According to the Grace

“By the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.  For as in one body… the [many] members do not all have the same function,  so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.  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.” Romans 12:3-8

“Neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives growth… Each will receive his wages according to his labor.  For we are God’s fellow workers.

“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds… with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—  each one’s work… will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done…

“If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?.. It is required of stewards that they be found faithful.”

“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…  All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.” 1 Corinthians 3:7,8b-10,12-13; 4:7b,2; 12:4-7,11

God the Governor of His kingdom and Author and finisher of faith, doles out gifts according to His grace for the building and upbuilding of His church. He knows all that is needed, assigns our places in time and location, and calls us to faithful stewardship of the gifts He appoints. (Esther 4:14b; Acts 17:26; 1 Corinthians 12:12-20,27)

It’s exhausting to overwork in areas we’re not gifted or called to handle. Certainly life presents us with not-preferred but necessary responsibilities that require our attention. But many times, we take on work or service out of misdirected drive, impetuousness, or wrong motives where we have no business being involved. We steal the privilege and place of others who are so called. Also, it’s prideful not to admit our inabilities and be willing to relinquish control for the good of the whole.

How well do we know and understand our gifting? Have we gratefully accepted where the Lord has by grace both given and withheld skill and desire? Are there areas we’ve compared ourselves unto jealousy or resentment, and need to repent? How eagerly, zealously do we utilize the time and talent entrusted to us for God’s purposes and pleasure? (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 12)

Lord, guard me against boasting, misusing, and ignoring the gifts You’ve by grace granted. May I be a trustworthy, appropriate steward for the good of the Body and glory of Your name.

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