Verse: Romans 12:4-8
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.  6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.  If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.  7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.  

In these four verses, Paul is instructing the Christians in Rome about the importance of each one of them.  This is also true for us today.  Many years ago, we used to sing a worship song with the lyrics, “we are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord.”  It is important for us to know that “in Christ we who are many form one body.”  Together we can represent Jesus so much better than we can alone.  Separately we have our individual gifts but together we have many gifts.  And each gift is important to make the body whole.  

This concept was so important to Paul that he wrote similar verses to the Corinthians in 1 Co 12:12-31.  And it is why we believe that it is important for us to meet together on Sundays and in small groups.  When we are together, someone might pray for you and give you a word from God.  You might receive a teaching that will stay with you through hard times.  You might encourage someone by telling them how you were able to persevere with God’s help or you might serve someone who is in need.  You will be equally blessed by receiving and giving.

Do you know what your God-given gifts are?  It may be helpful to read some of the lists of gifts in the Bible.  Or you can ask someone older in the Lord.  Or ask your spouse or close friend.  Note that Paul is telling the Romans to use their gifts.  Do we accept presents at Christmas and not open them?  Paul says to use our gifts diligently, cheerfully, generously.  Are we doing that?

Today might be a good day to assess how we are doing with the gifts entrusted to us from God.  Are we meeting together with other Christians or are we too busy to play our part in the body of Christ?  The body is missing a crucial part when you are not there.  You are necessary.  You are needed.  It will be good for you and good for others if you are there using your gifts.  As you are faithful using your current gifts, God will see that and give you more gifts as you grow and mature in the Lord.  

How can you respond to this scripture today?  Pray for guidance.  Maybe it is finally time clear a portion of your busy schedule and to join that small group that you have been putting off.  Or maybe you want to commit to being a more regular Sunday attender like you were before Covid.  If you are unsure about your gifts, ask someone for help.  Don’t stay on the outside and be alone.  Come in and be part of the body of Christ.

Thank you, Lord, that you give us gifts generously and want us to participate with you in your kingdom here on earth.  Help us to know our part in your body and to participate and use our gifts to further your kingdom.