September 26, 2012
Try this little exercise … stand up straight and close your eyes (after you are done reading this), then put your arms straight out in front of you (just like a zombie pose). What saves you from falling on your face? Your ugly, smelly BIG TOE! If it weren’t for our big toes, we would fall flat on our faces. Seems like a big toe is an essential body part. Otherwise we would be lying on the floor slithering around like snakes. Maybe we should have a lot more big toes.
But if our bodies were only big toes, and we had no eyes, we wouldn’t see the couch and would stub our big toes constantly. Without a stomach or heart, our foot muscles wouldn’t receive the nutrition needed to use the big toe. It’s pretty easy to see we need all our body parts working together in the amazing ways orchestrated by God. And we haven’t even talked about integrating the mind into this wonderful symphony.
God also described another body, the church, and He says we believers are the body parts. Like the human body, all the parts need to work together, performing their specific roles, communicating with and supporting each other to maximize our function, which is to glorify God. Just as physical coordination leads to athletic success, some spiritual body coordination is needed to bring about spiritual impact and success.
Since Stepping Stones started on Feb. 19, 2009, we’ve sent out 1300+ devotionals to every continent. This morning, 6500 people will receive Stepping Stones directly from us and at least another 13,000 will get it from emails you forward, copies you print and share with others, use in prison ministry, small groups, rehabs units, and with patients you counsel. Many thousands get it through church and other organizational websites. But posting Stepping Stones on Facebook for your friends to see makes an even bigger impact. Thank you for spreading the Word.
You send us amazing comments, which greatly encourage and enrich us, and we are so blessed to play a part in your growing relationship with God. This is how the body of believers can work with synergy, helping each other to mature spiritually.
We need to have the mindset of being part of a body. A willingness to fulfill our roles well, and be good stewards of our minds and activities is paramount. However, knowing God brings others into our lives for very specific purposes is also very important. We need to raise our antennae high, turn our radar up, and be in tune with the needs and activities of others. God connects us together and calls us to support, encourage, nurture, counsel, mentor, work with, or be obedient to the needs of the other members of the body.
Today, we ask you to think about how you interact with the rest of the body of Christ. To facilitate this community growth in depth and numbers, we ask you to consider a couple options. First, when you read a Stepping Stones that benefits you, click the “forward to a friend” link and send Stepping Stones to 10 people in your life with a note about how you care about them and how Stepping Stones has impacted you. And second, hit the Facebook icon on the top of Stepping Stones and share it on Facebook so you can bless others. This is a simple 5-second response. Don’t be shy … we are here to build each other up as Jesus modeled and God desires. We are built for relationship and need each other to grow and to spread the gospel message by working together. These are free and easy steps to be a Lighthouse to those God has strategically put in your life. Then share the cool stories that God writes in your life! Being a big toe and helping others is your decision, so choose well.
Dear God, You are amazing and an awesome creator … the way You made my body with all the intricacies of my eyeball and brain … and the simplicity of my big toe. Thank You also for the body of believers You have created, with Christ as our head. I am sorry that all the Christian churches don’t work together as one united body. It must grieve You so to see this body fractured. I thank You for this part of the church body, the Stepping Stones Community. I pray You strengthen it as we encourage, teach, and care for each other. Help us to become Lighthouses shining Your glory, love, and grace to all who need it, standing firmly together in the waves and storms of this world. Give us courage to reach out and to openly share our love for You and our thankfulness for your presence in our lives. We pray that those who will receive Stepping Stones for the first time will have open hearts and minds. I pray in Jesus’ name as the head of our body; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Romans 12:4,5
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:11-16