Sometimes when we begin going to a church it can be easy to simply attend and think we have done our part, to feel like we aren’t adequate enough or perhaps worthy enough to fulfill a purpose for the church. So, we just come to church to be spiritually fed and then we leave. I really believe God meant for the church to be so much more than just a place to be spiritually fed. In the spirit of 1 Corinthians 12, we should all join together, striving to be the wonderful, holy and sanctified body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 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. 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. 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.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 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, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 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. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.”
We all have been given Spiritual gifts but some people might have to search out God for more discernment on which Spiritual gift they have been given. For some people their calling or gift has been made known to them and are actively pursuing or putting into action that gift. Like my husband, he has felt called into the ministry for preaching, so he is pursuing this calling by enrolling in school so that he can grow in his gift and be equipped for such a calling. For me, I believe God has blessed me in the area of welcoming others,fellowship, and children. So, as a new member at my church I am keeping my eyes open to ways that I can serve my church community by seeking involvement in the nursery as well as the welcoming committee. Sometimes our gift is not so evident and when we feel ourselves saying, “There is no place for me”, or “I’don’t have any special gifts or talents” we must recognize this as a lie Satan has told us. If you are in the midst of searching and finding your gift or talent that can be used to glorify God I challenge and encourage you to remember that regardless of our talents and gifts we all serve a purpose, to honor and glorify God in all we do and say. Once the Lord has revealed your gift or talent to you, may you be quick to use them for His glory and for the good of the church. Lets take a quick look at the word of the Lord in regard with how we use them:
Romans 12:6-8, “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” Ephesians 4:11-16, “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, 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.” 1 Peter 4:9-11, “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 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.”
Whether our gift is with the children, preaching, or giving, might we use it in the Spirit of Colossians 3:17 which says, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” So, it is my hope that you would read this and be encouraged to be more than just a pew seat warmer and take your place as a part of the body of Christ. Trust me, if you have a heart to serve, there will always be a need to be met, a soul to love on and a ministry in which to contribute.