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Loyal
Do you know your body part? Do you know what gifts of the Spirit God has given to you? Do you know your specific assignment, your role within the body which God has given you to fulfill, to accomplish for his purposes?

These things of which I speak here are not necessarily to be equated with specific functions within the institutional church, which may or may not be spiritual roles within the body of Christ, as assigned by God himself. These spiritual assignments and gifts, too, cannot be done in the flesh of humans, for they are of God and are supernatural, and are not natural roles, responsibilities, or talents. So, we need to ask God what he has for us.

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Eph. 4:11-13 NIV

No matter your theological position on whether or not there are people within the body of Christ today who are apostles (sent out ones) or prophets (God’s messengers), God is still sending out his people as his representatives, and he is still using us, his servants, as his messengers. All of these people (or offices) mentioned here are the Lord’s servants, called of God to fulfill their specific assignments (roles) within the body of Christ.

And, each of us who are part of His body have also been given gifts and assignments within the body of Christ which we, too, are to fulfill, for the encouragement, strengthening, and maturity of the body of Christ. So, it is essential, for the body to operate as it ought, that we seek God’s face regarding which gifts and assignments he has for us so that we don’t miss out on doing our part, and so that the body is not deprived of our part, too.

These assignments of God, too, may not fit well within the confines of institutional Christianity, because some of them may be “outside the box” of what are considered normal church functions. But, they are not outside God’s box nor are they outside of his Word, his character, or his will and purposes for his church or for our individual lives. We cannot box God in and confine him within the borders of human thinking and reasoning, in other words, for God is not bound by human borders and traditions.

For example, the Lord has me posting my devotions on the internet for people to read. And, one of the avenues he uses for that is blogs, of which I now have three. Now, recently I have learned of blog etiquette or rules or standards or whatever you call them, i.e. the recommended manner in which blogs should operate. These guidelines suggest how many postings a week are considered the standard; the norm. But, God is not held to that standard. He is not bound by human thinking and reasoning.

But, since learning of this, I admit I have struggled with this, not wanting to cross any recognized boundaries, while still having the desire to submit to my Lord in all things. And, I finally had to come to the conclusion that God is absolutely sovereign over all, and that he is the one directing my path, and it is my job just to write what he gives me and to post it on the internet, and then he takes it from there. So, I am to surrender to him in this and not worry about the number of posts he gives me or what people think of me.

No Seesaws

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Eph. 4:14 NIV

When I was a child, we played much on playgrounds with seesaws:

“A seesaw (also known as a teeter-totter or teeterboard) is a long, narrow board supported by a single pivot point, most commonly located at the midpoint between both ends; as one end goes up, the other goes down” (Wikipedia).

To teeter is to waver, to wobble, to stagger, and to sway back and forth. It is to vacillate in opinion, being indecisive, and going back and forth in belief. It is much like a teeter-totter, first up on one side and then down on that side while then up on another side. And, this is child’s play. This is not for mature adults. It is not for those of us who are mature in Christ, for sure.

So, following the example I gave in the previous section of this writing, I mentioned that, once I learned the rules of etiquette of blogging, that I began to struggle with how many posts God was giving me per day. I found myself even hoping God would not give me another devotion so that my blog would not be crowded with too much for people to read. I am just being honest here, so don’t be too hard on me. I am still clay in the Potter’s hands.

And, then I had to think about whose blog it really is, and whose ministry this is, and who is the one who called me to do this, and who equips me for this ministry, and who has assigned me with this task. The answer is God. So, if he has called, and he has equipped, and he is the one directing my path, who am I to question God if he gives me more posts than the recommended amount? Really! I am God’s. I am the Lord’s servant. And, I answer only to him ultimately. So, I am to do what he says and not live to please humans, which is impossible anyway.

Truth in Love

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Eph. 4:15-16 NIV

The truth sometimes hurts, but we need to hear it, don’t we? We need to know when we are going astray, or when we have lost our first love, or when we are beginning to follow human logic or reasoning above the calling or wisdom or counsel of Almighty God. And, we need to be open to correction, and to discipline, and to learning and following the ways of God.

We need to be kept from having divided hearts which sway back and forth by the opinions of man, or which are being moved in the direction of being man-pleasers instead of God-pleasers. We can’t please God and man, too. It doesn’t work that way. We can’t be worried about what humans will think of us or if they will reject us, and we can’t look for human approval, either, as the measure of whether or not we are in God’s will, doing what he says.

Now, in relation to my (God’s) blog, for example, I can learn from humans as to better ways of communicating, or even in how to organize the blog better, or in how to write in a way (style) which does a better job of reaching the people, but I can never compromise or dilute the message in order to gain numbers or to please my audience. And, I cannot mess with my calling, or resist the Spirit in order to please humans, no matter how much pressure I might receive to conform to the “norm.”

God has given us each a role to fulfill within the body of Christ, and he has gifted us all uniquely for his purposes, in order to accomplish his will, and to do within his body what he desires. So, we all need to be willing vessels to be used of him in whatever way he has called and equipped us, even if it is “outside the box” of what is considered the “norm.”

If the body of Christ is to mature in Christ and to be built up in God-like love, then we all need to do our part, but not the parts assigned to us by humans, unless these are also the assignments of God. We can’t waver back and forth in opinion or in decision, either, regarding what God has called us to do, based on the thinking of humans. But, we have to stay the course, obey the Lord in doing what he says, and then leave the results to him.

More Precious Than Silver
Lynn Deshazo

Lord, You Are More Precious Than Silver
Lord, You Are More Costly Than Gold
Lord, You Are More Beautiful Than Diamonds
And Nothing I Desire Compares With You

Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 6:27 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from your Word, and for what you taught me today through it. Amen!
 
Active
Sue just wondering do you belong to a local church fellowship regularly that meets in person and takes the Lords Supper or are you on your own. As it sounds like you have given up on all churches that meet in america.

If that is the case if any believer visits america and happens to drop into any church to worship are they not going to be welcome... or find Him?

Evangelists are always going outside the flock to gather or look for sheep who havent heard the gospel in they are not like pastors who stay with the sheep in the pasture. But they will bring the rest together for other sheep.
So this is 'outside the box' or the 'field' I suppose. People talk about mission fields well sometimes its actually mission bush or jungles! In the city for example many people can be lost. They may have no home, nowhere to go. Well there is always a home with Jesus.

Online there are many places people can get lost and many competing voices that want attention. The more you proclaim Gods word..and thats all we have to do, proclaim it - then God is pleased. His word does not return back empty..it will always accomplish the mission for what it was sent.

So its not on you to think of ways and means to do it. It's on Him.
 
Loyal
Sue just wondering do you belong to a local church fellowship regularly that meets in person and takes the Lords Supper or are you on your own. As it sounds like you have given up on all churches that meet in america.

If that is the case if any believer visits america and happens to drop into any church to worship are they not going to be welcome... or find Him?

Evangelists are always going outside the flock to gather or look for sheep who havent heard the gospel in they are not like pastors who stay with the sheep in the pasture. But they will bring the rest together for other sheep.
So this is 'outside the box' or the 'field' I suppose. People talk about mission fields well sometimes its actually mission bush or jungles! In the city for example many people can be lost. They may have no home, nowhere to go. Well there is always a home with Jesus.

Online there are many places people can get lost and many competing voices that want attention. The more you proclaim Gods word..and thats all we have to do, proclaim it - then God is pleased. His word does not return back empty..it will always accomplish the mission for what it was sent.

So its not on you to think of ways and means to do it. It's on Him.
Lanolin, "outside the box" is not outside the church.

"To think of something that is outside of or beyond what is considered usual, traditional, or conventional" is to think "outside the box." Jesus did this all the time, which is why the Pharisees hated him. He didn't follow their institutional religious practices and traditions. He followed the Father.

So, this is what I am talking about, following the Father rather than traditions of human origin.
 
Active
Then how come you keep ragging the church I dont get it. Church isnt a box and its not an institution.

The pharisees didnt hate Jesus just because he didnt follow tradition. They hated him cos their deeds were evil and Jesus was righteous.

They were actually seeking to kill him. They didnt like prophets like John the baptists telling them to repent! The same with Jesus except Jesus was not blunt about it like John the baptist he spoke in parables so that those who had ears would hear and understand and those that didnt would remain ignorant.

Although that being said Jesus told them they were a pack of vipers and hypocrites, and that didnt go down too well.
 
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Loyal
Then how come you keep ragging the church I dont get it. Church isnt a box and its not an institution.
Lanolin, I agree that the church, the body of Christ, made up of believers in Jesus Christ, is not an institution. But, there are many institutions of men called "church" where Christians meet together, but that don't operate under the headship of Christ or the leadership of the Holy Spirit. But, this was not the context of this writing. The context here was that Jesus was "outside the box" of institutional (man-made) religion, which is why they hated him. He didn't follow all their rules and traditions and customs. He followed his Father. And, that is the point here.

The other point I was making is that our God-given roles within the body of Christ may be something other than what men have created within institutionalized religion. Organized religion is often times man-made rather than God-made, which Jesus often chided the Pharisees about.

For instance, you might serve as a nursery worker within a church gathering but that may not be your God-given assignment within the body of Christ. It is not a bad thing to serve in the nursery. It is a good thing. And, you may have a natural ability to care for children, but it may have nothing to do with using your spiritual gifts, but it may. Just saying here that God is not confined to the ministry opportunities that are presented us in gatherings of the church, which could be limited by what men are used to doing by tradition. He thinks outside the box of human thinking and reasoning. He has things for us to do, sometimes, that we would never think of. We just can't define God and his workings by what we see inside the walls of institutions of men or by what humans set as their ideas of what body parts are. We greatly limit God that way.
 
Loyal
Then how come you keep ragging the church I dont get it. Church isnt a box and its not an institution.
Let me give you an example here from my own life, which is part of what I was sharing in this writing. God called me to write out what he teaches me from his Word and to place it on the internet. This is my God-given role within the body of Christ. But, there was never a church I attended which offered this as one of the roles (positions, ministries) within the church. I did use to teach Sunday school at churches, but they used quarterlies which determined what was to be taught. That limits the Holy Spirit. When I write, I can teach what the Holy Spirit gives me, not what men tell me I must teach. And, the example I was giving in this writing, I believe, is how men (and women) in the blogging world have set down a list of guidelines they hope others will follow, but if I went by those guidelines, I would not be obeying my Lord, but I would be allowing humans to put limits on the ministry God has for me. Now, if a particular place where I write, which is not under my control, sets limits, then I must abide by those limits, but outside of those places, where I may have more freedom to write whatever God gives me, then I am free to do whatever the Lord gives me to do.

Oh, and the Pharisees did hate Jesus because he didn't follow their traditions and customs, but that is only one of the reasons they hated him.
 
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