Do you like being told what to do? I sure don’t! If someone tells me to spend my time doing something that I don’t feel is necessary, I immediately want to jump ship and do my own thing. Being head-strong is not something to brag about and it’s not something that I enjoy admitting to.
Recently the staff at the Vine started reading a book together. I bought the book right away and read the first chapter…then I was ready to stop. Not because I didn’t agree with it but because it discusses the duties of a church member. My attitude and I just didn’t want “some book” telling us what to do.
Don’t get me wrong! My husband and I tithe and serve faithfully in the church…we want to do what God requires of us. I’m sure not going to question God’s authority or get mad when I sense He is directing me to serve in a new area.
So back to the book, where do we find instructions on being a church member in the Bible? What pops into my mind is 1 Corinthians 12:12-26.
12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slavesd or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts,e yet one body.
21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
As Christ-followers we are the body of Christ. We make up this body within which has a need for each of its members. With that in mind, I really don’t have the right to decide I’m not going to listen to someone because I don’t like what they are saying. We must work together in order to be the hands and feet of Christ in our world.
In the next few weeks, Derek will be preaching on what it means to be a church member. Perhaps you might be a bit like me, maybe it isn’t easy to have someone tell you what to do. Well, my prayer is that each of us will open our heart to hear from our Heavenly Father. Let’s be teachable and surrender to where God is leading this body of His at The Vine.