|Image: geralt / Pixabay.com|
TO CHEW ON: "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers … for the edifying of the body of Christ. … every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love." Ephesians 4:11,12,16
Edify is a word we don't use much in ordinary conversation. Its appearance a couple of times in our reading had me reaching for the dictionary. [My Funk and Wagnalls defines edify: "To enlighten and benefit especially morally or spiritually."]
It's no surprise to see that God puts church leaders in place to edify the body of members (Ephesians 4:11,12). We expect to be spiritually and morally enlightened by our prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.
But "edify(ing)" occurs again in our passage. In this second appearance (Ephesians 4:16) it's not the leaders who edify but the body parts themselves: "…every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love." Simply put, the body edifies itself.
Like our human body parts can edify us, or not (eyes dwell on good, uplifting images versus lingering on things that will tempt us to sin; mouths speak truth, mercy, and love, versus lies, judgment and indifference, etc.) so as parts of the body of Christ we common pew-warmers can edify the rest of the body (along with our leaders) or not.
- We can extend a hand instead of criticize.
- We can testify of how God is working in our lives instead of just making small talk.
- We can pray instead of gossip.
- I could go on, but I'm sure you get the picture...
I ask myself, am I a body edifier in this way? Are you?
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, as a part of Your body and under Your headship, please help me to be a useful, constructive, building-up part of Your body today. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.