936 Onward Christian Soldiers

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We are not divided, all one body we,
One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.

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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. (Eph. 4:16)

Jesus brings His children together into His body, the church. He is uniting their flesh with their hearts so they may grow in unity. He has given each person a unique story, special giftings, and individual skillsets, a testimony to His individuality and His diversity. In the physical body, joints connect bones to make movement possible. In the Body of Christ, Christians are connected by God through love as each one expresses the unique individuality he has been given. Joints are primarily made of cartilage which reduces friction when moving. The church consists of people creating friction with one another. It is painful when a joint is dislocated in the body, causing strain and tears on the nerves. An individual unwilling to be the bone or joint he has been assigned will cause discord in the Body of Christ. In the physical body, joints are most often dislocated by trauma; best treated with rest and rehabilitation, sometimes requiring surgery. When an individual is out of joint in the church, they, too, are best treated with rest and rehabilitation—love and patience. Sometimes they require surgery. Sometimes God removes their heart of stone and gives them a heart of flesh (Ez. 3:28).

Consider the hand. The upper arm, forearm, elbow, wrist, and hand connect through joints. When working together as designed, it is a vital part of our everyday life, useful for eating, drinking, holding a phone, and more. In the Body of Christ, each one of us has something to offer those to whom we are united. We are being knit together in the Body by our Master Weaver. Like a pair of knitting needles, we tend to poke one another as He knits us together into His tapestry.  Too often we think that every “thread” should look and act just like us, or we want to look like another thread in the tapestry. We forget about individuality and diversity, joints and bones.

Beware of the “My way or no way” mentality. Let God be as original with others as He is with you. Welcome their “thread” in the tapestry God has placed you in. God is uniting His Body of Christ in a tapestry of love. Is there someone you know who is out of joint? Are you willing to extend your love and patience to them? Today, what small step could you take to knit your unique story, giftings, and skillsets into His Body? Settle in your heart once and for all that “We are not divided, all one body we, one in hope and doctrine, one in charity.”