Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Colossians 1:24-27
Think about how much God loves you, the Church! Christ suffered and died, to give you eternal life. This same love should be trickled down through the Church, starting with those who are shepherding or leading the Church. Notice what Paul says “Rejoice in my sufferings for You” Who is You? It’s the Church, the body of Christ, the Ekklessia. Paul suffered not only for Christ but also for the Church, why? Because Jesus Christ said the whole law is summed up in 2 commandments, Love God and Love your Neighbor (Matthew 22:40)
We love the Church because Christ loves us, it’s not because we like certain people or because it’s our job, we love the Church because its the body of Christ. As Paul says “The afflictions of Christ in my flesh, for His (Christ) body’s sake, which is the Church” As the Bible reveals clearly over and over again, the Church is the body of Christ. You are not your own, you were bought with a price, you were bought by the blood of Christ and belong to Christ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Paul was made a minister or servant for Christ for you (The Church). We don’t get called to become Pastors, Preachers, Bishops, ect to exhort ourselves, we get called to serve The Church. Remember as a Born Again Christian, you belong to God, you are part of the body of Christ, you were called to fulfill your role in the Kingdom of God.
Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily. Colossians 1:28-29
What is the foundational role of our calling? We preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, as Paul says “We preach, warning and teaching everyone in all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ Jesus” We warn and teach everyone that salvation is found only in Christ alone. I know most of us Christians take that knowledge for granted, however when you talk to many non-believers, they don’t know the gospel. They don’t know Jesus is the only way to salvation, as Paul also says “How will they hear, unless a preacher tells them” (Romans 10:14)
Has God put a calling on your life? Answer the call, not just for the love of Jesus Christ, but also for the love of the body of Christ, the Church, Amen!