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Devotion for Monday, August 1, 2011

Great day @ Sonshine Baptist Church
-Pastors message on change was really good. We learned that God’s greatest goal for you is to make you like Jesus, and that He has given us the power to do this.
-It was really cool to hear Corey and Jessica’s testimony this morning. I think it is amazing that we get to spend the next year+ with them as they train for ministry on the other side of the world. It’s cool to see people that aren’t much older than many of you guys who will read this who have been lead by God to do something for Him. So cool!
-Zac’s message tonight and putting God first and sacrificing for Him was great. I don’t think anyone there could have left without asking themselves if God really is number one!
-Tonight at Wendy’s was so much fun. It was cool to see such a positive thing come out of an application from our devotion the other day. People were hanging out and having fun, and I even overheard people talking about church/spiritual stuff.

We’re on our last couple of days on this series, let’s finish out well!

Here’s the text:
1 Corinthians 12:4-6, 11-31

4Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16 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? 17If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
19And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21 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. 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 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. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. 25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
28And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
29Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
30Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
31But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Pastor Ben’s Commentary:
So today’s passage is pretty heavy. There is a lot of information there, but I’ll try to sum it up well.

This is a portion of a letter that the apostle Paul wrote to a church in Corinth, Greece. The problem with this church is that they didn’t understand what church life was to look like. Specifically, in the passage we are reading today, He is trying to help the Corithians understand “spiritual gifts.” The Holy Spirit, the 3rd person of the trinity, gives specific spiritual gifts or abilities to people when they get saved. To help them understand this, He compares the church to an actual body.

The church works like a body works. The eye is important. The foot is important. The toe is important. The fingers are important. The problem comes when an eye wants to be a foot, or a toe wants to be a finger. For this idea check out vs. 21-23. One is not more important than the other. The body functions best when there is a unity in the diversity. When there are people with different gifts trying to accomplish the task it works way better.

WARNING: MAN ILLUSTRATION: For instance- if a basketball team had nothing but 7’6″ centers but no guards who can handle the ball and pass well, then they will be weak as a team. But if they have 1 or 2 big men, and some other guys that can shoot the 3, and some other guys who can really handle the ball, then you have a solid, strong all-around team.

FOR THE LADIES: I believe that God designed the family to function this way. Dad’s learn from mom’s. Mom’s learn from dad’s. Children learn from parents. Parents learn from children (believe it or not.) A family functions as God designed it to when everyone understands their role inthe family. When a family doesn’t have the advantage of a mom and a dad in the home, a smart single parent will get other people in their life to help give their kids influence from the missing person.

It’s the same in the church. We’re all different. We have different spiritual gifts, talents, abilities and interests, but we have the same God, the same Christ, the same Spirit, and the same mission to help people to know God and forgiveness of sins. It is better when their is diversity that leads to unity!

Application:
1. You are an important part of the body of Christ- the church.
When you aren’t there, to know, grow, serve and go the body suffers. Imagine not having an eye for a day. That would not be fun!
2. Understanding our role helps us to all be unified.
Frankly, we need each other. Just like the eye needs the foot, and the hand needs the nose, you and I need each other. To function properly, the healthy part of the body helps the hurt part of the body to heal. Sometimes that doesn’t happen in the church. When someone else is hurting or does something wrong, we want to hurt them or make them pay. Really we should forgive them and help them grow.

How can you be a better part of the body? What are your gifts?

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41 thoughts on “14 Days Together- Day 12

  1. The passage was a little bit confusing. Is he telling them that they need to think of the church as one, instead of sperate parts that are better than others? If I’m right then I think that is very powerful. I know some people who if they aren’t a “major” part (i.e. the pinkie toe) in something they don’t go to that thing, or if they are a “major” part (i.e. the brain) they go crazy. If you just think as your group as one, I think it stops problem and helps people grow.

    I think I can be a better part of the “body” by going to church more, reading the Bible more than I do, and do more of the activites. As for the second part, I have no idea what my gifts are. I really don’t think I have any, as of now. Maybe when I’m older I’ll find them out, but as of now i don’t have any.

    1. Jackie- You are definitely on the right track with what you think it means. Unity is a huge part of this passage, and I think that unity is a very positive thing. You’re exactly right.

      I do think you are wrong in thinking that you don’t have any gifts. I really believe you do. You’re a very bright girl, and I think you want to do what’s right. You may not be totally aware of what your talents might be, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have any. As you continue to get experience in life and as you grow in your relationship with God through service to others and Him it will become more clear!

  2. This is kind of confusing but what i learned was that we are the church we are the spiritual foundation and like a basketball team you need players and like the church you need Christians.

    1. Blake- I think God has given you some really cool talents to make a difference in your own future and the future of a lot of other people. That’s pretty cool!

  3. I think this passage is really inspiring! i love verses 4-6. V.4 that there are different gifts & talents that we all have, but it is the same God who’s given them to us. V.5 says there are different ministries, but the same Lord. V.6 says there are different activities, but God works in everyone of them. It shows that even when we think people are so much different from us, we all are works of the same God! The rest of the passage explains that we as Christians need to be unified and be together. Like the example in the passage, the church is like a body. All our different talents and abilities are used to do awesome things! For instance, when i read this i thought of bible clubs. Everyone of us teens that went had different things that we were good at! Because of it, we had 3 kids get saved! How awesome is that?! Using our talents to do amazing things for God! Trust me, some of the stuff i did for those two weeks i was not good at all! Its crazy, because God uses us as a church in those ways 🙂 Like Pastor Ben said, we need eachother!!
    To anyone who has a hard time understanding: So do i! I got the blue letter bible app, and i have it to where i have the King James Version, and the New King James Version. Its cool because it translates it a little to where I can understand it better 🙂 I hope that helps!

    1. That is such a good example! During bible clubs we needed everyone with their individual talents because without everyone we wouldn’t have been able to do what we did! We did lead 3 kids to christ that week and a new family is attending our church too! God is seriously amazing!

    2. I think Bible clubs is a great example, too. You guys had to work as a team. It took a little bit of everybody to make it successful. On a larger scale, that’s exactly how a church should work. God’s given abilities to people and people to each other to accomplish what He has sent them to do.

  4. This passage is very important and has a lot of good illustrations in it! Paul is writing about how church life is. In verse 4 it says: Now there are diversities or gifts, but the same Spirit. This verse is saying that the Spirit of God gives us different gifts or different ablities but it all comes from the SAME Spirit. In verse 5 it says, there are different administrations, but the same Lord. There are different ministries out there, but the SAME Lord. Verse 6 says, there are different opperations, but it is the same God which worketh in all. God works in all operations whether they be different from one another ot not, but the SAME God worketh in all of them! If you noticed there is a pattern within the 3 verses. The same Spirit, Lord, and God all are the same person and He gives us individual talents, ministries, and the opportuities to serve Him!
    I really love the illustration Paul gives about the body. The foot, hand, eye and nose are all apart of the body, but they all play a certain role and without each of them it becomes difficult to do things. When i read this I thought about our youth group. We have a Pastor Ben, a Megan, a Laura, a Sandi, a John, and a Tim and without anyone of them our youth group would be difficult to maintain where it is today, but they are all so different and offer different talents and roles to our youth group. If John wanted to be like Pator Ben then we would lose all of our fun facts from Johnipedia and essentially John Hayes. We need each of them and the talents and ablities God has given them not for them to be someone else. We all come from the Same God, Spirit, and Lord but we’re all different and we can all use our abilities and strengths to serve God and to let people know about him and to have a relationship with Him!

    We all need each other to be unified and use the gifts we’re given to help change the world! Don’t be ashamed of who God made you, because He made you for who you are for a reason and you all are AMAZING! Let’s start coming together and really make a difference this year! 🙂

  5. God created us all different on purpose. We are all unique with special abilities that we can use to serve God and help each other. If we were all the same, the church couldn’t function.
    For example, we have Corey and Jessica. It’s really exciting that we can be a part of sending them to China to tell people about Jesus. But, what if everyone in the church decided to be missionaries? There would be no one at home to run the church, to pray for them. There would be no one staying behind to work at jobs to provide the money to support the missionaries.
    See how we have different jobs to do to make it work. And no one who participates is less important than another.
    That’s why God gave us a variety of gifts. No one was meant to do God’s work alone. He expects us to work together and not be jealous of each other or feel like we have nothing to offer. we all do.
    If you’re not sure what your gifts are, don’t stress over it. Just keep growing,study God’s word and
    pray. God will show you what you can do. He just wants us to be willing to serve in whatever way we can when the opportunity comes.

      1. Thanks Pastor Ben. As far as contacting me tomorrow, the morning is probably best. I can call you when I get off work if you want.

  6. This was a little confusing for me.. But I think it’s like Sean was saying at camp, that we all have different talents and abilities and we should use them for God’s glory! 🙂 & I liked Pastor Ben’s application! It really does affect the church when people don’t come to know, grow, serve, and go!

    1. You’re right Alexis- and not only when they don’t come, but when they come without having the right motivation. It hurts when the unity foot and the leg and the arm are all going in different directions..

  7. Hey guys- Just got a call from Jeff Via who told me his neighbor is being airlifted to Tampa for internal bleeding. When you get this please pray for him. Thanks!

  8. Already prayed. Keep up posted.
    This is one of my favorite scripture readings. We all have a role in the body of Christ. That is so,reassuring. I find that a lot of people, like Jackie for instance,don’t think they have any gifts. I felt that way for a while. I would compare myself to others and think that compared to them I didn’t have really “good” gifts. I felt like my gifts seemed lame. (incidentally Jackie, I think you are loaded with lots of gifts 🙂 I knew I liked to bake but felt that was a silly gift. It turned out I was able to use that gift more than once at church. It took a long time to see that nothing is too little in God’s eyes if we are using it to His glory. He is the one that designed me so He knows what I am good at and wants me to use those gifts. I think it is really cool when we all come together for one purpose bringing so many different gifts and ideas to the table. No one person can do all things well. We need each other! Like Pastor Ben said if it had been up to him to paint Noah’s Ark on the outside wall a few years ago instead of Sandy it might have been a disaster. i am right there with you P Ben. Thank God for Sandy and others like her. I will make the cookies and lemonade and bring it out to the artists. lol. I think the Bible club was a great example. I thank God for others that can learn a new language and feel comfortable in a different country. I can do the sending but am not sure that would be my gift. God will show us what are gifts are if we ask.

  9. This was really hard to me but I finally understood it a little, Waht I got out of it is that you need people to have a church and with out the people you wouldn’t have a church. Take this for exsample if you play a spot you have to have a team and if you don’t have a team that you cant play the sport so I gess that is what the passage is saying. 🙂

        1. That’s ok Kendra I don’t really either! I just know I’m a people person and that God uses me to go out and talk to whoever and just be myself around anyone! Even though I don’t know if I have any others, I think that’s a neat gift 🙂

          1. Kendra- You just keep growing and serving and it’ll become easy to see what your gifts are. It won’t happen overnight, but it’ll happen. I’m so glad you’re in the choir! I think it is awesome!

  10. I think it’s cool how God gives us different abities just for this reason. Its also cool no matter how diverse are abilities are we all cone together for one purpose and that is to serve God. I found it interesting when paul talked about how when one hurts we all hurts and when one rejoices we all rejoice.

    1. That’s what I thought to Ryan (about Paul and the verse on weeping/rejoicing). Also, we actually saw these verses right in front of our eyes Friday night didn’t we?

      1. Yes we did! That’s a good example Pastor Ben! We’re all coming together to change the way this next year is going to be in H2O and using all of our abilities to make it happen!

  11. WHAT I GOT OUT OF TODAYS MESSAGE WAS THAT EVERY PART OF THE CHURCH IS ONE OF GODS BODY PARTS AND ALL OF THE BODY PARTS FIT TOGETHER TO MAKE GOD AND JESUS AND WE AS A CHURCH NEED TO WORK TOGETHER TO MEET ALL OF GODS STANDARDS AND BE THE BEST THAT WE CAN BE FOR HIM.

    1. Good stuff Andrew. I totally get what you’re saying. The body of Christ is a common term used to describe the church. We are his body, although not literally His actual body. As your body does what your brain tells it to, so we ought to do what the head of our body (Jesus) tells us to do. It’s a beautiful picture of what God has called us to be.

  12. There was a ton of info it today’s passage but I think you guys are getting it.The whole point of 1 Corinthians 12 is the body of Christ, which is the church, and how we are to function! I love that God has given each of us individually different gifts. We have read all kinds of different examples of it today! We are each equipped with God given talents, passions, parents, experiences, circumstances, and fears. And these things shape who we are! So each of us are different we know that, but collectively we are called to be unified and be one body. We have been called to use the things we have been given to serve God. So the bottom line is this we have each been given different gift and when we each use our gifts we function as the body of Christ and are able to fulfill the purpose of the church. But i think a lot of times we get discouraged because we compare ourselves to other people which is so dumb. We look at the people around us and compare our gifts to theirs and then we feel like we are less important because we arent good at something. I like to think of it this way, the kneecap is definitely not the coolest part of the body you never hear someone say “dude, your kneecaps look hot good today” lol it doesn’t happen but think about how hard it would be to run or walk without your kneecap, if you did have your knees it would be super hard to run but we never thing of that as a cool body part. Here is the point you are who you are for a reason and the gift God has given you is important! So it comes down to this whats your gift? and how can you use it within the church to reach others?

  13. Well alright. I think everyone has done a fantastic job with this passage. I can not think of too much more than I can really add to what the writter is saying. I love how he uses the body as a reference to what God has also used to describe and organize the church. One thing that comes to mind when thinking of this is that when my foot hurts the rest of my body has to compensate for that problem until it heals. It goes in reference to a few days back when we spoke about the importance of church wasn’t for our “attendance charts” but for growing and ministering and being ministered to. Sometimes when a part of the church body is hurting or can not function the way it was intended to the rest of the body suffers and has to take on more work until this part is up and running again. Sometimes we have to do that. When part of our youth group or church is missing, essentially not functioning, then the rest of us have to pick up the slack until we can get them to function again. That is a good reason also for accountability among the church membeers. If we help keep one another accountable for doing right then we don’t have to function without them as often as we would have to if they weren’t being held accountable. A little confusing to think about, but in the end we are all part of the body and should be ready to function as God has intended us to.

    I don’t think its completely God’s intension to fully tell us of one gift over another. I think sometimes we think, “I don’t have the gift of being social so I don’t have to talk to anyone at church”. That is not what God intended at all. In this for instance we are all called to be friendly (Christ-like if you prefer) and so that isn’t an excuse to not be friendly. I believe there are people who are more comfortable with being friendly and going out of their way to make people feel comfortable and welcome and I am thankful for that. That would be more like a gift. I just don’t want us to use a “lack of gift” to cause us to not do anything at all. sometimes we have to try several areas and see where we feel we can grow more. I am not the most social person but I make myself try each week to talk to people and it isn’t always easy for me but that doesn’t mean that I don’t try. 🙂

    My application is to continue as whatever part of the body I am right now and to continue to allow God to work in my life and to develop whatever talents and abiilities He has given me. We also changge as we get older and fall into different roles. I may have weaknesses now that will one day be my strengths. We need not to worry about finding exactly what our gifts are but just have a willing heart to follow God whatever He leads us to do.

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