We don’t need to be looking for Him on inanimate objects. His Word tells us where we can find Him.
Dr. Blackaby puts it this way:
God fashioned Christ’s first body by the Holy Spirit and placed Him in Mary. Christ became flesh and dwelled among us. Jesus provided for our salvation through His death and resurrection. When Jesus returned to heaven, God fashioned a new body of Christ through the Holy Spirit. This body is the believers God has added to the church. Jesus now functions as the Head of His body, the local church, to guide it in carrying out the will of the Father.
The church, you and me, are to live in such a way that the world sees Jesus, our Head Master. Richard Blackaby says the sign of a healthy church body is in how long it takes for the body to know when one part hurts. Jesus’ image is best presented when the body loves each other while on mission to share the Gospel.
- Be patient and accepting of those whose faith is weak or those who are immature.
- Don’t be quick to judge others in matters that are disputable.
- Don’t be selfish. Seek the good of others even at your own expense.
- Be absolutely truthful in all you say.
- Don’t be critical and tear people down with your speech. Don’t focus your conversation on unwholesome subjects.
- Be an encourager. Build people up. Keep their needs in mind as you speak.
- Forgive one another as Christ forgave you. Don’t let a root of bitterness remain between you and another.
- Get rid of anger, inside fighting, and slander. Don’t intentionally try to hurt another person. (Physically, emotionally, or spiritually.)
- Encourage one another in your joint worship of God. Make music together.
- Die to self daily and submit to one another. Do this in reverence for Christ, who submitted Himself to death on the cross for you.
- Be patient with one another, even when you have been mistreated or offended. Forgive even the worst offenses as God does.
- Love one another.
The above list I took from Experiencing God. I taped a copy in the front cover of my Bible. I should tattoo it on my forearms.
Why? Because I often follow this list instead:
- Give up on the idiots who annoy you.
- Jump to conclusions because you’re right and they are wrong.
- Protect yourself and trust no one.
- Use little white lies when necessary. (Prayer requests work well.)
- If you think it, say it. Gossip is good for cleansing the soul.
- Make yourself look better than everyone else.
- Hold grudges so you won’t forget. They don’t deserve forgiveness.
- If you feel it, let it go. If God doesn’t stop you, then they needed it.
- Complain about the worship services. You have better taste. Go ahead and complain about everything just because you can.
- Take control and fight to the bitter end. If they don’t give up, get rid of them. Submission is weakness.
- Stop at nothing and for no one. It’s your way or the highway. Never forgive or forget anyone who gets in your way.
- Tolerate everyone but keep them all at a safe distance.
It’s often hard to see Jesus in the church for all the wolves. Maybe it’s time to shed a layer of self.
Father, forgive me…