Note: so, yesterday my schedule got thrown off. When I went to bed, I realized I hadn’t written this. Today being Sunday, I’m just now catching up.
Psalm 135-136 1 Corinthians 12
“There are different kinds of gifts, but they are all from the same Spirit. There are different ways to serve but the same Lord to serve. And there are different ways that God works through people but the same God. God works in all of us in everything we do.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NCV)
How does anything happen in God’s Kingdom? He empowers His people to act in this world and proclaim the gospel through words and deeds. Paul talked about God’s method of empowering the Church as he taught about the gifts of the Spirit. In order for the Church to function appropriately, people must use their God given gifts as He intended them to. God gives people different gifts in the church because there are so many different things that need to be done. The work of the church needs to be done with spiritual power that comes as each person uses the gifts of the spirit. No one person can do everything, nor should they. At the same time, each gift is vital to the work of the church: we shouldn’t seek to hold the same gifts that others have because it seems like a cool gift: God is the one who decides which gifts people should have.
There are two mistakes we make about the gifts of the Spirit in these days. The first, and most egregious is when we think of the gifts as being given by God for personal edification, rather than building up of the whole church. Paul’s analogy about the church as a body is a beautiful description of how we should function. If we compare the gifts of the Spirit to the body, no part of the body works unless it’s connected to the body as a whole. My foot doesn’t go out and take a walk – my body does, but I do it on my feet. My hands don’t type on the keyboard by themselves – my whole being does, but my fingers do the typing. Our mouths, much as we hate to admit it sometimes, don’t speak on their own – what comes out of the mouth comes from the whole body, guided by the brain. Which leads to the second mistake: we think some gifts are admirable, while others are so minor as to be laughable. If we continue the body theme, someone with five eyes would be out of place. The brain’s important, ok, but you don’t want to be double-minded. And if you think any part of the body is unimportant, let me ask if you’ve ever been bothered by a hangnail, or an ingrown toenail. Every part of the human body is important and every person in the church is important – placed there by God for a reason. If something’s wrong in the church, someone isn’t using their gift like God intended. If you want to enjoy life as a follower of Christ, learn how God has gifted you and use that gift joyfully for His glory, whatever that gift may be.
Lord, I thank You for giving me gifts to use in Your service. I gotta admit that sometimes, I’d prefer a different gift. Forgive me for that and help me to use my gifts to build up Your church.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.