Just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
The first year that I served as youth pastor, there was a girl in our youth group who was very outgoing and popular. She was a cheerleader and the president of her student council. One afternoon after school she dropped by to see me, and I was very surprised by what she said. She said she had lost all the excitement in her Christian life. She felt as if she had no purpose for living. In fact, she said, at times she had even contemplated taking her own life. So for the next 45 minutes I shared with her a truth from Scripture. And when she left there, she had a new excitement about her Christian faith. I saw her with a new vitality in her experience with God. The truth that I shared with her is the truth I am going to share with you this week. I believe that outside of the truth of salvation, the most important truth that any Christian can understand is that God has given each one of us a unique spiritual gift. Real joy and fulfillment in life come when we know what our spiritual gift is and start using it to serve God.
Romans 12 instructs us on the all-important topic of spiritual gifts. My professor and friend Howard Hendricks used to say that the greatest problem in the church is the unemployment problem–that is, Christians sitting in the pews who are not using their gifts and serving Christ. For the next three weeks, we will look at this important subject of spiritual gifts.
Romans 12 begins the final section of the book of Romans: the practice of righteousness. How should being in a right relationship with God affect our everyday life? Paul said, “Through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith” (12:3). When we think about ourselves, we tend to go to one of two extremes. We either think too highly of ourselves, or we go to the opposite extreme and think too lowly of ourselves. The Bible says we ought to think of ourselves so as to have sound judgment: neither too highly nor too lowly of ourselves.
Then Paul explained what he meant: “Just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (12:4-5). Paul was saying that just as the human body has a variety of parts that are dependent on one another, so we who are in the church of Jesus Christ, though we have different purposes and functions, are all important to the proper functioning of the body of Christ. You and your spiritual gift are important to the body of Christ.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Discovering Your Spiritual Gift” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.