Do you, a member of the body of Christ, have a truly willing spirit? Do you have that outgoing, yielding, giving attitude of which Christ spoke of? It is time to check up on ourselves!
Jealousy, mistrust, suspicion, greed, and hatred, these are the words that characterize the society in which we live today!
Members of God’s Church, just how much of the callousness, the suspicion, the jealousy and the hostility of this world have you carried over into God’s Church with you? Think for a moment. What is truly the biggest thing in your life today? Is it your husband or wife, your children? Is it your paycheck, your home or your car?
To the people in the world, these are the big things. Most Americans, when questioned about their problems, and what they thought it would take to solve them, answered, “About one third more income!” They thought about one third more money than they are presently making would solve their problems!
Most of us will immediately think of Christ’s command to “Seek you first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (these material necessities) shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33)!
Yes, most of us would think of this scripture, but how many of us actually apply it? Is the Kingdom of God, the family of God, the opportunity to be born of God, into His very own family, and to rule this world with a rod of iron really first with us? Is the work, which Jesus said must be done before His kingdom will reign on this earth, an all-consuming, all important, urgent, driving, powerful part of your life?
Is it really? Are you sure? If it is, you will really know it is by the time you finish reading this article. And if it is not, you should really know it is not.
If (and this is the biggest IF in your life) you are really converted, then you are a part of the very Body of Christ (I Cor. 12:13). Jesus is the Head, the Chief, the Leader of that body (Col. 1:18).
When Jesus Christ was on this earth as a man, He accomplished the Work of His Father in His physical body. He said, “I have finished the Work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4). But He admitted He could do nothing of Himself, that it was the Father who dwelt in Him that actually did the work (John 14:10). Jesus certainly knew the scripture in Zechariah that says, “Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit, said the Eternal of Hosts” (Zech. 4:6) since He had directly inspired it!
But Christ had merely finished the work which He, personally, through the power of the Spirit of the Father dwelling in Him, had done! He did not finish all the work of God! He commissioned His disciples, ordering them to go to all nations (Matt. 28:19) and saying He would be continuously with them, guiding, leading, directing, controlling them (Matt. 28:20).
Earlier, Christ had prophesied, “And this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24:14).
The preaching of the Gospel was continuing the work that he had only begun! He prepared His disciples to continue that work! He had said, “If I do not the work of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though you believe not me, believe the works, that you may know and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in Him” (John 10:37-38).
Christ pointed to what was being accomplished. He pointed to what was being done! That’s where you ought to look! You should have really taken the time to prove to yourself, once and for all, and beyond the shadow of a doubt, that this is that very Body of Christ, the One, and the Only true Church of God on the face of this earth! Jesus Christ said to look to the Work, find out where His true Gospel is being preached.
“I am the vine, you are the branches!” said Jesus (John 15:5). He said, unless you abide in Him, you can bear no fruit! But he said, if a man “abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered, and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15:16).
Do you see? Either you “ABIDE” in His Body, His Church doing His own work, or you will be burned! That’s why Christ said the work is so important! Each member will continue to grow, and develop in spiritual character, only to the degree that his whole heart and being are in the work of God!
There is no middle ground! Either you are in God’s Church, and therefore doing the Work of that Church or you are not a real Christian, not really converted, and headed toward a blazing lake of fire. Jesus Christ said so!
Paul was inspired to describe the body of Christ in minute detail as to function in the 12th chapter of I Corinthians. Notice it! “There are differences of administrations (job, duties, functions), but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all (or everything in each one)” (I Corth. 12:5-6).
Paul then goes on to explain about the different outward appearances of each member, that while some seem to be less “honorable” or important, they are actually vitally necessary! This wonderful chapter is a real lesson in humility, in learning to properly evaluate each job of each individual member of God’s Church! God tells us, whether we are seemingly helpless, feeble, unable to do anything, that we are really necessary, really important, and really vital to the body as a whole!
“I can’t do much!” complain some of you widows! “What can I do?” asks a farmer, clerk, salesman or whatever job you may have. Do you feel left out? Do you feel inadequate somehow; are you expendable, unnecessary and really useless to the body as a whole? If you feel this way – why?
The real reason is only a total lack of understanding, coupled with lack of real living faith, and mixed with a lot of self-pity! How many articles, sermons have you heard, showing what your part is in the work of God?
Your part is to pray. Pray fervently, earnestly, zealously! Pray particularly, getting down to detail, in prayer. Pray for the work, for those in the work, for rulers, for brethren, for the sick, for unconverted ones for whom you need to intervene! There is so much to pray for! Simply giving prayers of thanks could take hours and hours when we really count our blessings!
Your part is to be a light! It’s to live such a shining example that others are amazed by it. They will want to know what suddenly made you so happy, so vital, and so filled with zest and real enthusiasm! They’ll be interested in what makes you this way!
Your part is to give! It is to give of your time in prayer, in concern for others, in helping others directly. It’s to give of your substance in helping the poor, the lonely, the widows and orphans, and especially to give to the very work of God!
Your part then, is to do exactly what any one part of your body does for all other parts! Notice it! “But all these (different jobs, offices and responsibilities) works that one and the selfsame spirit, dividing to every man severally as He (God) will. For as the body is One, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ” (I Cor. 12:11-12).
Since the body of Christ is to be zealously accomplishing the work of God, and you are, if converted, a member of that body, then your whole life is absorbed in the work of God! Every facet of it.
Perhaps you have all read the example of our forefathers during the time of Moses. “Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, this is the thing which the Eternal commanded, saying, ‘take you from among you an offering unto the Lord, whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it’” (Ex. 35:4-5).
Somehow, even though unconverted, the very thought of doing something together, something really fine, of erecting and decorating a fine tabernacle for the glory of the God, really inspired our forefathers!
What about us, today? Are we, as converted people, in whom is the very mind and Spirit of Christ even as willing as they were? Are we really willing to give as God has commanded? Do we look forward to the few times in the year, at the annual Holy Days, when offerings are taken up with real pleasure, with expectancy and with enthusiasm? Or does it become a little embarrassing for us during the collection?
Do you have a willing spirit? A spirit that inspires you to contribute to and support the very work of God? God says, through Solomon, “there is he that gives freely, and yet increases, and there is he that withholds more than is fitting, but tends toward poverty” (Prov. 11:24)! Yes, it truly is more blessed to give than to receive.