This morning, I made wheat bread with dried cranberries, chopped English walnuts, cinnamon and allspice.
Also, I made oatmeal cookies with those same ingredients. Both recipes also included flour, butter and salt.
The obvious question is, how could the same ingredients produce two such completely different outcomes? The outcome depends on the measure of the ingredients, the preparation method, the oven temperature and the subtle differences between the two recipes. In the end, it’s ALL good!
In the same way, God uses our individual life circumstances to mold us into the vessel He has planned for us to be. As Christians, we are each created in the image of God, saved by the blood of Christ and endued with power by the Holy Spirit to worship God and serve as His disciples.
Paul addressed the sameness and the differences of individuals in the body of Christ in I Corinthians 12:21,”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!” He emphasizes that even though we are each different, we are all part of the same body.
Satan’s tactic is to divide and conqueror (Ephesians 4:25-27). First, he pulls me away from fellowship with unfounded feelings of inferiority. Then, he tells me that I’m not important and why even go to church, nobody needs me anyway. He acts as a giant spoon, stirring and stirring until everybody is comparing themselves to everybody else!
When we are focused on each other instead of the ministry God has called each of us to do, the body of Christ suffers. Discord and discontent tear down relationships. When we are angry with each other, our prayers are hindered and our ministry is ineffective (Matthew 5:23-24).
Satan works hard to stir up trouble in the body of Christ. My responsibility is to guard my heart to make sure I’m not one of his spoons.
II Timothy 2:23-24 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
Prayer: Father, help me to build, to restore, and encourage everybody I’m in contact with. Show me how to be helpful when others need help, to lead when leadership is needed and to pray over everything. Amen.
Ephesians 4:25-27 25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.
Matthew 5:23-24 23 Therefore if you are presenting your [a]offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your [b]offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your [c]offering.