Monday, December 1, 2014

Part of a Body

For 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. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If 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. And 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. If 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? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as He chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
I Corinthians 12:12-19

Dear Sisters,

Have you ever sat in the sanctuary at church, looked around, and thought about the different functions people have at church?  There is the pastor(s), the musician(s), the choir members, the music leader, and the sound people.  Those are the people that we notice most often in the church because what they are doing is very visible.  But have you thought about the "behind-the-scenes" people?  Someone had to prepare the coffee that you picked up from the fellowship hall that morning.  Someone folded the bulletin that you picked up as you walked in the church doors.  Someone arranged the decorations in the sanctuary.  Someone is taking care of the babies and young ones during the worship service.  The worship service that you participate in wouldn't be possible without ALL of the behind-the-scenes and in-the-scenes people doing what they do.

I recently finished a study on Spiritual Gifts with a lady from church.  We discovered that the gifts given to us by God can be broken into 2 basic categories: speaking and serving.  In the early church the elders soon realized that they couldn't do it all so they needed to have people designated to serve and those designated to teach and preach (Acts 6:1-6).  The study went on to look at more gifts but without more study, I wouldn't do a good job of discussing those specific gifts here.  My goal in this post is to talk generally about spiritual gifts.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good... All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as He wills. 
1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 11

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.  Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.  
Romans 12:4-6

Sisters, it is important to remember we have all been gifted by the Spirit with different gifts.  All of the gifts work together to make the church body what it is.  One gift is NOT more important than another (Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 12:29-30).  The person who sings special music is not more important then the person who helps out in the nursery.  The preacher's spiritual gift is not more important than the hospitality gift of those working in the kitchen during a potluck.  As long as they are using the gift(s) God gave them, they are doing what they are supposed to do. (As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. I Peter 4:10-11) 

If you are not sure what gift(s) God has given to you, there are a few resources I can recommend.  For most of these, you can fill them out online or on the computer and get a result but unless you are a member of the church from which the resources came I would recommend that you not submit your final results.
Definitions of the gifts can be found here: 

...We are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:15-16

Complete a survey or 2, ask a friend or 2 to fill one out based on what they know about you.  Compare the results to see what your likely spiritual gift(s) are.  Your task doesn't end here though.  Once you know the gift(s) with which God has blessed you, thank God for those gift(s) and then you MUST put the gift(s) to use in and for your church body.  Talk with the leaders at your church to see where your gift(s) may best be used.  If you have a gift that doesn't appear to have an outlet in your church, ask about starting a new ministry that will best use your gift.   Remember that your gifts are about bringing glory to God, not yourself. 

This post is not a complete study of the spiritual gifts given to us by God.  Doing a study on gifts with a friend or two would be a great idea because you can hold each other accountable to use your gifts in and for the church.   Brainstorming together for ways to use your gift is a great idea.

Please comment about what you've learned about your gift and how you've been able to put the gift to work to glorify God.  Remember that in order for a body to work properly all of its different parts are needed.  In the same way that a body is more than just a set of ears, we can't all be the piano player at church.  :)

Sister Jane
Psalms 18:30

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