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One of the core tenets of Cell Life Church is we all have a part in the Body of Christ. We all have a place and a purpose. We all have a job to do in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. Ephesians 4:11-12 say:
(11) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, (12) to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
Anyone who has been watching our videos for any length of time or been a part of any Cell Life Church ministry should be able to quote that passage. Many church groups expect the hired staff, the pastors, to do the work of spreading the gospel. That is simply not their role. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers are here to equip you, the saints, to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and be His hands and feet in this lost and dying world. They are supposed to be equipping you, teaching you, and encouraging you to use the gifts God has given you to help the Body of Christ grow and be healthier.
It does not take a college degree or a ministry certificate to share what God has done in your life with someone else. It does not take special seminary training to feed the hungry or give water to the thirsty. It does not take special permission from your pastor, priest, or minister to pray for someone. The Church leaders in your life should be equipping you to do those very things and more.
Let’s look at a couple of examples of every-day people in the Bible who did extraordinary things, by just being themselves and doing what they can do.
First, let’s look at Jethro. Let’s read from Exodus chapter 18
(6) Jethro had sent word to him, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons.” (7) So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. They greeted each other and then went into the tent. (8) Moses told his father-in-law about everything the LORD had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for Israel’s sake and about all the hardships they had met along the way and how the LORD had saved them. (9) Jethro was delighted to hear about all the good things the LORD had done for Israel in rescuing them from the hand of the Egyptians.
Continuing on with verse 13
(13) The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. (14) When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?” (15) Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. (16) Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.” (17) Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. (18) You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. (19) Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. (20) Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. (21) But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. (22) Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. (23) If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.” (24) Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said.
Jethro was Moses’ father-in-law and was bringing his wife and sons to meet him where he was. This is a typical father-in-law visit. Moses greets him warmly and tells him all about what God has been doing for Israel, and Jethro rejoices with Moses. They even throw a big dinner. Jethro is encouraging Moses all the way.
The next day Jethro does something else though. He shares some fatherly advice full of the wisdom of God. He sees all Moses is doing and sees it is not sustainable. It cannot last. It is burning Moses out and the people are not being served appropriately. Jethro does what father or father-in-law does. He gives him some advice. Moses listened and followed it, and it worked out great!
Jethro just did what he knew to do. See what his son-in-law was doing and offer some advice and suggestions that will make his life and everyone else’s life better.
Let’s look at another example from the Bible. Let’s look at Simon the Cyrene.
Let’s read Mark 15:21
Mark 15:21 A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.
The Roman soldiers are leading Jesus out to the place of the crucifixion to be executed. Normally the condemned prisoner would carry his own cross, but in Jesus’ case, he had been beaten too badly. The Roman soldiers picked a man off the street who happened to be walking by with his two sons. We read that Simon was from the country and was more than likely a shepherd or farmer and was therefore strong. Whatever the reason, the soldiers chose him to carry Jesus’ cross to the place of the crucifixion.
What did Simon do? He was an ordinary man who was strong enough to help. He bore Jesus’ cross for him. He actually did, what Jesus has asked each of us to do daily. He asks us to take up our cross daily and follow him. Simon the Cyrene should be an inspiration to us to do whatever the Lord requires when he requires it no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.
Simon’s task was significant enough to be mentioned in 3 of the 4 gospels. I think God wanted to make sure we knew who it was that willfully picked up and carried Jesus’ cross.
What was Simon’s special ability or gift from God? He was strong and used his strength to carry the cross for Jesus.
The Apostle Paul teaches something in Romans 12:3-8
(3) For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. (4) For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, (5) so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (6) We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; (7) if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; (8) if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Each one of us has a role. Each one of our roles is very important to the proper operation of the rest of the church. The Body of Christ is made up of many people, all around the world. We each have talents and abilities to share to help the Body function and grow. We all have a purpose ordained by God to serve the rest of the Body and to share the good news of Jesus Christ with this world.
In our own body, we need all of our parts. They all perform a task or function necessary for our whole body to function as intended. The key is each part only does what it is supposed to.
Paul shares more along these lines in 1 Corinthians 12
(12) Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. (13) For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. (14) Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. (15) Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. (16) And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. (17) If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? (18) But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. (19) If they were all one part, where would the body be? (20) As it is, there are many parts, but one body. (21) The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”
Continuing with verse 26
(26) If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. (27) Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
No part of the body is more important than any other. Each has a function and must perform that function. The Church is the same way. We all have a role. We all have a part. We each must do our part, not being jealous of someone else’s part. If we spend time wanting to do what another is supposed to do, we are like the foot that is jealous of the hand or the ear that is jealous of the eye. Be what God has gifted and equipped you to be.
What is your role? How can you contribute to the Body of Christ? How can you share the good news of Jesus Christ with a lost and dying world? There are so many things you can do as an every-day person. In fact, often you have a better opportunity to share the love, grace, and forgiveness of Jesus Christ with someone than a pastor or priest has.
The key is to use the gifts and joys God has given you to serve others in Jesus’ name. Here are some examples of things you can do that will serve the Body of Christ and share the good news of Jesus with the world.
You can have socks, water, and toiletries all bagged up in ziplock bags stored in your car. When you see someone in need, you grab one of these pre=made bags and hand it to them.
You can make a point of encouraging people as you meet them or before you leave them. An encouraging word can do amazing things in someone’s life.
When someone shares a problem or concern with you, offer to pray with them. A simple word of prayer by a faithful servant of God can do more than you can imagine. Don’t be afraid to ask someone if you can pray with them. Most of the time, they will say yes.
Ultimately do what God has gifted you and given you the heart to do. Heart is the key. Whatever you do for the Lord and in the name of the Lord must be sincere and done from the heart. You can’t replicate what someone else is doing just because it works for them. And, just because something worked really well for you, does not mean it will for someone else. God’s gifting and your sincerity and heart are what is necessary for success. You can’t turn it into a formula for others to repeat.
We will close with a story of a friend. We have a friend who is very dear to us and she has an amazing gift of hospitality. She loves to cook and everything we have had the opportunity to eat has been amazing. Not too long ago another friend of ours got sick and was unable to prepare meals for her family. Brian also was recovering from a medical issue at the same time. This friend organized people to make and deliver meals. That in and of itself isn’t that spectacular. Our point is this is her gifting and she just jumped in and made it happen. She organized it and did a lion’s share of the food preparation herself. She used the gifts God has given her to serve others with sincerity and heart. That is living up to her purpose.
Friends, we all have purpose. God has uniquely gifted each one of us for a role within the Body of Christ. All we must do is follow Jesus using the gifts and abilities God has given us for the betterment of the Church and furtherance of the Gospel.