Monday, November 24, 2008

Bragging Rights?

I know, I've been talking a lot about that buck I shot. You would have thought that I got that deer all by myself. I sounded like I was the world's greatest hunter, and that I did everything that needed to be done to bag my deer.

And Oh By The Way if it had not been for several others in our hunting group I would not have gotten that dear. I know it doesn't sound like the kind of bragging I usually hear about the big buck someone shot. But the truth is, at least for me, it was a team effort. I hunted on a lease that did not belong to me. I was invited to be there or else I would have been trespassing. The food I ate during the week was mostly prepared by someone else. The old trailer I slept in belonged to the holder of the lease. The deer stand I hunted from was build by another member of our hunting party. The buck I shot was eating corn from a corn feeder that had been placed and filled by someone else in the party. After I shot the deer someone had to help me pull it out of the woods and take it to the slaughter house. And someone else will bring it to me from Warren where it was processed (some of the group are going back to hunt around Thanksgiving.)

The fact is everything we accomplish in life we really need to give credit to others. Someone truly said, "No man is an island unto himself." The Christian life is a team effort. That is why Christ established the church. It would be impossible to live for Christ if we reject the church and try to live it by ourselves. Paul in 1 Corinthians is talking about the importance of team-work in the church. He compares it to a human body.

Cor 12:25-26 The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don't, the parts we see and the parts we don't. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.27-31 You are Christ's body—that's who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your "part" mean anything...(The Message)

God has called to make disciples, to hunt for souls. No, we are not to hunt them like we do deer, and yet winning people to Christ and making disciples is a team effort. In the first letter to the Corinthians Paul is dealing groups and individuals who thought they were more spiritual and more important to the cause of Christ than others in the church.

Paul says in 1 Cor 3 5 Is Apollos important? No! Is Paul important? No! We are only servants of God who helped you believe. Each one of us did the work God gave us to do.6 I planted the seed, and Apollos watered it. But God is the One who made it grow.7 So the one who plants is not important, and the one who waters is not important. Only God, who makes things grow, is important.8 The one who plants and the one who waters have the same purpose, and each will be rewarded for his own work.9 We are God's workers, working together; you are like God's farm, God's house. (New Century Version)

Let's be a loving, giving, accepting part of the body of Christ. Bragging rights? No! In the work of the Lord, in the mission of making disciples there is no room for personal glory. We have no bragging rights. We must simply brag on Jesus. He must receive all the credit and glory.

Happy Team Hunting!

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