A Healthy Body
Pastor Craig Olson
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. Ephesians 4:11-16 NLT
You don’t have to look very far today to know that we live in a very divided country. Through television, social media, and virtually anywhere there is an exchange of ideas, there really isn’t so much an exchange as there is an unleashing of anger, bitterness and hatred toward those that disagree on politics, race, religion, etc. There is more a desire to sound off and be heard than there is to understand or be understood. One comment or “like” on social media may trigger a negative response and close doors of communication and relationship that should otherwise be wide open between people.
There have always been differences in thought, ideas, beliefs, etc., but there is such a spirit of division today that threatens life as we know it, particularly in America. We may hear one side of the argument and tend to agree. Then we might hear the other side and say, “that argument has merit as well.” Which is right? We all will probably never agree. So how do we become more unified?
This spirit of division has even infiltrated the church, the body of Christ. Someone says something or does something we don’t agree with and we get hurt or offended. To help us “process”, we go to a third party and vent or gossip. Instead of reconciling with the person who hurt us, we affect someone else’s opinion or view of that person. This is sin.
But Jesus said if someone offends you, go to them and reconcile, even before you come to offer your gift at the altar. (Matt. 5:23) You still may not agree with them, but you’ll get a better understanding of them. Unity doesn’t come through agreement; unity comes through understanding. As believers, we are called to be ministers of reconciliation. (2 Cor. 5:19) Being able to reconcile our own differences and live in peace with all people is paramount to us being able to help others.
Lord, forgive us for lacking maturity and allowing ourselves to get caught in attitudes and behavior that divide and cause discord. We want to see reconciliation in our nation, in our society. Help us to grow in every way, more and more like Christ, so that we fit perfectly as Your body, and are able to bring reconciliation and a spirit of love to all that we meet. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
I Am Jesus
'I Am Jesus' is our current Highland Park Original Series that highlights the metaphors of Jesus' true identity as He walked this earth.
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READ THROUGH THE BIBLE
WITH PASTOR BRETT
I Am Jesus, Week 1: 'I Am The Resurrection and the Life'
Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. John 11:25-26
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:3-9 NLT
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HP Staff Book Recommendations
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