. Christ died for all. Help me never again look at another member of the body and say, "I don't need you!" In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …One Nation Under God: Toward Race Reconciliation by Donna Saunders, Ph.D. and Jean Leak, MS, RN. This study discusses barriers between people and shows how to make Christ visible through love in action. This guide also offers the way to strengthen and bond relationships. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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