- Romans 12:3-8
- 1 Corinthians 12
- Matthew 6
Do you ever which you were better at something? Do you look around and see what others are doing and wish you were able to do what they do? I have to admit, I have struggled with that a little with this “new” job.
We have been asked to train our new Church Planters. But, we have never actually planted a church ourselves. We have certainly been taught the theory. We have seen a lot of things through the years, visited with a lot of our coworkers who have planted churches, and have heard a lot of stories of which we can share. But, we have never done it ourselves. As we are working to train these new missionaries, there are times I wish I had that experience. There are times I even feel like I am just too inadequate, and wonder why God has given us this job. But, this morning I am reminded that God, in his grace, has given us different gifts so we can do the things he wants us to do well (Rom 12:6).
I was particularly challenged by 1 Cor 12:11 “It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.” God is the one who decides what gift each person has. It’s God who directs, and orchestrates the events in our lives, giving us the experiences we have. Therefore He HAS EQUIPPED ME for this job… because he is the one who has given it to me to do! (1 Cor 12:18 “Our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.”) 1 Cor 12:7 reminds us that “A spiritual gift is given to each of us SO WE CAN HELP EACH OTHER.”
I love the picture the Lord paints in 1 Cor 12:22-25. We so quickly go to comparing ourselves with others. We see certain gifts as better than others. We wish we could be like so and so because they are popular, or they are great communicators, or whatever. But, the Lord puts us all in our place when he says, “Some parts of the body seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.” Furthermore, he says that “The parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. We carefully protect those parts that should not be seen… extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.”
Instead of comparing and wishing for / desiring other gifts, God wants us (me!) to see he has gifted us so that we can compliment the body, and provide in the body what is lacking. I love how Amplified rendered Romans 12:3. Don’t exaggerate your opinion of your own importance, instead, rate your ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him.” God portioned out the gifts and abilities. He didn’t give all the gifts to one person, nor did he give everyone all the gifts. He portioned some to you, and some to me, so that we would need each other! Rom 12:4-5 “Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.”
This is God’s grace! He has given each of us different gifts so that we can only do certain things well. (Rom 12:6) Therefore we are told to use the gift we have to serve the body with that gift. “If God has given you the gift of prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.. serve well, teach well, be encouraging, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. If kindness, do it gladly.”
If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
1 Cor 12:31 you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts
So, instead of focusing on what I don’t have (whether in gifting or experience) I need to focus on how God wants to use me with what he has gifted me.