Monday, June 6, 2011

Unity

Ephesidans 4:11, 16 (AMP) "And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us,] some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers."
"For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts closely) joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly (in all its functions) grows to full maturity, building itself up in love."

We are the body of Christ.  Do you ever think about that?  To each one of us God has given us a gift, a calling, a place in the church.  Everyone has their place.  I think too often we put ourselves in competition with each other - wishing we were as friendly and outgoing as this girl is, or as willing and able to serve as he is, or to teach Sunday School as well as they do.

But think about it.  If everyone was good at the same thing, there would be so many areas lacking in the body of Christ!  If everyone did acts of service, who would be there to encourage?  If everyone encouraged, who would teach?  We need to find out who God has made us to be - the strengths that He has given to us - and cultivate it. 

We each build each other up.  You know what would happen if your stomach wanted to become a lung, or your foot an ear.  Disaster!  You could no longer function correctly.  The church is stagnant, crippled, unless we each stand up and do what God  has called us to do.  We are closely knit together as Christ's body, with Him as the head.  God doesn't give us the power to do someone else's job - He gives us the power and strength and grace for OUR position.  The key is to find out what that is and focus on serving God with it in love.

C.S. Lewis used this as an illustration.  One day a boy wanted to buy his dad a gift, but had no money for he was too young to work.  So he asked his father, "Dad, could I have some money so I can buy you a present?"  And the father chuckled and gave his son the money.  Could the son take credit for the money or the present?  No, because it came from his father.  It's the same with the gifts God gives us.  Everything good we can do - every good desire, strength, and ability - it comes from God, and we give it back to Him by using it according to His will.  And when our gifts and our callings mature as we use them for His glory out of love, we build ourselves up.  We have joy and peace, knowing that we're doing what we are meant to do.

So don't look at others and covet the gifts that they have.  You might think that if only you could play the guitar like so-and-so, you could be happy.  But if we're not happy doing what we're supposed to do, we won't be happy if we had the best guitar skills in the world.  Our focus needs to be on using the gifts we have  to spread the love of God.  To God be the glory, for all He has done for us! Amen.

3 comments:

Camden said...

Great thoughts. I think the C.S. Lewis description nails it right on the head. Any gift we have is from God, and anything we do for God is only because of what He's first done for us!

Great writing!

Camden

John 17:22-23

22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

Araken said...

I had not heard that illustration before--it is very effective. Where is it in his writings?

Violinist4Christ said...

Araken - Pretty sure it was from "Mere Christianity." I'm not sure what chapter, but I know he addresses that concept int he chapter, "Nice People or New Men."