Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Body

Did you know God has a body? Maybe not so much a physical body but in a metaphorical way, scripture communicates to us in words we understand how God operates.
He has arms that are able to remove our obstacles (Deut 33:27).
He has a heart that he draws us as his sheep near to (Isa 40:10-12).
He has a voice that calls us and hands that take us by the arms, teaches us to walk, and lifts the yoke from our necks (Hosea 11:1-4).
He has feet that stand firm (Exodus 24:9-10) and even run after a lost son (Luke 15:20).
He has ears that hear our cries for help (2 Sam 22:6-8& Psalm 18:6).
He has eyes that perceive our worship (2 Chron 6:40) and are on the righteous (1 Peter 3:12).

Even though that language is symbolic of God's mighty acts on our behalf God didn't stop there. If that wasn't enough he was willing to send Jesus, "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil 2:6-11).

Jesus was willing to take on flesh. He did the totally backward thing and became a man. The tendency of manking is to want to become gods but he was God and was willing to become a man.
He removed our obstacles, even death (Rom 6:23).
He is also the good shepherd who knows how to take care of his sheep (John 10).
He had a voice that calls us to hear (Luke 8:8).
He had hands that were willing to touch the untouchable and embrass the despised (Matt 8:3). His hands were willing to wash the feet of those who would betray him (John 13) and allow powerless men to nail them to a cross (Mark 15:24).
He had feet that could walk on water (John 6:18-20).
He had ears that heard with patience people who never quite understood his message (Matt 16:9).
He had eyes that could look at a disciple that just denied him (Luke 22:60-61) and had a voice that still could call him "friend" (John 21:5).

Now we are left with what Shelley and Harris call the Second Incarnation - the church. We are the body of Christ (1 Cor 12). We are his hands and we are his feet in order to carry out his mission. That doesn't mean God is powerless to do anything today without our help but it does mean that He can still use us to be a part of the kingdom of God in a very active sense.
We are to have the hands to lift the yoke from the necks of others and ease them of their burdens.
We are to have the eyes to see people as Jesus did, with patience and grace.
We are to have a heart for people that loves and values everyone as who God made them to be.
We are to have a voice that calls them to a life devoted to God.
We are to have arms of comfort and draw others toward a heart full of love.

Imagine if God wasn't willing to act on behalf of others what the world would be like. I guess it wouldn't exist. Now imagine what the world would be like if Jesus had been unwilling. He didn't have to do it. But he did anyway. How would things look if he had not acted? God has done His part and Christ His and now they call us to action. What are you going to do about that? Let us carry on God's mission by being active in the lives of others showing them the love of God through action.

8 comments:

lisa leichner said...

I love it when you present some thoughts and then say, "now what are going to do with that?" It motivates me every time. I may have already known it, but your challenge to do something with that knowledge really pushes me to try and do it. We ARE the body, and it's time we put our gifts to good use and show Christ to a hurting world. Great post, Matt ... as always.

Danny said...

Great post!

What I am going to do with it? What all preachers do- borrow it!:)

Thanks for sharing this.

Matt said...

Hey Danny,

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to use whatever you find here to benefit the kingdom. God bless in the work at Gateway

Matt

Greg said...

Thanks for such an insightful and encouraging post. I like the way you have drawn deeply from the well of Scripture to highlight for us the importance that we carry on God's mission in action.

Unfortunately, and I think we must say so with tears, this does not occur often enough in our times.
Greg

Matt said...

Greg,

Thanks for stopping by and for your thoughts. I had a look at your blog and will certainly be back. God bless in your work there.

Tammie's Thoughts said...

This has nothing to do with this post, but thanks, Matt, for getting in touch once again with Danny Dodd, who I knew in Mississippi and Les Ferguson, Jr., who is my 3rd or 4th cousin somewhere down the line through your blog. The world is getting smaller all the time!

Elaine said...

Hi I just wanted to say, I love your Blog I'm so glad I ran across it. I think it's wonderful and I will return again and again. Thanks.

Matt said...

Elaine,

Thank you for stopping by and thank you for the encouragement. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts on things in the future.

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