God's Word for Today Romans 12b and Rachel

April 22, 2012

 
 

Every believer receives the exact gift and resources best suited to fulfill his role in the body of Christ.  A fictitious article published some years ago in the Springfield, Oregon, public school newsletter illustrates this principle very well.

Once upon a time, the animals decided they should do something meaningful to meet the problems of the new world. So they organized a school.

They adopted an activity curriculum of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects.

The duck was excellent in swimming; in fact, better than his instructor. But he made only passing grades in flying, and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to drop swimming and stay after school to practice running. This caused his web feet to be badly worn, so that he [became] only average in swimming. But average was quite acceptable, so nobody worried about that—except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of his class in running, but developed a nervous twitch in his leg muscles because of so much make-up work in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing, but he encountered constant frustration in flying class because his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of from the treetop down. He developed "charley horses" from overexertion, and so only got a C in climbing and a D in running.

The eagle was a problem child and was severely disciplined for being a non-conformist. In climbing classes he beat all the others to the top of the tree, but insisted on using his own way to get there. . . .

       Like the animals, every person has his own special but limited set of capabilities. Trying to live beyond those capabilities is ineffective, and produces frustration, discouragement, guilt feelings, and sometimes defeat and failure. We fulfill our calling when we function according to God's design for us.

Each believer has a different gift, and God has bestowed these gifts so the local body can grow in a balanced way. But each Christian needs to participate for the church to be healthy, and each individual needs to use their gift.  We might not see the result of our ministry, but the Lord sees it and He blesses. Encouraging others is just as much a spiritual ministry as preaching or teaching. Giving and showing mercy are also important gifts. To some people, God has given the ability to rule, or to administer the various functions of the church. Whatever gift we have must be dedicated to God and used for the good of the whole church.

It is tragic when any one gift is emphasized in a local church beyond all the other gifts. We are not the same, as Christians, we have different gifts and abilities, also different callings and offices.  Not everyone is a pastor, a teacher, a leader, nor is everyone one who shows hospitality or mercy.  But each gift is given for the common good of the Body, this true both for the local church and the Body of Christ that includes all Christians.

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