Scripture Reading: Romans 12:6-8 (Philips New Testament)
6 Through the grace of God we have different gifts. If our gift is preaching, let us preach to the limit of our vision.
7 If it is serving others let us concentrate on our service; if it is teaching let us give all we have to our teaching;
8 and if our gift be the stimulating of the faith of others let us set ourselves to it. Let the man who is called to give, give freely; let the man in authority work with enthusiasm; and let the man who feels sympathy for his fellows in distress help them cheerfully.
Thought for the day:
As we finish off another week of studies, I want to end with a very practical outworking of this introduction to the concept of ‘The Body’.
The summary of the first few days is that we are placed together by God into a virtual body that has many diverse members but is united in purpose. Each member has differing skills and gifts and all of these gifts are meant for two specific reasons: 1. We are to serve each other so that the body grows and functions as one body.
2. The body is meant to glorify God and to represent Christ in all that it does.
Prophetic gifts are given so that the body is encouraged, equipped and enthused to move wherever God’s Spirit leads.
Practical ministries are given to members so that body is kept united without an attitude of self-serving that is so prevalent in the world today. There is no place for selfishness in the natural body. How much more so should the spiritual body be always serving others?Recently, Allen has been bringing incredible ministry from the book of Nehemiah and has been highlighting the importance of understanding what God’s Word is saying to us. In chapter 8 of Nehemiah we read of people instructing and ‘giving meaning’ to God’s law. There is no better description of a teacher: one who provides meaning to God’s Word. A prophet speaks under divine direction through God’s Spirit, a teacher takes God’s Holy Word and under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, brings revelation and meaning that would otherwise be missing. Neither gifts are adding to the Scripture but both are vital if the Body of Christ is to be effective. The last few verses under consideration today, again, talk about HOW we are to use our gifts. I love the Philips translation here as it really needs little explanation but this is my summary: If you give, don’t be stingy. If you have any area of responsibility, don’t be lazy – be enthusiastic in all you do. If you’ve been through tough times, help other people with a glad heart.
Prayer and Application:
Being part of the Body of Christ is a privilege. God has made this happen and as we pray today, let us set a standard of service that is keeping with the gratitude we have for all He’s done for us.