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When someone believes on the Lord Jesus Christ…so many things happen.  That person is forgiven of all sins, sanctified, made righteousness, indwelt with the Holy Spirit, given eternal life, becomes a child of God, and is added to the church, being made a member of the body of Christ.  1 Corinthians 12:27 tells us, “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”  As in a natural body, each member of the body of Christ has a role to play.  God, in His wisdom and sovereign will, has placed each believer into the body of Christ with a role according to His perfect purpose.  Let’s read 1 Corinthians 12:14-23, “For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.”  All members of the body of Christ play an important role and can honor and serve the Lord according to His leading.

In order to serve Him and minister to others, the Lord has given gifts to the church.  We learn in Ephesians 4:7 that, “…every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”  We learn the purpose of these gifts in Ephesians 4:12-16, “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:   That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”  Some of the gifts given are mentioned in Ephesians 4:11 and in Romans 12:6-8.  We learn in 1 Corinthians 12:6 that, “…there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.”  So, we see there are different manifestations of the Spirit in the believer in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11.  I encourage you to read this portion.

It is the Lord’s solemn right to equip the church so that it might function properly.  We do not earn our gift, that’s a contradiction of what a gift is.  A gift is given, not earned.  We are told in 1 Corinthians 12:31 to, “…covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”  As believers, we should desire to have the best gifts in order to serve the Lord.  Our desire should not be to have a gift that would bring attention to ourselves.  Remember, the gifts are for the benefit of the body of Christ, they are not for personal gratification or glory.  What is this ‘more excellent way?’  The 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians shows us that love is the more excellent way.  We can’t truly serve the Lord and minister to others without the love of Christ ruling our lives.  We read later in 1 Corinthians 14:12, “Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.”  We’re told here that our focus should not so much be on what gift or gifts we might have.  Our focus should be on edifying, or building up, the church.

Perhaps you have one gift; perhaps you have 10 gifts.  It is the Lord that has given you those gifts, so you are responsible to Him to develop and use those gifts according to His leading.  The Apostle Paul told young Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:14, “Neglect not the gift that is in thee…”  He was telling Timothy to take this gift seriously so that he might develop and use it for God’s glory.

Are you a believer on the Lord Jesus Christ?  If so, you have a gift, or possibly many gifts.  Be faithful to the Lord to learn to use your gifts under His direction.  Don’t worry about what gifts others may have.    Don’t forget the ‘more excellent way’.  Show the love of the Lord to everyone, so that your ministry for the Lord might be effective.  (90.2)