Good Gifts for the Good of All

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 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. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills… 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… God has so composed the body,.. that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another… Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.  And God has appointed [you, with your gifts] in the church.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-11,18-20,24-25,27-28

Apportions. Arranges. Composes. Appoints. Sovereign God knows what He is doing in fashioning His people with gifts that serve the church, and we are accountable for knowing how He has gifted us, and using those gifts for the good of all. For us to determine what is more honorable, more necessary, or more dispensable, is to be proud and to dishonor the One Who has made all for His good purposes. For us to build up and pay attention to those with certain abilities we esteem, and ignore or put down those whom we deem ‘lesser,’ is to insult the Giver of every good and perfect gift. For us to covet another’s strengths and abilities, or lag in energetic exercise of service, is not to give ourselves fully to God’s work, to participate in the Body as He intends, to the detriment of ourselves and others. Every gift is given and empowered by God Himself; we would do well to accept His assignments with zeal. (1 Corinthians 15:58; James 1:17)

S Africa, children washing plates 1

Am I jealous of those who have gifts I admire and want for myself, and in doing so, diminish the importance of, or reject outright, the ways God has designed for me to contribute? Would I prefer a more public gift when God has assigned a background one, or vice-versa? Do I languish in my gifting, waiting for some convenient time or appealing situation to help, or exciting chance to show it off?

What opportunities has the Lord put before me to build up His body, whether appropriating my own gifts, or stepping aside from ‘doing it all myself’ to encourage others to develop theirs? Whom can I come alongside to help be bold and participate, to serve with together?

Wise and generous God, may I gratefully accept and earnestly exercise the gifts You have bestowed, for the good of Your body and the glory of Your name.

 

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