Thursday, April 26, 2007

Romans 12:4-5

"For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members have not the same office: so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and severally members one of another." (ASV)

As a Christian it's often easy to feel alone and isolated. Those around us don't understand us and often may ridicule or in some cases even persecute us for our belief in God. I can't count the number of times I've been told I must be mentally lacking to believe in "a fairy tale". We need to remember though, that not only is God always with us, but also through the Holy Spirit we are united with other believers around the world.

This is one of the reasons it is so important for our spiritual development that we gather with other believers to worship God. As human beings we all have a need to feel accepted by our peers, a desire to be well thought of. Often this can lead to behavior that is against God's calling for our lives because we are too busy just trying to fit in. The only way to put this instinct to work for us, rather than against us, is to cultivate friendships with other believers. In a healthy church setting, Christians can encourage, instruct and inspire one another toward the magnificent plans God has for each of us. There we can find the love and companionship that each of us longs for inside.

We also need to remember that we are a global community of believers. It's easy to pray for the people you see on a daily basis, but much harder to remember those on the other side of the world. There are over four dozen countries in this world where Christians are still persecuted for their beliefs. People there can be imprisoned, tortured and killed just for owning a Bible or praying. Christian churches meet in secret because when they are found out they are thrown in jail. We who live in countries where we have the freedom to worship often cry persecution when we are laughed at or not invited to a social event, but we forget about those who endure real persecution for their faith. Yet these people are our brothers and sisters in Christ. They are a part of the body as much as we are. They need our prayers and support as much as our friends, relatives and neighbors.

It's time for the Christians of this world to remember that we are connected. It's time that we stop complaining about church politics and gossiping about each other and learn to work together. It's time that we learn to pray for those who have put their life on the ine for their God. It's time that we remember that in Christ, we are all one body of believers.

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