VIDEO One Bread One Body

Jun 3, 2010

One Bread One Body
One bread, one body, One Lord of all,
One cup of blessing which we bless.
And we, though many, throughout the earth,
We are one body in this one Lord.

Gentile or Jew, Servant or free,
Woman or man, No more.

One bread, one body, One Lord of all,
One cup of blessing which we bless.
And we, though many, throughout the earth,
We are one body in this one Lord.

Many the gifts, Many the works,
One in the Lord, Of all.

One bread, one body, One Lord of all,
One cup of blessing which we bless.
And we, though many, throughout the earth,
We are one body in this one Lord.

Grain for the fields, Scattered and grown,
Gathered to one, For all.

One bread, one body, One Lord of all,
One cup of blessing which we bless.
And we, though many, throughout the earth,
We are one body in this one Lord.

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Living Letters

Clearly you are an epistle of Christ . . . written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God. —2 Corinthians 3:3

In November 1963, the same day that President John F. Kennedy was shot, another leader died—Clive Staples Lewis. This Oxford scholar, who had converted from atheism to Christianity, was a prolific writer. Intellectual books, science fiction, children’s fantasies, and other works flowed from his pen with a strong Christian message. His books have been used by God in the conversion of many, including a politician and a Nobel Prize-winning scientist.

Some are called to tell others about Christ through their writing, but all believers are called to be “epistles,” or letters of Christ, in the way we live. The apostle Paul tells us, “Clearly you are an epistle of Christ . . . written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God” (2 Cor. 3:3).

Certainly Paul does not mean we are actually pieces of paper upon which God’s message has been written. But as living “letters” we can illustrate how Jesus Christ makes a difference in how we treat others and strive to live with integrity.

Few will have the influence that C. S. Lewis did, but we are all called to bring glory to the One who loves us and has redeemed us!

Dear Lord, You have called me to be a witness for You
wherever You have placed me. Every day my life is on
display. Help me to live in such a way that others will
want to know You and the abundant life You offer.

We are Christ’s “letters of recommendation” to all who read our lives.

Expressing Patience

Ephesians 4:1-3

We’re called to demonstrate patience in times of conflict. As believers, we have an obligation to exhibit this quality because God knows there is great power in showing restraint. Our natural tendency is to shout back when we are wrongly accused, but to reflect Christ, we must choose a different path. We should:

• Stay quiet when verbally attacked. A person’s anger can feed our own and lead to a shouting match. Instead, we should allow him to have his say.

• Listen without responding. In our silence, it may be easy to mentally shut out the verbal assault, but we should listen to the other person’s concerns.

• Pray for whoever is attacking. We probably do not feel like praying, but feelings often get in the way of what God would have us do.

• Control our thoughts. It can be tempting to dwell on the injustice of a situation instead of focusing on God and what He thinks of us.

• Control our emotions. We’re to rely on the Holy Spirit to give right responses.

• Be ready to forgive. We are to be patient when wronged and willing to release our hurt (2 Tim. 2:24).

• Speak encouraging words. It’s good to express appreciation when someone brings a concern to our attention—and to ask forgiveness if we’ve made a mistake.

To our human flesh, these practices may seem foolish and ineffective, but in fact, the opposite is true. There’s great power in patience because so few practice it well. Responding rightly makes an impression on non-believers, who’ll notice something in you that they also want.

What Began at Philippi

“Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi . . . Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:1-2)

The church at Philippi was birthed on one of Paul’s missionary journeys. He was summoned there in a vision by an unidentified man in Macedonia (now Greece) pleading for him to come and help them (Acts 16:9-10). Recognizing the call was from the Lord, he went immediately.

Paul’s European ministry began with the conversion of Lydia, who worshipped God and readily followed Paul’s teachings (Acts 16:14). Paul soon traveled to Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens, where he encountered much hardship and persecution. But the work he had begun in Philippi continued, eventually spreading throughout the continent. The intensely personal letter he later wrote to the Philippian church contains some of the most important doctrinal truths concerning Christ and our victorious life in Christ in all of Scripture.

God’s sovereign plan included Europe. He saw to it that the governmental roadblocks and personal opposition were ultimately unsuccessful. Today, many individual Christians trace their ancestry back to Europe. Great evangelistic movements and worldwide missionary efforts over the centuries have European roots. The God-ensured preservation of the Scriptures primarily occurred there as well. Many of the important Bible study tools and preaching helps come through the Western church. Many seminaries and Bible colleges, as well as hospitals and humanitarian efforts, stem from the Western tradition.

Today, great numbers are thankfully turning to Christ around the world, but much of the Church’s work began in Philippi as a faithful witness fearlessly and sacrificially preached the Good News of Jesus Christ. JDM

Thou hast shewed thy people hard things

“Thou hast shewed thy people hard things.” (Psa. 60:3.)

I HAVE always been glad that the Psalmist said to God that some things were hard. There is no mistake about it; there are hard things in life. Some beautiful pink flowers were given me this summer, and as I took them I said, “What are they?” And the answer came, “They are rock flowers; they grow and bloom only on rocks where you can see no soil.” Then I thought of God’s flowers growing in hard places; and I feel, somehow, that He may have a peculiar tenderness for His “rock flowers” that He may not have for His lilies and roses.—Margaret Bottome.

The tests of life are to make, not break us. Trouble may demolish a man’s business but build up his character. The blow at the outward man may be the greatest blessing to the inner man. If God, then, puts or permits anything hard in our lives, be sure that the real peril, the real trouble, is what we shall lose if we flinch or rebel.—Maltbie D. Babcock.

“Heroes are forged on anvils hot with pain,
And splendid courage comes but with the test.
Some natures ripen and some natures bloom
Only on blood-wet soil, some souls prove great
Only in moments dark with death or doom.”

“God gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.”

Climb thee up into the high mountain

“Get thee up into the high mountain.” Isaiah 40:9

Each believer should be thirsting for God, for the living God, and longing to climb the hill of the Lord, and see Him face to face. We ought not to rest content in the mists of the valley when the summit of Tabor awaits us. My soul thirsteth to drink deep of the cup which is reserved for those who reach the mountain’s brow, and bathe their brows in heaven. How pure are the dews of the hills, how fresh is the mountain air, how rich the fare of the dwellers aloft, whose windows look into the New Jerusalem!

Many saints are content to live like men in coal mines, who see not the sun; they eat dust like the serpent when they might taste the ambrosial meat of angels; they are content to wear the miner’s garb when they might put on king’s robes; tears mar their faces when they might anoint them with celestial oil. Satisfied I am that many a believer pines in a dungeon when he might walk on the palace roof, and view the goodly land and Lebanon. Rouse thee, O believer, from thy low condition! Cast away thy sloth, thy lethargy, thy coldness, or whatever interferes with thy chaste and pure love to Christ, thy soul’s Husband.

Make Him the source, the centre, and the circumference of all thy soul’s range of delight. What enchants thee into such folly as to remain in a pit when thou mayst sit on a throne? Live not in the lowlands of bondage now that mountain liberty is conferred upon thee. Rest no longer satisfied with thy dwarfish attainments, but press forward to things more sublime and heavenly. Aspire to a higher, a nobler, a fuller life. Upward to heaven! Nearer to God!

“When wilt Thou come unto me, Lord?
Oh come, my Lord most dear!
Come near, come nearer, nearer still,
I’m blest when Thou art near.”

Fellowship with Him

“Fellowship with Him.” 1 John 1:6

When we were united by faith to Christ, we were brought into such complete fellowship with Him, that we were made one with Him, and His interests and ours became mutual and identical. We have fellowship with Christ in His love. What He loves we love. He loves the saints—so do we. He loves sinners—so do we. He loves the poor perishing race of man, and pants to see earth’s deserts transformed into the garden of the Lord—so do we. We have fellowship with Him in His desires. He desires the glory of God—we also labour for the same. He desires that the saints may be with Him where He is—we desire to be with Him there too.

He desires to drive out sin—behold we fight under His banner. He desires that His Father’s name may be loved and adored by all His creatures—we pray daily, “Let Thy kingdom come and Thy will be done on earth, even as it is in heaven.” We have fellowship with Christ in His sufferings. We are not nailed to the cross, nor do we die a cruel death, but when He is reproached, we are reproached; and a very sweet thing it is to be blamed for His sake, to be despised for following the Master, to have the world against us.

The disciple should not be above His Lord. In our measure we commune with Him in His labours, ministering to men by the word of truth and by deeds of love. Our meat and our drink, like His, is to do the will of Him who hath sent us and to finish His work. We have also fellowship with Christ in His joys. We are happy in His happiness, we rejoice in His exaltation. Have you ever tasted that joy, believer? There is no purer or more thrilling delight to be known this side heaven than that of having Christ’s joy fulfilled in us, that our joy may be full. His glory awaits us to complete our fellowship, for His Church shall sit with him upon His throne, as His well-beloved bride and queen.