1Peter 4:10-11 "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: 11 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."
There are so many areas where I am weak and not gifted at all. There are so many times when I need encouragement and reminders of what the gospel is and who I am in Christ. Here are a couple of ways in which the Body of Christ ministered to me in beautiful and truly helpful ways this week:
- Solid, faithful, humble preaching, from the WORD
- Moving, beautiful voice inspiring me to WORSHIP
- Thoughtful phone call from a friend telling me that she is PRAYING for me
- Providential encounter with a newer friend who wants to HELP and ENCOURAGE me in an area of sin and struggle
- COMPASSION and EMPATHY from godly ladies who have walked the lonely journey of infertility too
1 Cor 13:4-11 "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills."
Some of these gifts are louder, flashier, and more public than others. Some of these gifts are quieter, behind the scenes, and more subtle than others. All of them are important for building up the Body.
1 Cor 12:12-31 "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. 13 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.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 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. 16 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. 17 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? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
21 The 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.' 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and 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, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And 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. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way."
Yet, our gifts are meaningless without gospel love.
1 Cor 13:1-3 "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing."
Everyone of us in the Body is gifted and equipped and called to do our part. We are to excercise our gifts with the right heart. In love, humility, gentleness, and with patience, we are to exercise the gifts that God has given us to benefit the Body so that we as the Body of Christ would attain the UNITY of the faith and of the knowledge of Jesus, be MATURE, grow up INTO CHRIST in everyway; and be built up in LOVE.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for not giving up on us! Thank you for administering your grace and love through the Body of Christ. Remind us what a privilege and responsibility it is for us to do our part. Remind us that any giftings we have come from you, the power to use them come from you, the opportunities to use them come from you, and the ability to make these giftings fruitful comes from you! Remind us that our giftings, no matter how flashy, public or grand make us no better than anyone else in your Body. The Cross is an even playing field--we are all sinners who missed the mark and while we were sinners without hope in ourselves, you died for us. Make us humble--that we would remember that we all have something to learn from each other. Show us the giftings you have given us and give us a vision for how you would have us use these giftings to edify your Body. Thank you for allowing us to participate in what you are doing. Thank you for bringing us help in the form of our brothers and sisters. We love you. In Jesus Name, Amen