I greet you with the expectation that you’re living by faith and awareness that God is with you right now.
Some will remember the back of comic books featured cartoons with Charles Atlas, who inspired young men to lift weights and become body builders. One of our men in the church is a world champion in his age group for dead lifting several hundred pounds. Anthony Noble has spent hours in the gym working out and has inspired several others to become body builders as well. Anthony is a very humble champion, and we are proud he is part of our church family.
I never really lifted weights like some of my friends, but I am a Body Builder, and you are as well. Jude gave us instruction on how this takes place:
“But you, dear friends, (carefully build yourselves up) in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!” Jude 1:20-21
There are so many wonderful insights into building ourselves up in faith in order to build others up:
“Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and (building lives of obedience into maturity).” 2nd Corinthians 10:6
Paul makes it very clear what his purpose was, and this is also my purpose as your pastor:
“Every bit of my commitment is for the purpose of (building you up), after all, not tearing you down.” 2nd Corinthians 10:8
Check out what Peter had to say about the way that God has chosen to use each of us:
“So don’t lose a minute in (building) on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.” 2nd Peter 1:5
Paul wrote to the Ephesians about the purpose of God’s Apostolic ministries in the church. Together, they are used to edify or build up the body of Christ until we all come into maturity working together and in sync with Christ who is leading us…
“No prolonged infancies among us, please. We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are easy prey for predators. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow grow up healthy in God, robust in love.” Ephesians 4:14-16
Yes, it is the calling of each of us to build one another up in the faith. “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify (build) one another, even as also ye do.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11
As you read these scriptures you see we are all Body Builders in the greatest sense of the word, as in Romans 14:19:
“So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.”
I appreciate those who the Lord uses to build up the Body of Christ. In so doing, they build us up as well. The teachers and staff who work with Howard Davis in our Academy are a good example of what I am writing about. Our church staff and teachers share their lives with us by the time they spend in the Word of God. Those who love and serve the youth of Heritage, in so doing, are building up the Body of Christ and preparing them for the future. Our missionaries, who we support and pray for, are body builders as they give their lives away. This of course includes you and your faithfulness to the family. Through your gifts and sacrifices you are used to build up the family of God.
From one Body Builder to Another, thank you for your service.
Pastor Cleddie Keith