Fellowship

The soil of Your Heart – The Body of Christ

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Scripture, Bible, Word of God, Bod yof Christ

It is vitally important for ever Christian to grow spiritually. We ought to seek growth in our relationship with God. We do this by preparing the soil of our hearts. That is the theme of this post – prepare the soil of your heart. Today, we look at The Body Of Christ and how Prayer helps prepare the soil of your heart.

Scripture: For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:4-5

The Body of Christ

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One of the most powerful tools in preparing the soil of your heart is The Body Of Christ. A most useful gift God has given us for making our hearts receptive to him is each other. The church is both a beautiful and broken group of people. Beautiful because of the grace of God working in each of us making us more like Jesus. Broken because we have yet to walk in the fullness of what Christ did for us on the cross. Most of us have been wounded by something that happened in a church. Most of us have felt anger, frustration, or annoyance with a fellow believer. But if we are to walk in the fullness of what God intends for us here on earth, we must continually forgive and ask forgiveness from each other, submit ourselves to a group of Christ followers, and share life with believers in accordance with God’s word.

Fellowship

The Bible is clear – the best place for us to thrive is in community with fellow believers.

Romans 12:5 teaches us that we are all “one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” 

Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” 

Ephesians 4:15-16 teaches us that “speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” 

We need each other. We’re joined together as the body of Christ made to function as one—both for our edification and the fulfillment of God’s eternal purposes in the world. 

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Dependence on other believers

In order to make the soil of your heart soft and receptive to God, you must have help from those God has placed around you. We are created to worship with the body of Christ for all eternity, and that includes right now! Don’t wait to live out the promises of God. The church is not perfect, but it is God’s Bride. His desire is for his people, and he loves to pour out his presence in unique and specific ways when we gather together. There is edification you need that can only take place in the presence of fellow believers. There is blessing that can only be received when you open your heart to the family of God. We all have wounds; are in need of grace; and we all need each other. The very person who most annoys you might need you the most. Just as you need what fellow believers around you have to offer you, others need who God has uniquely designed you to be.

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Humble yourself

God asks us to humble ourselves before him and each other.

Philippians 2:3 teaches us to “do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” 

When you humble yourself, you will find a peace that is never available in living for your own ambitions. When you submit yourself to imperfect people, you give away your sense of entitlement and find the grace of God that’s poured out on those who truly count others as more significant than themselves. It’s in the submission to others and giving away of our own rights that the soil of our heart is made soft and receptive to God. It’s in spending time with fellow imperfect people that we become edified and are spurred on toward spending more time with God.

Grace and forgiveness

Often it’s in the extending of grace and forgiveness to each other that we become most like Christ, the one who suffered and died in the ultimate act of humility to we who are unworthy. Offer love to those who don’t deserve it. Place yourself in community with those who are imperfect. Open your heart to those who might not treat you with perfect kindness. Find your unique place in the body and serve the community God has placed you in with faithfulness so that you might be fashioned in the likeness of Christ.

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Prayer guide

1. Ask God to show you the community he would have you be a part of. 

Whether this answer comes immediately or through seeking and visiting churches, trust that God will guide you to the local body he has planned for you. In my community Northpoint City Church is Christ-Centered and Holy Spirit Led all for the glory of the Father.

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2. Ask God to show you your place in the community. 

This will change over time, so it’s good to continually ask God this question, especially if you feel out of place.

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3. Now ask God to show you how he feels about the church. 

We aren’t meant to live and love out of our own strength. Instead, we are to seek God’s heart for his people and align ourselves with him.

God’s desire for the church is vast and powerful. He has loved his people in perfect faithfulness despite all our transgressions and wandering. When we fail to show grace and love to those around us, we fail to live out of God’s heart for his people. If you want to live a life as near to God’s heart as possible you must search him out with the rest of his body. One day we will all be made perfect and be able to worship together face to face with the living God. One day, every tribe, tongue and nation will declare together the wonders of God’s amazing love.

Live in light of eternity today. Worship here as you will in heaven, and watch as heaven invades earth around you with the glory and love of God.


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Discovering God in a crisis

God allows crisis situations in our lives because in them we discover God in a way we have never known Him before. When He wants to move you to a new level of intimacy with Him, He will typically use a crisis. For example, when the Israelites fled Egypt on their way to the Promised Land, God allowed them to run into what seemed an impossible situation in their path—He allowed them to get caught between the pursuant Egyptians and the Red Sea. But in allowing them to reach the end of themselves, He also allowed them to witness what He could do when there seemed to be no more options available.

He can do the same for you. He will, if you trust Him. God does some of His best work when your back is up against the wall. Let Him use the crisis you are in to show you His power, His presence, and His ability to turn your situation around.

Knowing God

The purpose of trials and crisis in your life is to get you to cry out to God and then see Him come to your deliverance. When this happens, you get to know His power, His presence, His purpose at a higher level than ever before. You come to know God in ways you could never know Him when life is simply comfortable. 

While most of us assume all blessings include favour and things going well, God tells us and shows us that He can also bless us through pain. A downturn in your situation can actually be a blessing that puts you on the path to an upturn. It was in the added stress on the Israelites’ work,  as slaves in Egypt, that caused them to cry out to God. This  caused Him to respond to their cry and ushered in their eventual freedom and establishment as their own nation.

Hebrews 12 tells us that God will often shake things up in order to usher in something new – The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
Hebrews 12:27-29

Never look at your crisis as merely a negative thing that you must endure. Many crises are positive things disguised as pain. They are God—reaching in and placing you on a pathway to your purpose. 

What could you change to be thankful to God for putting you in times of crisis?

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