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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Foot-and-mouth disease.

It has been said, on more than one occasion and not entirely without warrant, that I suffer from foot-and-mouth disease! In other  words, every time I open my mouth, I put my foot in it!

The real disease is, of course a very serious one, and is highly contagious among cloven-hoofed animals. Blisters form around the mouth,and the feet become so painful that the affected animals lie down for most of the time. They become listless; will not eat or drink; and rapidly lose weight. Often.they go lame, and die.

Strict preventative measures have made the disease close to non-existent in the major developed countries of the world. However, there is evidence that a kind of "spiritual foot-and-mouth disease" exists within the church! It's not even the kind of condition of which I have been accused! It is, I would suggest, something even worse!

Writing to the early believers in Corinth, Paul compared the Body of Jesus (the church) to the human body. He pointed out: «For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single organ, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”» (I Cor.12:14-21).

Foot-and-mouth disease in the Body of the Christ breaks out when its members begin to compare themselves with one another. A "foot" may become morbidly depressed because of its calloused appearance, and its inability to express itself as can the "mouth"! On the other hand, the "mouth" may feel terribly inadequate because it is incapable of moving about, and bearing the weight of the whole body. The end result can be that these members lose their spiritual appetite, and become ineffective in their service. "Foot-and-mouth disease" has taken its toll because individual members want to be what the Lord never intended them to be!

God's children - those who are truly born-again of God the Holy Spirit, and adopted into His family - have been sovereignly designed, and placed in the Body of the Christ for a specific purpose. Each is vital to the well-being of the whole. When we fulfil His appointed role for us, there will be true harmony, and the Lord Jesus will receive the glory. There will be no more "foot-and-mouth disease" in the church!

So, if you are a disciple of Jesus, have you found His place for you in the body? It's the place in which you will know His blessing - whatever the function!

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