09/01/17 The Beauty of the Body

READING: Psalms 135-136, 1 Corinthians 12

“But now God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted.”

1 Corinthians 12:18

The local church really is an amazing place. God unites us around the gospel, and our many backgrounds and stories only bring variety to the tapestry that is the church. In today’s reading, Paul reminds us that God uses all of us in His work. Indeed, He puts His body together in such a way that all of us matter. One of us may be an eye, and another may be an ear, but each of us has a place in the body.

What’s most amazing to me is God’s commitment to use those members who in the world’s eyes might seem less significant. Paul paints the picture this way: “And those parts of the body that we think to be less honorable, we clothe these with greater honor, and our unpresentable parts have a better presentation. But our presentable parts have no need of clothing. Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other” (1 Cor. 12:23-25). Just as we often work harder to cover up our less presentable parts of our body (e.g., giving greater attention to concealing a blemish, covering our organs with clothing, wearing shoes to cover our feet, etc.), God gives attention to weaker members so they fit well into the body. That means that even the weakest of us has a role in the church.

It should not surprise us that God works that way. He went looking for Adam and Eve when they had rejected His word. They were hiding in their sin, but God came to them. He sent His Son to earth not as a king on a throne, but as a baby in a manger. He overcame the enemy not with a display of power, but through surrender on a cross. He died so that we might live; in His weakness we find our strength. Truth be told, all of us are sinners who are weak and broken – but God uses us anyway. He still places us in the Body “just as He wanted” (1 Cor. 12:18).   

Somehow, God creates the beauty of the church out of messed up people like us.

ACTION STEPS: 

  • Reach out to someone in your church who doesn’t seem to fit into the body.
  • Thank God for His willingness to love and reach the weak.

PRAYER: “God, You’re a friend to sinners. Thank You for putting me in Your church.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Psalms 137-139, 1 Corinthians 13