Summary: We are all a vital piece of the picture.
Are You Puzzled Yet?
I Cor 12: 12-30
Good morning to all! I am so glad to be here with you all today on this blessed day!
This morning, I would like to talk to you with regard to the word “Church.” There are a lot of people that would define the word as a building that a group of people gather. They would undoubtedly say that this building is a church. If that were so, then if we did not worship the Lord here, and say we rented the building out, it would still be a church building. I do not subscribe to this thinking and I know you don’t either.
Jesus Christ told us that wherever two or more gather in my honor, that is where he will be! We have also been taught that the Church is the body of Christ. Therefore, I believe that the church is by no means the bricks that make up a building, but the people that worship the Lord God Almighty!
In I Corinthians 12:12-31, we read “ “
These scriptures teach us just how vital each of us are. And we have heard this many times, but today, I’d like to explain it from a different way! One that might stick in your mind a little more.
I believe we are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Sounds a little hokey, huh? Just hear me out.
This morning, on the way in to the sanctuary, you were handed out a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. You probably thought that was a little strange. That’s understandable.
I had them handed out to you as a reminder. As a reminder that all who enter, that we are all of equal value to the overall picture of the Church! If even one piece were missing, then the picture would not be complete. You are vital to the Church. When you accepted Christ as your savior you accepted this commitment. That you would be more Christ like, that you would help his church any way you could. And that is admirable. He gave his life that you would be saved, and you commit yours that his church would be complete!
I heard about a high school that had a career day for the seniors. To kick off the meeting they assembled all the students in the gym and the recruiter, one by one, stood and explained how great it would be to come and work for them. After the presentation, the students could stop by booths and fill out applications or hand in a resume. Included in the program were Armed Forces representatives. The Navy recruiter spoke on the advantages of a career with his organization and encouraged the students telling them that they had what it took to make it in the Navy. After his presentation a tough, muscular-looking Marine stood at the podium. He looked around at the crowd of students and shook his head. He said, "I don’t see anyone here who could make it in our program. It’s the toughest challenge you could ever face. I don’t think any of you have the guts to become a Marine. If you think you’ve got what it takes come and see me after the presentations."
After the assembly was over guess which booth had the largest number of inquiries? The Marine was flooded with applicants.
We know intuitively that commitment that requires a lot of us will also be the most benefit to us. When the cost and requirements and sacrifice is high to belong to an organization the pay off is always a stronger character and a sense of real accomplishment.
Membership in the church of Jesus Christ should be held in the same high regard. The problem is that we’ve made it a weak, easy, limp-wristed thing that’s usually nothing more than a name on a piece of paper. God intends for it to be something more.
We are all equally important to the Church. If even one piece were missing, the picture would not be complete. Oh, you would have most of a picture, but not all. What would it be like if you had most of your heart? Most of your brain? Most of your salvation? It would be of no value, would it? If you were forgiven for 99% of your sins, would you go to heaven. No. The wages of sin is death.
One day, a Pastor went to visit a member of his Church. One that had not been to Church services in several weeks. The man was pleased to receive the visit. They sat having a hot cup of cocoa, in front of a blazing fireplace. The Pastor asked the man if he were okay, and the man said all was fine. When asked why he had missed so many services, the man replied, “Reverend, I have been studying the bible each and every day, praying in a very consistent manner. I have kept close to the Lord. Why would I need to go to a Church building to study the word and praise him, I can do that here, at home!??” As he was talking, a piece of the burning wood fell from the fire, rolling off to the side. It turned a dark black color as the man spoke. Then the Pastor said nothing. He just got up, used the tongs to pick up this black piece of wood, and placed in back in the middle of the fire. It instantly began to burn ever so bright. The man became one of the most active men in the Church. You can, and should read the word at home. Study the Bible. Praise God at home. But to be truly on fire, you need to be where the source of fire is . His house. His Church.