God Needs You, in the Body of Christ
For those who want to follow along in their bibles, go ahead and open them to Romans chapter 12. And follow along as I read verses 1 thru 3. Romans 12, 1 thru 3..
“Therefore I exhort you, brothers, through the compassions of God, (some versions say “by the mercies of God”) to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy to God, well-pleasing, which is your spiritual service.” The “mercies of God”, and the “compassions of God”, refers to God’s mercy nd compassion for us. God’s deep feelings for the difficulties that we face, an for the misfortune that we face.
As Christians, and simply as inhabitants of this world, we all face many difficulties and misfortunes. Jesus confirmed, that “in this world, you will have tribulation..” (John 16:33) But God has compassion for that fact, and He’s merciful to us because of it. And He’s here to help us through it. And that’s why Jesus was right here on this earth.. to help us through this life, and to be prepared for eternity.
Concerning the things which Jesus did while He lived here, the apostle John wrote in John 20, verse 31; “But these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” Jesus Himself said in John 10, verse 10; “..I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
So, when the scripture uses the phrase “through the compassions of God”, it means that we need to be taking full advantage of the compassions of God! Take full advantage of God’s mercy, and of His kindness, and His grace, because God has these deep feelings about our condition, and about our circumstances. And especially as a Christian, is God concerned about us.
Romans 5, verse 8 says; “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And verse 9 says; “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” (Through Jesus)
So then without a doubt, the greatest blessings are reserved for the Christian! And Romans 12, verse 1 tells us that the way, to take full advantage of the compassions of God, the way to take full advantage of God’s deep feelings toward us, is “..to present your bodies, as a living sacrifice, holy to God, well-pleasing, which is your spiritual service.” In other words, give yourself to God! To sacrifice yourself; We simply cannot come first; God must come first. That’s a reflection of humility isn’t it? To put aside your personal desires, and to do what God wants. That’s sacrifice, AND that’s humility.
Here’s Romans 12, verse 2; “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed, by the renewing of your mind, (we’ve got to get our mind, in line with God’s will) so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” To “prove” what the will of God is, is to test it by demonstrating it. Go ahead and do what God tells you to do, and test it, and prove to yourself and to anyone else who sees you, whether or not God’s way is the best way! Prove it by doing it!
There’s humility involved here. You and I are not so important that we’ve got to have our own way. We can easily do things God’s way, if we so choose. And so listen to verse 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, (that means “sound judgment”, “sensible judgment”) each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”
Now think about what this verse is saying. This verse is directly associating our humility, with our faith. In other words, the more faith we have, the more humility we will have. Think about that one when you’re feeling a bit prideful. Listen to the words of the verse again; “..I say to everyone among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think..” It’s not God’s will that we be all puffed up about ourselves, and all prideful. “..God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)
“But to think with sober judgment, (with sensible judgment, knowing that god opposes the proud!) each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Don’t think more highly of yourself than you should, but think sensibly, according to the degree of faith that God has allotted to you. Where there’s no faith, there’s plenty of pride. But as faith grows, pride decreases.
Now maybe you’ve never felt that you’ve had a problem with pride to begin with. But certainly, we all sometimes, are influenced in our actions, by a sense of pride. And so if we want to overcome that tendency, then what we need to do is grow our faith.
And let me say something about that last part of verse 3, in Romans 12.. It says; “..each according to measure of faith that God has allotted (or assigned)” Now there’s a lot of confusion, about the idea of God “allotting” each one of us, a “measure” of faith. As if to say that God has determined exactly how much faith you as an individual can have, and you can never have any more than that “allotted” amount. But that’s not what the verse is saying.
And I think its’ important for you to know, that we ALL can have exactly as much faith as we are determined to have. God has not “limited ” us in our faith, by allotting just so much, and no more. No, like so many other things in life, it’s up to us to decide how much faith we really want to have. It’s a bit like the saying that whatever your circumstance might be, you will be just as happy as you decide to be. If you believe that you’ll never be happy, then you won’t be. But if you decide that “I’m gonna be happy” then you will.
Well that’s how it is with faith also, you might say; The sky’s the limit”. Or “heaven is the limit”.
But let me try to explain how God “allots us a measure of faith”. A “measure” indeed refers to a certain amount. But it doesn’t just mean any old amount. It mean a “fair amount”. In other words, you get what you bargain for; You get a fair measure, of whatever it is that you’re bargaining for. So then a “measure” is a “fair amount”.
And so then God “allots” to each one of us, this “fair” amount of faith. But why then do some people have more faith than others? Well, it’s because some people have “bargained” for more. What do I mean though, when I say that some people have “bargained” for more faith than others? Well, you remember how faith is acquired, right? Romans 10:17 tells us that “..faith comes by hearing the word of Christ”. And so to put it bluntly, some people are willing to “hear” a lot more of the word of Christ than some others are willing to “hear”.
You know, you can read some verses of scripture to some people, and it’s like they just want to cover their ears and not hear it. They’ll say.. No, No, don’t try to tell me that. You’re misinterpreting that verse. Well, No, I’m just reading the verse; You simply don’t want to “hear” what the verse has to say. And so, what’s the result? The result is.. very little faith, because that’s all the faith that they’re willing to have. That’s all they bargained” for.
And so then God “allots” that person, their “fair measure” of faith.
But don’t ever think that God won’t “allow” you to have any greater faith than you have. God wants us ALL to have the strongest faith possible. But it’s up to us; How much of God’s word are we willing to “hear”? How much time are we willing to spend, “hearing” God’s word? God will “allot” to each and every one of us, just as great of faith as we’re willing to have. A “fair amount” to each and every one.
Let’s go back to Romans chapter 12 now. It had been speaking about humility. Verse 3 had begun with these words; ““..I say to everyone among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; But to think with sensible judgment, according to the fair measure of faith that each one has bene allotted.” Don’t judge yourself to be more important than others. You are important, don’t get the wrong idea here.. You are important! Each and every one of us is very important to God.
But now carry these thoughts on into the next two verses.. Verses 4 & 5; “Just as each of us, has one body with many members, and not all members have the same function, so also in Christ, we who are many, are one body, and each member belongs to one another.” Now think about it.. How does humility enter into this picture, of us all being members of one body in Christ? It has to do with the importance of each and every one of us, doesn’t it? Are we humble enough to recognize that fact? That each and every one of us is not only important, but we are all needed, by the others. That’s how God designed us; To need one another. And that’s how He designed His kingdom as a whole, and even each individual congregation.
Verse 10 says; “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; Give preference to one another in honor.” Another version puts it like this; “Out-do yourselves, in honoring one another.”
Consider your physical body; Which one of the members of your body don’t you need? We’ve got two of a lot of things. We’ve got two eyes and two ears; Two arms and two legs; Two hands and two feet; Two lungs and two kidneys. But does that mean that we can just throw away one of each of those?
Listen to 1 Corinthians 12, verses 18 thru 23; “But now God has arranged the members, each one of them in the body, as He desired. If all were one member, where would be the body? But now indeed, there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: Nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker, are indispensable; And the parts we consider less honorable, we treat with greater honor. And those parts lacking proper appeal, are given more decorum.”
Yes, we could survive without several of the members of our physical bodies, but we just wouldn’t have the same strength that we otherwise would. And our potential would surely be less. And isn’t that the way it is with the body of Christ? We need all our members, to be as strong as we possibly can be, and to reach our greatest potential. And that’s the way that God has designed it. He wants all the members to be joined together, in Christ.
Ephesians 4, verse 16 puts it this way; “From whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body, for the edifying of itself in love.”
God needs us all, in His kingdom, and we need one another. And that’s the way it should be. It’s doesn’t show weakness, to need one another. But rather, it show humility, in accepting what God has ordained. And then the result will be strength.
I was confused, you cleared my mind
I sold my soul, you bought it back for me
And held me up and gave me dignity
Somehow you needed me
To face the world out on my own again
You put me high upon a pedestal
So high that I could almost see eternity
You needed me, you needed me
I can’t believe it’s true
I needed you and you were there
And I’ll never leave, why should I leave?
I’d be a fool ’cause I finally found someone who really cares
When I was lost you took me home
You gave me hope when I was at the end…