“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…’ But 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. 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.” 1 Corinthians 12:14-21,24-27
Our world hypes crowds, climbing numbers of followers, more is better, but the Lord didn’t make us to hide out behind others. He knows us each by name, and does specific work through individuals. He called Abraham to be the father of the nation of Israel, Moses to lead His people out of Egypt, and Jeremiah to a strange and lonely life of prophesying. He is glorified through the particular obedience of those he calls, and often His hand is more clearly seen when fewer are in the way. (Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 3:1-10; Jeremiah 1:1-5)
When circumstances turn, and health, employment status, or life station changes, we might feel stranded, out of sorts, directionless, unneeded. Yet we were individually fashioned and are personally known by God, who is providentially using His people to accomplish His plans. Where we think a former place of influence has dried up to barrenness, or popular success has dwindled to anonymity, God may be intending to redirect our energies to do a new thing. There are times He calls us to change course, but always to do our part. (Psalm 139:13-16; Isaiah 43:18-19)
Are there areas where we have grown stale, our love for others has grown cold, or we’ve lost a keen edge of conviction? Where our vitality for ministry has languished, and our will to serve fizzled into the easy (slothful) place of letting others do the work? Whether a strong arm or a listening ear, a persuasive tongue or discerning eye, a loving countenance or skilled hand, our contribution to the Body is vital so the world can see Christ in action. He composes His bride to reflect His glory.
How eagerly do I employ my gifts to help Christ’s church thrive? If God leads in a new direction, will I trust Him to teach the new skill? What need I set aside to do my part? (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
Father, may I energetically exercise my part in Your Body every day, for Your purposes and glory.