The Joy of Serving the Body by Jim Nelson

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As an Elder board, we are constantly praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ. I’m amazed as we reflect and see the love and support we witness from this body of believers at New Life. Clearly, people here love to serve the body of Christ. Their service is so much more than just a kind deed. It’s the natural overflow of our connection to one another in Christ, originating in our union with Christ himself. We love and serve one another in the family of God because Christ first loved us. The following verse is a good reminder for us.

“By this we know love that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but indeed and in truth” (1 John 3:16-18)

Through salvation, Christ’s atoning work for us on the cross, and the Spirit’s work in our heart, making us alive to faith in that work, we are united to Christ. Paul often referred to this truth as being “in Christ.” And though we come to Christ as an individual, upon salvation we are immediately united to the members of the family of God. Our union with Christ creates our union with others in God’s family. This makes the other believers in our church our brothers and sisters. This is why the New Testament writers often use family terms when talking about other believers.

Paul emphasizes this to the Galatians; “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10)

At New Life, I think of some recent examples, so many other examples could be shared.

I think of Bob and Amy Newman feeding 20 meals over Thanksgiving to the needed people in our community.

I think of Denny Weber unselfishly giving many hours of time and his talent to remodeling this building into a functioning facility for worship, teaching, and glorifying our Lord. Denny has also given much to helping individuals with projects at their homes.

I think of the meal teams providing warm meals for our brothers and sisters week after week.

I think of Roberta Behr knitting stocking hats for people in need, what a blessing.

I think of the much needed and wonderful work of the Grief Share Ministry.

This body is providing meals to families in need, providing transportation for others, babysitting, visiting people at home, constantly praying for others, and this list could go on and on……

Our Lord set an example for us of what it means to serve one another. When we help and serve our brothers and sisters by meeting their physical needs, we ultimately reflect what our Savior has done for us. (Please read John 13:12-15, very powerful words from our Lord!)

In fact, our love and service to one another in the church, (the body of Christ) is actually a mark of a Christian. It is how the world knows that we belong to Christ. As believers, our acts of love and service to one another are wonderful glory markers, pointing and reflecting back to the One who loves us first.

In John 17, Jesus prayed that the church, (global body of believers) would be united-as-one so that the world would know that God sent him to atone for our sin. Francis Schaeffer called this love the final apologetic. “We cannot expect the world to believe that the Father sent the Son, that Jesus’ claims are true, and that Christianity is true, unless the world sees some reality of the oneness of true Christians.”

As believers, because we are united to the same Savior, we experience and receive the same love from him. And because he loves us, we love one another. The ways we serve one another, no matter how big or small, are acts of Christian love in the family of God. They not only help and provide for another’s needs, but they speak to the watching world of Christ’s love for us in the gospel.

How can you practically show love to your brothers and sisters in Christ today?

Your brother In Christ,
Jim Nelson


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