shall they eat the fruit of their own way
In the world, there is a thought that “my life is my own, I can do what I want, it doesn’t affect anyone.” Actually, that is not true. It’s not that hard for anyone to see that. Here are a few points: stolen election through complicity of individuals involved in vote manipulation, Hunter’s laptop, an overdosed-on-drugs person that local fire department has spend time and resources to come rescue, a drunk driver on the road that may endanger others, rioters that break a store window or steal goods and affect the business.
Or, here is a more recent incident.
Individual actions do affect others. Stolen goods don’t steal themselves. Windows don’t crack on their own. Laptops don’t download porn on their own. Cars don’t drive drunk. Voting machines that have been properly certified should work properly, but not if there is manipulation or hacking by individuals (which is why all elections should use only security paper, paper ballots …. I mean, hand counting couldn’t possibly take longer than the current records, right? … the upside is that we won’t have to wait until they manipulate and massage the numbers until they get the results they want … funny thing … in everything else technology works at top notch speed except when it comes to counting votes). AIs are programmed by someone. Individuals who touch the levers of power illegally affect other individuals and society. There is not some elusive force like magnetism or gravity causing a voting machine to miscount. It takes an individual doing some hacking or an individual that programs an AI to do some hacking.
But this post is not as concerned about the world as the effect on the body of Christ. It is actually about how various members of the body of Christ can affect other members.
I Corinthians 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
If you walk into a church service, over time you will notice that the Holy Spirit can take a turn of direction for the service. Sometimes the minister or pastor will even say that. “I had a sermon prepared, but I am going to preach something else.” Why does that happen? Because in that auditorium is the living, breathing body of Christ and there is some member(s) of the body that needs to hear something specific. Everyone can draw something out of any message, but sometimes there are specific messages for specific members.
If someone would say that it doesn’t matter what another member of the body of Christ does, think of the analogy that Paul uses … the body of Christ. Think of the physical body. If there is something going on with a physical body … a cold, a sprain, a stubbed toe, anything … that problem big or small affects the working of the body. As a matter of fact, the whole body gets involved in restoring the troubled part.
For example, consider heat exhaustion. When the body is dehydrated, the brain tells the muscles of the body to get to a sink or source of water, and for muscles to work together to bring the water to mouth and drink to restore hydration. So many parts of the body must work properly for that simple act of drinking water. What if the muscles don’t want to work and do what they are told to do by the brain? What if the body refuses to go to the source of water? In severe cases, it can result in death.
II Kings 4:17 And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.
18 And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers.
19 And he said unto his father, My head, my head. And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother.
20 And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.
In a human body, if nutrition or oxygen is needed, and the blood cells decide to go on strike and not carry nutrition or oxygen to the point of need, again, the body dies, including the blood cells that went on strike. It is important that the body of Christ function properly, or there is loss overall.
When prayers are prayed, how are they answered? There are times when God sovereignly moves, such as sending rain for farmers. But oftentimes on earth there is some connection through which the answer comes.
“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
I Corinthians 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
If the attitude is, “I don’t care,” then the law of sowing and reaping may kick in. If when a part of the body is called upon to help, and does not, then when that part has a need it might be “at the back of the line” so to speak. It’s not God that does that. It is the law of sowing and reaping.
This scripture works both ways. If you give nothing to the body, if you give zero, if you are totally immersed in yourself, then when you call none will answer.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Proverbs 1:19 So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.
20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,
22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:
30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
Proverbs 11:24 There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.
25 The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
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