Day 36 – Romans 12:4-5

“We have many parts in the one body, and all these parts have different functions. In the same way, though we are many, we are one body in union with Christ, and we are all joined to each other as different parts of one body.” Romans 12:4-5 GNT

Several weeks ago, I took a tumble on the ice. Even though I knew that this winter required extra attention when venturing out, I still slipped and was caught off guard. The ice under foot has proven to be tricky and dangerous at times. Since that fall, I have had difficulty with what is normally my stronger arm. It has become very weak, and even the simplest task has become a bit of a challenge. After a short visit to the doctor, I did find out that my rotator cuff experienced a tear and that there is a potential danger of developing frozen shoulder. But this story is not really about my shoulder. It is about the body.

This has been a reminder to me of just how vital and necessary each of the parts of the body are. What happened at a shoulder level has impacted many of my daily functions that I normally roll through life doing without a thought. As a result, I have been less effective when I would attempt to do something that would normally be an easy task. One simple fall has produced restrictions on the overall functioning of the whole.

So much of our lives in the kingdom are exactly like this. Yet, we often miss it because we focus on the loss rather than seeing what the loss reveals. This small moment in my life, which will likely pass quickly, tells me that I need every part of the body. Any part of the body that is damaged is my personal hurt, my personal pain, and my personal loss. I realize this goes counter-culture since we are part of a world that believes you look out for yourselves. However, can I truly be looking out for myself if I am not looking out for my brother, who is another member of the same body? When I hurt them, could I actually be hurting myself and wounding myself? When I judge them, criticize them, or think poorly of them, do I really think that it will not affect me? Our thinking has been sadly messed up.

The truth is, I cannot overlook the pain or the struggle of another and think that it has no bearing on me, or that I am not affected by it. God gave us our natural bodies as a clear picture of the relationship He wanted of us with each other. Everything in the body has its place and works together to create a harmony and unity. When something breaks that unity like a fall, every part that is not wounded works together to restore what has been wounded. The goal is to bring wholeness again. What an incredible lesson here. What an amazing picture of unity and grace. We look the world over to find God, and all we need to do it look at one another and see how our lives lived in unity reveal his glory.

When my arm is restored, my whole body will celebrate. The whole body will enjoy health. This is also true for us as believers. Your healing brings health to the whole body. We are part of something absolutely amazingly wonderful. There truly is no God like Jehovah.

Today I am grateful to be a part of something much larger than I can see. I am thankful for the body of Christ and for each member. May God give me eyes to see Him in my brothers and sisters. May God give me wisdom to function in a divine unity that He may be glorified. God knew what He was doing when He referred to His children as members of the body. We get nowhere without each other and everywhere because of Him. We are better together. I am grateful.


  1. Reply
    Pat McRae says:

    Ok this one has been a challenge to get on paper! After asking the Holy Spirit for help and walking away from previous thoughts I am back. Not sure I am any clearer but here goes 🙂
    In the AMP Bible the end of verse 5 reads: ‘mutually dependent on each other’. For me I think this might be why I can not think about what to say. I know I have heard and thought about many examples of how a body is to function. Like the heart can not be jealous of the brain because if either are not working together the body will not be working either. But I felt the Holy Spirit was wanting to go another way with these verses. I heard as I pondered ‘the heart has many parts and if one of them is malfunctioning the heart is in trouble’. Could this be why our churches are in trouble today? We think we are the whole heart and do not depend on other churches to take their part in our whole. I know about this independ spiritual thing! I learned at a very young age to be independent and not to depend on others because they never seemed to do what was expected. Now God is saying I need to depend on others. I see this like this: I am a part of let’s say the heart, it is my job to function so the other parts of the heart can depend on me as I depend on them. I have a ways to go here for sure! I still see myself worrying and fretting about things that are not mine nor have they ever been placed under my control. I want to fix it and know exactly how I think it should be fixed only to hear God say, ‘function where I have planted you and leave the other parts to me!’ Why? Because He is the Head. He sees the situation, He knows the answer, and He will convey the plan to that other part when the time is right.
    So do we need to know what part of the body we are? I would say ‘Yes!’ I can not function to my potential if I am trying to be a cell when I am really a hair. 🙂 I have just been through this confusing aspect of belonging to the body of Christ. I came to Saint Vincent ready to win the world or at least SVG, but soon found it is easy to dream and believe ‘yes I can’ but when the rubber hits the road, tires squeal and steam is produced, that it soon vaporizes, and the dream seems insignificant. So I have spent much time talking to God about my part that He wants me to occupy and fully function in for the glory of the Kingdom. I want to win souls! But God has shown me He never called me here to be an evangelist to this nation, He called me to encourage that one person today that needs to know God is good and He loves them. And also that many souls come to meet Him through prayer and fasting, two things He has given me a love for again. He also showed me I am not a Pastor, a great relief for sure 🙂 or even a teacher. Oh I can study His Word and when the ”Light Bulb’ comes on, I am to tuck it away for a future time when I will be able to use it to light someone else’s bulb. So with all my dreams gone up in steam I asked Him what part is mine? His answer was so plain! I can be what I love being most of all in this whole wide world! I can be helping hands to those who just need an extra hand at times.
    I am thankful today that I have learn to enjoy other people’s gifts. It makes me smile to see a dancer dancing, and a singer singing and a prayer warrior warring for a cause. No jealousy these days and not even ‘Oh Lord I wish.’ I remember I am Pat called to be Pat, unique in personality, and purpose. I can still learn a more excellent way of functioning as a part of the whole, but I am not called to be the whole.
    I am thankful I am a part of the whole Body of Christ, and that my part is as important as everyone else’s. My part is needed by the King to make sure the whole functions well. I am an individual part, of a part, of a part of the whole.
    Just how wonderful is that!

    • Reply
      Susan Craig says:

      I understand your struggle to define which part you have to play in the function of the whole body-I too feel that way. When I was younger,I had no problem seeing what role I had but now that I am older,I have lost that specific sense of purpose/ vision. One role I do know for sure is that us older women are given the responsibility of supporting,encouraging and teaching the younger women in the body. Until the Lord reveals to me what specific function I am to have, I suppose I could start there??? Start anywhere you feel the Lord is leading you and He will shut or open doors along the way. Sometimes we just have to take that first step forward-the revelation God gives is often revealed along the way and not always apparent at the start. 🙂

  2. Reply
    Jim Holmes says:

    “We have many parts in the one body, and all these parts have different functions. In the same way, though we are many, we are one body in union with Christ, and we are all joined to each other as different parts of one body.” Romans 12:4-5 GNT

    If only the world [that teaches independence (many bodies…looking out for ourselves), to personally excel, how to rise to the top, to live it up, how to retire] could have a tiny grasp of the significance of this. In this world, the choice offered is “to be (a) god….to have personal choices, to be who we want to be , and do what we want to do. This world would say…I am looking out for (caring for) me and all creation is for me. As Christians in the world, we can struggle with the cares of this world versus a clear understanding of God’s will and continuing provision for our lives.
    Our passage today speaks of one body in union with Christ and likens it to our own physical body having different parts. I just want to pass on a few reflections regarding us as one … that is, we are one spiritual body. I remember back early in my Christian growth…I was at a Christian camp on PEI. I’ve often noticed that God just loves to take us by surprise, and I think it is because we need to realize that we have nothing to do with it. I remember praying with another Christian and during this time a deep peace settled within me. In this stillness was a profound sense of being one in prayer (one with the one I was praying with), one in the very Presence of God (one with Christ). It reminds me of what Col. 3:15 says: “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also you were called in one body, and be thankful.” If you truly want to belong to Jesus, to be a part of His body, we need His peace to “rule” in our lives. The wall (curtain) that once separated us from God has come down, and we now have peace with God, and with our brothers and sisters “in Christ”. Rom. 7:4 says “Wherefore, my brethren, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ; that you should be joined to another, even to him who was raised from the dead that we might bring forth fruit unto God.” Today’s scripture says “we are one body” in union with Christ. We also just read so “that you should be joined to another” and “to Him who was raised from the dead (Christ)…”that we (not independently) might bring forth fruit (hearing and doing what we see Jesus (His Father) do.
    We are in union with one another. Rom 8:10 says that if Christ is in you, the body (flesh) is dead because of sin;…the spirit is life…” We are a living spiritual body. I think that sometimes we can fail in our walk together because we cannot differentiate between walking in the spirit as opposed to walking in the flesh. Eph. 4 has a lot to say about us growing as a body. Particularly these passages: 15… speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ; 16 from whom all the body fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplies, according to the working in due measure of each several part, makes the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love. From this, one can see that for the body of Christ to grow, my quest is for you to grow in love both for each other and for Christ Jesus. Others will know we are Christians by our love. Praise God for His love.

    • Reply
      Susan Craig says:

      Thanks Jim for the other biblical references you have given-I appreciate your input and your point of view on this. I know you have had opportunity to be part of several congregations over the years,as I have as well. I have experienced congregations that have worked harmoniously together for the cause of Christ and unfortunately I have been part of other congregations where this has not been the case. Collectively we can accomplish so much more for God’s Kingdom when we remain in His love and recognize the part each member has to play in the whole mission. But when we are divided, love is no longer the tie that binds and nothing seems to be accomplished for the Lord. Self needs to be crucified on the altar and love for God and the Love of God and the love for one another needs to take pre-eminence. Sadly the enemy’s agenda is to divide and scatter promoting infighting to such a degree that,I believe, the churches have become largely ineffective in our generation. Perhaps we all need to return to our first love and start over from the beginning once more???? 🙂

  3. Reply
    Susan Craig says:

    Today’s verses have been the most difficult ones for me because I have several unresolved issues with the ” body of Christ”. I have been part of 2 congregations that I loved and supported faithfully and that had such stong divisions in the body that I was witness to the results of infighting that had severe consequences. One of the churches no longer exists and the other is gradually disappearing. I have been so hurt by “Godly people” who demonstrated very little love for each other,love for God and love for the corporate mission to reach others with the gospel of Christ. The Lord and I are still working through the need to forgive others for the wounds inflicted and healing of the hurt and anger I have felt over both of these situations. For a long time I stayed away from churches because I was licking my wounds so to speak. But God has also been working on my heart and has shown me that we are not made to be Lone Ranger Christians. The past year I have returned to worshiping Him as part of a church congregation here. These bible studies have been very helpful for me as the words written here have been speaking to my wounded heart and the Lord has been helping me to learn to trust again. But I had to learn that my trust needs to be on Him-not on other members of the body and certainly not on myself-instead trusting that the Lord, as the Head of the body, will lead me to the body of believers here that He wants me to become a part of in this area of His vinyard. Before I went back to church last year,I prayed that He would lead me to the right congregation and to the people in that congregation that would be the people He wanted me to work with and rebuild trust with again. I am absolutely amazed at how He has done this and how He has confirmed to my heart that I am where He wants me to be. The people He has led me to are the most humble people I have ever met and the bible studies last year on humility confirmed that the Lord was leading me. This year’s studies on gratitude have been helping me more than I am able to write into words. The Lord is providing the body of believers and has been confirming in my heart that when I trust Him,He leads and directs and provides just what we need. After more than 10 years of famine, I am being nourished once again and have become a useful part of His body once more. I pray that He will restore the years that satan stole from me because of the seeds of division he sowed. I thank my Lord for continuing to lead and guide me and for showing me that He is trustworthy and that He still loves me. After feeling alone for so long, I am grateful for being welcomed back into the body of Christ and pray He will use me and my experiences to bring comfort and encouragement to others who are struggling with similar issues. Thanks to all of you for reaching out and welcoming me to your bible studies- you have been used by God to encourage me!! <3

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