Many Parts, One Body

We have many redundant parts in our body, so that if one part fails, the remaining part will still cause us to function normally, or near normally. We can go through life with one arm or leg, or eye, or ear, or lung, but it certainly gives us comfort to know that if we lose one of these, there is another that will pick up the slack.  It’s no wonder that Paul would use the physical body to describe the church, and the use of different gifts. Here is the Scripture: “For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the standard of one’s faith; if service, in service; if teaching, in teaching; if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness.”  Romans 12: 3-8  There are some very interesting and important things for us to learn in this paragraph. Have you ever envied another because of the gift they had, and the way they used it?  “If only I had such a gift!”  If you have ever thought that, take another look at yourself in the mirror. God has given you a special gift, that He knew would fit you better than other gifts. So the one who you have envied, may very well be envying you for the gift you have, if it is shown, and you are using it to the glory of God. The grace God has measured out to us does not have a hierarchy of gifts that are more important than another, but each has special use, not only in the body of believers, but also in your life as a person in the journey you take. Notice how he says, “And individually members of one another.”  We together are one in Christ, one body, yet this body functions just like our physical bodies. There may even be some redundancy, for God wants the body to be complete, and by the way He gives us redundancy in our physical bodies, He also gives some redundancy in our fellowship of believers. The point to all of this is that God knows how we handle gifts, and it is His grace that allows us to handle the gift He has given us. To Him, they are all important and are necessary for the body to be whole. If you spend your time NOT using your gift, because you think you don’t have that much to offer, you are short-changing the body of believers, for you have been sent to such a place and such a time as this to use your gift. Now, if you don’t use it, God will rise up a redundancy to use the gift that you possess, but fail to use. Because His goal is for the completeness of the fellowship of believers.  Small or large congregations, doesn’t matter, for gifts are given for any and all circumstances in life.  He lists a few of these gifts for us to get the understanding that what we don’t think is our gift, may very well be the gift He has given and desires for us to use.   Teachers may not think they are as good a teacher as so and so, yet do you teach? If so, then you are there for a reason. If you teach, but do not want to use that for the church, you are the one missing the blessing, and those around you are missing the fruits of the gifts you possess.  Will the body function? Of course it will, but not quite as good as if you made yourself useful with your gift.  So brother, so Sister, use the gift God has given you. Know that it is the perfect fit where He has placed you, and for the need for your gift, even if you disagree. Remember you are serving Him, and in doing so, you share that which is entrusted to you on this journey, that of sharing the benefits of the gift or gifts He has placed within you. Pastor Andy

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