Memorise: For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Romans 12:3
Devotional Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:1-31
The beauty of life is in accepting the various gifts that God has given to mankind and appreciating our diversity. The purpose of God for doing this is so that no one think more highly of him/herself over and above the other. What one person can do, the other person may not be able to do, but we can all compliment each other, and allow God take all the glory. This was the mind that was in Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:6; I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. Imagine a church service where the pastor do opening prayer, teach sunday school, sing as choir, preach the sermon, do media, ushering, take offering, do announcement, and do closing prayer. It will be an unusual service.
God in His infinite wisdom specifically created the universe and everything in it with diversity in His mind. Consequently, the difference between people, their special gifts, needs and characters is obvious all through creation. Individualism stresses the differences between people and recognises the special gifts of individuals. Now the Bible teaches that the diverse gifts in the lives of individuals in the body of Christ are specifically designed to be used for the benefit of all. To this end, 1 Cor. 12:4-6 says: “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.”
We are encouraged not to personalise God’s gifts in our lives, but rather to recognise that we are incomplete in ourselves and we need cooperation and fellowship with others in the body of Christ to function as a complete whole. God wants His children to live by this biblical injunction so that no one will be proud, and to enhance mutual respect in the Church of God, which will promote peace and unity in the body of Christ.
Physical and spiritual development will go on unhindered. Passages of the Bible like Romans 12:6-8, would then become realistic and practicable: “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: for he that teacheth, go on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, go on in exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.”
One person operates in the word of wisdom, another in the word of knowledge; one is the gifts of healing, and yet another in the working of miracles and prophecy. They should cooperate with each other with the understanding that one and the selfsame Spirit is at work in each individual to accomplish the ultimate purpose of God.
I pray that God will give you the understanding and grace to harness the gifts in others towards building the kingdom of God.
Prayer point: O thou great Jehovah, please help me appreciate your son Jesus, the diversity in our world and the gifts in others.
Key Dose: No man is an island, you are incomplete without Christ and the gift of others.
Pastor James Ademuyiwa
Senior Pastor (IHPCT)