September 12, 2018

One Love, One Heart, One Body in Christ

Romans 12:4–5

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For as in one body we have many members,1 and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Footnotes

[1] 12:4 Greek parts; also verse 5

In Context:

1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

One Love, One Heart, One Body in Christ



Bio | Claire Curtis

Hi, y'all, I'm Claire! Born and raised here in Dallas/Fort Worth, and I don't plan on living anywhere else. I love pizza, Texas Christian University football, and skiing in the mountains. I am lucky to have a job I love, serving as a behavior therapist for children with autism.

I have been attending Watermark for three years, and I serve with Kaleidoscope, Watermark's special needs ministry. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time around people who are different from one another. Interesting fact: I am hearing impaired.

Central Truth

God created each of us with our own unique gifts. When working together, we can function as the body of Christ. But this only works if we utilize our gifts instead of trying to perform all the tasks of the "body." Let us embrace our differences to further God's kingdom together.

Devotional | Romans 12:4–5

As you may have seen in my bio, I am hearing impaired in one ear and deaf in the other. My ears may not work well, but I am pretty thankful I can still see with my eyes, smell with my nose, and talk and enjoy...

As you may have seen in my bio, I am hearing impaired in one ear and deaf in the other. My ears may not work well, but I am pretty thankful I can still see with my eyes, smell with my nose, and talk and enjoy foods with my mouth. I have feet to go places and two hands to serve. Although one part of my body doesn't function perfectly, I have other parts that compensate for it. 1 Corinthians 12:21 says, "The 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.'" Our body parts all have different functions, but they work together. The same goes for us as the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-13).

Because of being hearing impaired, I often need extra help from others. But sometimes in my selfishness and insecurity, I find myself falling into a trap of self-sufficiency. I have days when I think, "I can do this myself," or "I don't need my community, coworkers, or family; I'll figure it out." I have other days when I isolate because I don't want to admit I need help (pride, anyone?). Although I want to do things on my own or retreat from people, I am reminded that God created us to need one another. From the beginning, God knew it was not good for man to be alone, so he created a helper (Genesis 2:18). We, as one body of believers, are called to come together.

Not only are we called to be united as one body, thanks to our common ground in Jesus, we are also called to recognize each other as individuals and embrace each other's gifts. Didn't God tell us we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)? God created us as unique individuals with our own distinct purpose and talents to serve His kingdom. We may be very different from each other, but we still belong in the same body. Today, I am thankful that we are not alike, and we can still serve and love alongside each other as the body of Christ.

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Discussion Questions

1. What does coming together as "one body in Christ" mean to you?

2. How did God create you differently? What are some gifts God has given you?

3. How can you use your gifts to play your part in the body of Christ?

 

10 Comments available

Richard Wendel 7 days ago
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Sara, if there’s ever a time that you need help, all you need to do is ask! Working with you in ReGen is fun and although we don’t see each other all of the time, I value our friendship!

Richard Wendel 9 days ago

Claire, you and I have the same impairment. I’m hear only loud bass in my left ear and am hard of hearing in my right ear. I have the same struggles wanting to be independent but also needing help in certain situations; noisy areas, most dining situations, etc. It frustrates my wife that I turn to her for help instead of asking the person to repeat whatever they said or for me to announce in the beginning that I’m hearing impaired. Any insight would be helpful

Sara Fusco 9 days ago

Great reminder that we all have our own issues to overcome. And that overcoming them doesn’t mean doing it on your own. I can fall into the “do it on my own” trap, like a 4 year old trying to tie their own shoes. We are meant to help each other. I don’t look down on others when they ask for help, I am actually thankful when they do. What a great opportunity to serve them. Of course on the flip side I see asking for help as a “bother” to others. That makes total sense. NOT! Thank you for sharing so wisely with us.

greg jones 9 days ago

I like how some people say I’m a behavioral therapist, like it’s no big deal. Understanding and stepping into someone else’s reality is a tremendously undervalued gift in my opinion.

Q1 It’s complicated. If the body of Christ consisted of only two people, me and him, the story of Cain and Abel would best describe why we were not together. It starts there. If Abel represents Christ it’s his ability to understand who I am and why I act, to step into my reality, in order to create bond. When I understand he knows me first beyond my actions it creates a pathway for me to reciprocate despite past or prone to acts. When it is about the bond of the body Christ it looks like and starts there. (Hebrews 12:24) If it is only about cooperation and behavior it looks more like Genesis 4:9-15. Great,great devotional.

Craig Hardy 9 days ago

Claire, thank you for your insight into this passage and for telling us your story. It really got me thinking about how am I leaning into others’ spiritual gifts at Watermark, amongst my community group, amongst those I serve alongside of. How often do I say ‘I got this’ as I walk through droughts in life and perhaps, not so troubled times? We really are a self reliant people and yet, as you unfolded here, the Lord uniquely gifted all of us so differently to love and serve one another and others. If we just look at the handiwork of the Lord in how He created the human body and with this same craftmanship He designed the spiritual body of Christ, wow, what wonder! I’ll reflect and pray through this today, thank you!

Michael Scaman 9 days ago

You’re almost tempted to think in chapter 12 Paul is now moving past the gospel to other issues. I rather think of it like DA Carson says - not the little thing that tips you into the kingdom but the big thing by which all life is lived.

In some of our circles, the gospel is a very small thing that tips us into the kingdom; it gets us “saved.” Then, after that, we have our discipleship courses, etc. . . . But when you look at how the gospel is used in the New Testament, it is not the little category that gets you in, it is the big category—focused on Jesus and what he has done—and does all the transforming work. It is the power of God unto salvation. DA Carson

Michael Scaman 9 days ago

Romans 12 puts worship first, holiness in use of the body and a posture of mind that is discerning as to what goes into the heart (in huge contrast to the fallen minds of Romans 1).

Now Romans 12 fleshes out holy living to include community. In some ways “the body” (aka the church) is a reflection of who God is. In the Trinity, God has love, community and communication along side power and majesty from all eternity.

Hope Harris 9 days ago

GM friends, in my absence I have been recovering from surgery and invested in a couple of personal studies the Lord has had me in the last several weeks.

I am grateful today for the wisdom and support of members in my community, WM and JTJ family.

Sue Bohlin 9 days ago

Yay Claire! Loved your devo! Love how God uses your understanding of being “other than” to minister compassion to children who are a different kind of “other than.”

In preparing to teach the overview of 1 Corinthians at WM Plano, I learned that Paul’s perspective on different, disjointed body parts would have been shaped by observing the temple to Asklepios, the Greek god of healing, in Corinth. Worshippers would hang clay body parts representing their disease-ridden members on the temple walls. I’m sure it was quite a bizarre sight, since God created our bodies to operate as a seamless unity. Not as isolated individual body parts!

Hugh Stephenson 9 days ago

One of the key lessons I learned as a young boy was to be a team player. That meant understanding what my role was and executing to the highest of my ability, (Colossians 3:23).

My principal learning came in sports. I had enough gifting to think I was worthy but not enough to be actually worthy. I resented coaches who didn’t let me play the position I wanted to play.

Post college I sought gifting in business. Same story. I had enough to provide for my family but not enough to be at the top of the lists.

But God had a plan, (Jeremiah 29:11).

He knew my addictions and the depth of my sin. Yet, he was patient, (2 Peter 3:9). He led me to repentance and to Prodigal, re:gen and Forgotten Fathers.

Now I know my real gifts in Him, (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8).

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