Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:11-16
“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 4:15-16)
How do we mature spiritually? Paul shows us that growing spiritually is not only sitting under sound preaching every Sunday (although this is essential for all Christians). Paul tells us that mature Christians speak the truth to each other in love, and by this, the body of Christ, the church grows up to be like Christ.
As fellow Christians, we are called to speak to each other the truth. But, how often do we talk about God’s truth with each other? How often do we encourage our fellow believers with God’s Word? How often do we think, discuss, and absorb God’s Word so that it becomes part of our everyday lives?
In the end, we are all called to be teachers to some degree. We are not only consumers. It has been said that the best way to learn something is to teach it. When we learn to discuss, speak, and teach God’s Word that we are learning personally or from teachers, as Paul mentions in v. 11, to each other, we learn so much more.
Church life is meant to be organic and dynamic. It is meant to be a community where Christ’s love abounds. The greatest love we could ever express is to encourage each other in our faith. When others are down, we encourage them with God’s Word. When someone is making hard decisions in life, we pray for them and share God’s Word. These things are not restricted to the teachers and shepherds in the church. They are there as leaders whose job is to train all of us so that we can comfort and encourage one another.
When was the last time you reached out to your church friends and asked how they were going spiritually? When was the last time you shared with someone what you were learning from the Bible? This is what church is for! The church is meant to be a place like home where we live the ups and downs of life together. The church is not only a place where we hear preaching on Sundays and then go on to live our spiritual lives in isolation. It is also not only a gathering to do ministry. We do all these things because it is in this community where we encourage each other onwards to godly living that everyone grows together to be like Christ. We use our gifts, talents and personality God has given us to do our part properly in the body of Christ. From this, the body builds itself up in love.
As lockdown ends and we come back to church in person, what will your attitude be towards the church? Will we learn to foster a community that speaks the truth to each other in love?
Lord, thank You that we are part of Your Church and have Christ as our head. Please help us mature in our faiths and learn what it means to be a member of Your body. Help us to understand that we don’t live our spiritual lives alone but that You gave the church a means where we can grow by speaking the truth to each other in love. Please work to foster such a community in our local church. In Jesus’ name, amen.