Friday, February 26, 2016

A Little Taste of Heaven: Body of Christ

God gave me a little taste of heaven yesterday, and I'm still savoring it. 

I spoke at the Calvary Baptist Church Senior Friends meeting. The room was filled with people I dearly love. It was a sweet, sweet time. There were lots of smiles and hugs and a few tears, too.

I attended that church for more than two decades, and I love the people there as much now as I ever did. Lately, though, I've been attending a church closer to home. 

I've said this many times before, but I repeat it because of the truth in it. Even though my location has changed, one thing has remained the same. 

We are still family, because we are the body of Christ.

 I've spoken in so many churches and worked in ministry alongside people from so many other churches, that every church feels like home to me. I believe that's the way it's supposed to be for the body of Christ, and the concept goes back to the time of Moses.

The chronological Bible reading today was from Leviticus 27 and Numbers 1. It talks about the different tribes, their numbers, and their locations in the camp. The tribe of Judah camped on one corner and the tribe of Ephraim camped on the opposite corner, but they were both part of the nation of Israel, both equally vital parts of the people of God.

When the tribe of Judah fought in a battle and received a victory from God, the people of Ephraim fought alongside them and shared in the victory, as did all the other tribes.

I believe that's how the body of Christ should function. Serving together. Sharing together. Rejoicing in victory together. No matter which tent we call home.

There's nothing wrong with having separate tents based on location or personal preference, as long as we understand there is One Lord, One Savior, One King. 

What matters is not the name on our sign, the size of our building, or the format of our services. 

The only thing that matters is our Savior.

I was a little nervous about speaking yesterday. I worried that people might be upset with me because I have a different "tent" now. Instead, I was treated as a much loved daughter who had come back home. I can't begin to tell you how deeply that touched my heart. They felt the same way I did. 

We're still family, and we always will be.

While we're on the subject, there was another topic we talked about yesterday that's an important truth. Over the course of two decades, the people at Calvary and I invested in each other's lives. My faith walk is deeper and stronger because of the people who shared their lives and faith with me, both at Calvary and at the other churches across this nation. 

We've participated in ministry together and we share in the victory, as do the people who have prayed me through. We share in the fruit.

It may be my name on the blog post, but when God uses these words to touch hearts, it's the body of Christ that shares the fruit.

We are interconnected in a way that we will not see clearly until we reach heaven. Yesterday, I caught a glimpse of it, and it took my breath away. 

People who rejoiced in my first few sentences of writing twenty years ago, people who encouraged me every step of the way, are a part of my words on the page today. I pray I can be faithful to honor their investment in me.

God used them to make a writer and now He's giving them fruit for their labors every time someone clicks on my blog posts.

We are more connected than we will ever understand this side of heaven. One day, though, we'll see how our prayers, our encouragement, our support for one another yielded a greater harvest than any of us could accomplish on our own. 

So let us love freely, give with abandon, encourage with all the hope in our hearts. It matters matter more than we know. 

"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you also were called in one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all men and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4-6 nasb

The Friday Night With Friends blog post for this week has arrived. Don't miss it.  It's so good. You'll enjoy it! Friday. 6 pm.
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