First of all I need to apologize for 2 things. The first is my first post seems to have a mind of it's own. It shows me that there is repetition of a phrase that is not supposed to be there. When I go in to fix it, it doesn't show up. Not quite sure how to fix the situation. I'm wondering if I may need to switch to a different blogosphere! The second is taking so much time in between posts. I'm not quite sure how that happened, except to say this is a hard bit of scripture, and I may have procrastinated a bit!! Anyway on with it:
I love how Paul pulls no punches here. He starts out say (basically) ~ "Don't think to much of yourself dude". It says in my ESV Bible to think with sober judgement (to put a moderate estimate upon one's self, think of one's self soberly). Keep it in check. We are not to look at ourselves as more important to the body because we may have a role that can be seen by more people. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE that is a new creature in Christ has a job to do, that benefits the whole body! Not one job is more important then the rest, it's just a different job. As I type this I think of how people say, I love both of my kids the same, just differently. We love our kids the same amount, we just may love them in different ways because they are different people, with different personalities. Neither is more important than the other, just different.
It says in verse 3 - God assigns (to distribute) to each person a specific task for His kingdom. Each member has a task that is a necessary part of the body. We function as one, though we are many. Think about it ~ if one member of the body doesn't do what it's supposed to do the whole body suffers. 1 Corinthians 12 shows this concept so beautifully. One part of the body cannot say to another part of the body that they are not needed. If one doesn't work, it effects the whole body.
Do you see how important it is that you know, and do your part?! It says in verse to "use them". That means use the gifts given to you by God. He didn't give them to you to be ignored, but to help the body of Christ, which are ONE in Him. Then what ever you have been called to do, do well! In Romans 12:6-8, Paul lists a few of the gifts given. Colossians 3:17, 23; and 1 Corinthians 10:31 tell us how we are to use our gifts.
This also goes back to our 1st post. When you are a living sacrifice you do not think of yourself first, but last. Sacrificing your ambition for the good of the body. In 3 John it mentions a man named Diotrephes who "likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority". This is a man who probably didn't realize his name would forever be in print as someone who thought more highly of himself then others (as Beth Moore pointed out in our study). I wonder would his attitude be different now? Will mine? Will yours?
Q1. ~ How are you viewing yourself in the church? Do you see yourself better than others, or as not measuring up? Do you see yourself as a significant part of the body of Christ? If not, why not?
Q2 ~ How are you viewing others in the church?
Q3 ~ Are you using the gifts God has given you to encourage and support the body? Again, if not why not? The body is suffering without you!
Don't look at these questions as condemnation, but as a spurring on towards greater fulfillment in Christ!!! That is most definitely how they are meant.