— EACH ONE DOING THEIR PART
Fellowship and Basketball! Believe or not, there is a comparison between the two. The high school and college basketball season are now completed. However, the National Basketball League play offs have begun. I do not normally watch NBA games because the teams do not always know the meaning of teamwork. Often you hear more about their super stars, rather than the qualities of the team working together. Whether you realize it or not, there is a relationship between teamwork and another unique quality of fellowship in the life of the body of Christ.
One of the keys to the success of any athletic team is its unselfish ability to work together as a harmonious unit. Good basketball teams certainly demonstrated that. It can be seen in their passing the ball around, balanced scoring and their encouragement for one another after a well chosen pass resulting in a basket or calming each other down after a tense moment in the game. It is also seen in the excitement of the starters as they exhort the substitutes who come in and play.
A very important component is evident in the fellowship of the church, when the people are working together as a unit, in a harmonious whole for the good of all. Read and reflect on these truths from the Lord in the Scriptures.
“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for profit of all.”
1st Corinthians 12:4-7. New King Jams Version
These next verses are rather extensive, but they are important to set the context of why each one in the congregation at Ramsey Church needs to do their part. So take a moment to pick up your Bible and read Ephesians 4:4-7, 12-13, 15-16.
Now each one of these passages communicate the truth of God about the extreme importance of each person doing their part; and how each person is to be fulfilling their responsibility in preserving the fellowship of the church. The second passage gives the reasons for maintaining the unity and harmoniously working together.
The benefits of the athletic team working together as one is to experience the satisfaction and fulfillment of teamwork, then there is the added benefit of winning the contest and accomplishing the mutually agreed upon goals.
The blessings and benefits of unity, harmony and teamwork in maintaining fellowship in the life of the body of Christ is the joy and delight of oneness in Christ by the power of His Holy Spirit. In addition there are the blessings of doing our part to help others to respond to the call of Christ, to help each other discover our God—given gifted abilities to serve one another, to help each other grow in the love, grace and experience of trusting in and lovingly obeying the Lord. Then as each individual commits themselves to doing their part, other people are attracted to that congregation, its love for one another and for the Lord.
Let me share one of my favorite stories about the truth of these scriptures and its application for our lives and Ramsey Church.
The carpenter's tools had a conference; Brother Hammer was in the chair. The meeting had informed him that he must leave because he was too noisy; but he said, “If I am to leave, Brother Gimlet must leave too; he is so insignificant that he makes very little impression.”
Little Brother Gimlet arose and said, “All right, but Brother Screw must go also; for you have to turn him round and round again and again to get him anywhere.”
Brother Screw then said. “If you wish I shall go; but Brother Plane must leave also. All his work is on the surface; there's no depth in it.”
To this Brother Plane replied, “Well, Brother Rule will have to withdraw if I do, for he is always measuring other folks as if he were the only one, who is right.”
Brother Rule then complained against Brother Sandpaper in these words, “I don't care, he is rougher than he ought to be and rubs people the wrong way.”
In the midst of the discussion the Carpenter of Nazareth walked in. He had come to perform His day's work so put on His apron and went to the bench to make a pulpit. He employed the screw, the gimlet, the sandpaper, the saw, the hammer, the plane and all the other tools. The days work over and the pulpit finished, Brother Saw arose and said, “Brethren, I perceive that all of us are laborers together with God.”
May all of us, each and every one continue to enjoy and experience the harmony of working together and fulfilling our service for the good of all under the Lordship of Jesus Christ!
Called and gathered together by Christ, in Christ and for Christ!
Striving to Serve,
-Pastor Perry DeGroot