Sorry this post is late, but I didn't know what I was going to post on until I was at lunch with my wife on Wednesday. This post is a result of the lesson I came up with for the Youth at our church.
As a Christian, I believe we need to fly like God intended for us to. What does that mean? My kids got a book from their uncle for Christmas that has 10 different paper airplane designs. Each airplane design is different and gives that particular plane a special ability. Do you remember making paper airplanes as a kid? Each time you'd make one, you would make a slight change and then test the new design. Some planes would fly straight and far. Others would do loops or turns. Still others would glide gently over long distances.
Although these different paper airplane designs are different and accomplish different things, what do they have in common? All of these planes have one purpose - to fly. They also all have wings, a rudder of some sort and they share some aerodynamic qualities. I believe this is an analogy to our Christian life. Let's look at 1 Corinthians 12.
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.God has given each of us, as Christians, a different spiritual gift. Just like the paper airplanes, we are all different. Here's my first question. Since all these gifts are different, should we all be living for the same purpose? Let's see what else Paul said to the Corinthians:
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
It appears we have our answer, as Christians we may "fly" differently, but our purpose is the same - to serve God. More specifically, Paul points out that "we all share the same Spirit". With that in mind, how should we view the spiritual gifts that God has given us? Let's find out:
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
Just like each part of the human body is important, each spiritual gift is important. We should never minimize the gift that God has given us. He gave us that specific gift for a reason. As in the example Paul gave above, if all Christians had the gift of serving, where would the teachers come from. If all Christians had the gift of preaching, where would the singers come from. In my opinion, when we minimize the gift God has given us - effectively saying our gift is not as important as another - we are telling God that His plan is flawed. Would you want to do that?
Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?
I know that I have minimized the gifts God has blessed me with at some time in the past. That is a personal matter and I believe it may have more to do with placing confidence in ourselves instead of depending on God. But, looking at the gifts God has blessed others with, is my view of their gifts and talents ever flawed. Paul covers this as well:
I think the last two sentences sum it up pretty well, don't you. One part of our body cannot tell another part it isn't needed. The same should be true as Christians. If we are all part of the body of Christ, we are all necessary. Therefore, if we are all necessary, then the gifts God has given us are necessary as well. We shouldn't take pride in our gifts being any more important than anyone else's. In fact, I love the way Paul sums it up toward the end of Chapter 12:
But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles? Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages? Of course not!Here's this week's challenge. Fly like God intended. He gave you a specific Spiritual gift. We are all designed to serve God in different ways and all are important.
Now Playing: "City Without a Heart" by A Rotterdam November
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