In my quiet time the other morning, I went to open the Bible and it fell open to 1 Corinthians 12. I have read this passage numerous times, but saw it with fresh eyes with regards to the online Bible study.
The first part of this chapter talks about the spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to each believe and that their purpose is to build up and strengthen the body of Christ. There is not any gift that is greater than another. They are all necessary and important.
God has created each and every one of us with a unique S.H.A.P.E.
- S – spiritual gifts
- H – heart (passions for certain things)
- A – abilities
- P – personalities
- E – experiences (God will not waste any experiences)
Every part of the body of Christ has a specific purpose that is necessary to the function of the entire unit.
Just looking within your own church or small group, which is a microcosm for the entire body of Christ, it is easy to see that we all have different strengths, gifts and abilities to be used within the ministry.
We must be careful not to fall into the comparison trap. Instead of comparing gifts and abilities we need to come together.
The enemy wants nothing more than for us to focus on our differences and become divided. However, we have to keep in mind that as the body of Christ, we can accomplish more together than we would dream possible on our own.
Not only does God make us unique (v. 15, 16) but also He arranges us (v. 18). God has a unique place for each of us. Gifts and talents may overlap but we each have a God-appointed role and all of us working together will bring glory to God.
Towards the end of the chapter (v. 25), it tells us that God doesn’t want division within the body. We need to treat every gift, every part of the body, as valuable and important because God sees them all as necessary and valued.
One other thing to remember is as a body, we need to rejoice and mourn together. Christianity and ministry are not to be a solo activity. You and I are not isolated in a bubble. Therefore, we need to rejoice when another member of the body has a victory instead of being jealous and wondering, “why not me?” In the same vein, if some member is weak or struggling, we need to come along side and lift her up instead of being apathetic. We are to be dependent upon one another.
Paul urges us to discover how we can each use the gifts we have been given to serve. The gifts we have each been given are not for ourselves but to be brought together to serve God and grow the body of believers.
As Christians, we have the privilege and responsibility to reflect this to the rest of the world.
In order for the kingdom to continue to grow, we must come together with our various gifts, talents and abilities setting aside the comparisons and difference to work towards the common goal – drawing people closer to God.
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