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Body Building Tips

Body-building Tip #50 – These thoughts are designed to help members of the body at Grace to encourage one another’s faith.

Acts 20:31 “Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.”

For you to ponder: These words from Acts were spoken by Paul at his last meeting with the elders from the church at Ephesus. It was an emotional experience because Paul told those gathered that he would never see their faces again. There are several things to consider from this verse. First, Paul exhorts them to be “alert” because he anticipates that false teachers will soon infiltrate the church and threaten the spiritual growth of the believers. For 3 years he had been preparing them to stand strong but he knew that dangers would always exist. Second, by Paul writing that “for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone”, we can see how seriously he took the spiritual growth and health of the believers there. Next, Paul reinforces his commitment to those believers by commenting about his tears.

Tip: Paul was a realist. He knew that believers there, even after 3 years of his intense teaching and attempts to build up their faith, would face threats to their spiritual well-being. Some here at Grace today are experiencing threats to their walk with the Lord. Other folks will experience those threats all too soon. Yes, we are all fighting the good fight of faith, and we need others to stand with us in the battle. May God help us to realize how much we need one another to continue strong in the faith.

Challenge: Have you thought about how strong the forces of evil are which threaten our spiritual growth individually and as a body? Are you willing to try to help one another achieve daily victories even if it takes years? Is your concern for the spiritual health of the person sitting next to you great enough to begin actively trying to encourage him or her in the Lord?

 

Body-building Tip #49 – These thoughts are designed to help members of the body at Grace to encourage one another’s faith.

Eph 4:1,3 “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,… eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

For you to ponder: Paul urges us, not based on being physically restrained in prison but being a willing captive for the Lord, to live our lives in a way that clearly shows Christ is our Lord. To wear the name of Christ well, we must bear with one another in love. Such bearing with one another is to be characterized by an eagerness to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. “Eagerness” implies sparing no effort. In light of the fact that some fellow Christians are hard to interact with, these words confront our frequent half-hearted efforts to build up one another. Eagerness to maintain the unity which God has given by His grace is not avoiding problems. It acknowledges the fact that the relationships we have with one another through the Spirit at Grace are indeed a wonderful gift from God to be guarded and nurtured. It faces the truth that we have a responsibility to encourage one another in the faith with all humility and gentleness with patience so that we might grow to maturity as one body in Christ. We must help to maintain an environment where love and peace encourage growth.

Tip: Eagerness to interact with one another about spiritual matters is a mark of maturity for a body of believers. Eagerness to preserve God-given unity is characteristic of one who is walking in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called.

Challenge: Are you eager to share Christ with fellow believers at Grace? Will you help to preserve what God has given us at Grace by seeking to build up one another in Christ?

 
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