We Need You
If you disappeared one day from your local church, who would notice? If you were absent for an extended period of time, what would your church miss?
God has given every believer at least one gift to use for the good of His body. And while none of us should be irreplaceable in the sense that the church couldn’t go on without us, we should be missed if we were absent, because God has gifted us in a specific way at a precise point in time to be uniquely useful in a particular group of people.
But how often do we sit on the sidelines, waiting for others to minister to us when the thrust of Scripture is that God ministers through us? Yes, every single one of us must be ready to receive ministry from others as they use the gifts God has given them for our good. But our default setting should be to give, not only or primarily to receive. The church really doesn’t have much space for spectators. Even the youngest among us, be it in faith or in age, has something to contribute.
When we exercise our gifts, we manifest the Spirit’s work and power for the common good. Most immediately, that includes the edification of our brothers and sisters in our local assembly, but it also includes witnessing to our friends and neighbors beyond the church walls. While they might be confused and bemused by the very idea of “spiritual gifts,” they will understand a compassionate heart. They will respond to hospitality. They will be open to a word of concern or encouragement.
You have something to contribute, uniquely. Yet our ability to participate in God’s work should never puff us up, for it is a gift given by the Spirit of God, and it is the Gift-Giver who deserves the praise as we use it to serve His people and His world.
So, assured that to each is given a gift, by God’s Spirit, for the common good, be encouraged to pour yourself out rather than holding yourself back. Your church needs what you, through God’s Spirit, have to offer. As an old children’s song puts it, “There’s a work for Jesus none but you can do.” What is He asking of you?
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
One Body with Many Members
12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves4 or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15If 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. 16And 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. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts,5 yet one body.
21The 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.” 22On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
And I will show you a still more excellent way.
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