Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7 ESV)
When you stop and consider it, you probably aren’t surprised to read that gifts are given for the common good. But what about the implications of this? Implied is the understanding that all do, in fact, have some spiritual gift. The Holy Spirit dwells in every believer and gives gifts so that every member of the body functions. Also implied is that you must use that gift, not at your leisure or in your lone ranger activity, but for the sake of the church with the church. Implied is that being part of the church is God’s plan for every believer. You are a body, as he goes on to say, that has many parts that must function together under Christ the head. This means that you can’t simply be a pew sitter and not engaged in the life of the church. The church needs you. You have a gift that is unique to you and necessary for the body to function in a healthy way. This is a great challenge to our way of thinking! Culturally, we are conditioned to think that the church exists to meet my needs and thus only need be visited when I’m feeling needy. How out of whack our thinking is.
Lord, would you impress this teaching on my heart and mind and upon the hearts and minds of y people, that we might be a healthy, capable body engaged in your mission for your glory.