Grow Deep - My Church Edition - Week 3

Week 3: February 3-9

My Church Edition – My Body

Memory Verse: “So in Christ we, though many, form one body and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:5

When I was younger, I was the last person to be picked for most sports teams. I was not very athletic and was a little on the heavy side. Most of my life, I felt that almost every job could be done better by anyone else … except the job of caring for others. My calling was that of Mercy. Many years have passed since then, and I have discovered other hidden gems with which God has gifted me. Still, Mercy continues to be one of my “natural” abilities.

Have you thought about how God made you to fit in? Are you, like me, not sure where you fit? As I age, I find that I cannot do the things that I was able to do in my twenties and thirties, but now I am way more patient and can do things that others do not find interesting. My grandchildren get anxious when we do a family project because they want to “fit in.” “What can I do?” is often heard from the youngest. And the last thing he wants to hear is, “Nothing. You’re too little.”

You aren’t too little. You aren’t too old. You aren’t too slow. You aren’t too fast. You are enough because it isn’t you, and it isn’t me. It isn’t YOUR body. It is the church. It is God in us. The Body of Christ works because we are willing to accept others with their gifts and in turn, participate with our gifts for the sake of the whole Body.

We need each other! So what can we do? We can encourage each other, pray for one another, and celebrate our differences! All of us have gifts that are unique. We cannot all be the same or there would be something vital missing. So, let’s all be like the little child who asks, “What can I do?” and then be ready for a BIG answer from God!

Taking Jesus to the Streets: Gather with family or friends and share the ways God has gifted you. Pray together about possible ways that you can use your gift within the Body of Christ.

Sunday, February 3
Read: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
Just as each body part has a specific role in the body’s overall function, we each have a specific role in the Body of Christ.
Reflect: How are you challenged by the knowledge that you are an integral part of ONE living Body, the church? How has Paul challenged the prideful? How has he encouraged the insecure? Where do you see yourself in these verses?

Monday, February 4
Read: Galatians 6:1-6
As the church, we are to restore each other gently, carry each other's burdens, and contribute for the benefit of all.
Reflect: Why does Paul tell us to restore a brother caught in sin gently? What is the effect of that brother’s sin on the whole Body of Christ? How are we like our physical bodies (described in yesterday’s reading) when we carry each other’s burdens? How does that encourage the person whose burdens we are carrying?

Tuesday, February 5

Read: 2 Timothy 3:16-17
God uses His Word to train us as His disciples and members of His Body, the church.
Reflect: What are the four ways that we benefit from Scripture mentioned by Paul in verse 16? The result is that we are equipped for every good work. How does the Word of God equip you for the work God has called you to do within the Body of Christ?

Wednesday, February 6
Read: Colossians 3:12-17
We are chosen and encouraged to emulate Christ-like traits, including love which binds us together as the church under Him.
Reflect: What is the effect of wearing “Christ’s clothes” listed in verses 12-14 in your relationships with others in the Body of Christ? What is the one principle that Paul shares with the Colossian Christians that should rule all of what we do in our lives? Is teaching and admonishing just for pastors and leaders? Why or why not?


Thursday, February 7
Read: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
People bound together under Christ help and encourage one another, making each other stronger.
Reflect: What are some differences between the ways that a secular organization and the church function? How do these verses describe the church? What specifically do these verses say to you about your role as a member of the Body of Christ?

Friday, February 8

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:9-15
As members of the Body of Christ, we are called to comfort and edify each other, to encourage others and live at peace with one another.
Reflect: How does Paul describe the community of faith in these verses? How does that compare/contrast with your understanding of the church? What do these verses call you to do as a member of the Body?

Saturday, February 9

Read: Romans 12:3-8
God gives each of us spiritual gifts that are vital to support and sustain the Body of Christ, the church. We do not all have the same gifts but are called to use the gifts that we have within the Body.
Reflect: How do these verses impact the way you see yourself as a member of the Body of Christ? How do they impact how you see the church? What do you think Paul means when he says that each member belongs to all the others? How do you feel about that?