Who am I and why am I the way I am? This is a question that we probably ask ourselves daily and maybe the majority of those that knows us ask the same about us. Why am I driven to do the things I do and what is my motivation? For most of us, I am sure we want to do more than what we are doing with our lives. We strive to stay the course! We see this struggle in Romans 7 to do what is right and good, and how the flesh and sin corrupts our good intent. For some of us, there is not much of a focus on “what am I supposed to do and how am I supposed to do it” as there is on “am I able to”. Doubt creeps in to our minds and overwhelms our courage to take what God has laid before us and use it with passion and conviction. I am absolutely guilty of this in parts of my own life. There are moments I see those who operate in their gifting light-years ahead of where I am, and where that should encourage me to try harder and push further, sometimes I just get disheartened. God does not want me to feel this way, but to seize this opportunity to learn and glean off of those He has blessed according to His grace.
As we look into the next couple of verses in Romans 12, remember that it carries over context of verses 4 and 5, that we all make up the body of Christ and function in different ways as a whole. And now:
Romans 12:6-8 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Paul starts out with something that is vital for us ALL to remember here, he says “we”. This infers that “we” all have gifts, not just some of us, but all of us! Not limited to pastors or teachers or evangelists, but we all have been given gifts. Gifts that are to be used for the glorification of God and the blessing of the body and Kingdom. Remember that you were not blessed with a gift to keep it for yourself, but to share it with the world, with those that believe and those that have yet to believe. It is our responsibility to seek that gift out, recognize it and grow and operate in it.
Though it may be different from those around you, you and your gift are used in comparison to how a body works, many different vital parts…..one goal, to make the body work properly. And who knows the body any better than the one who created it? If we understand that these gifts were received “according to the grace given to each of us” by our Creator, and His intent is to make the”body” work correctly and more efficiently, we can use our gifts with more purpose. The gifts were not chosen by us, but selected by God to accomplish His great works, His purpose for His Kingdom. That is just awesome to me, that I was created, gifted and purposed by design for Him! Like in the song, I am “predestined for greatness“!
In verses 8-9 we see a call to not just exercise our gifts, but to do it with excellence. Somewhere down the line, a way of thinking that since it is the God’s work, any faint attempt is sufficient. It is not laid out here that way at all. If we are going to serve God in our families, churches, and communities, we are to do it with an article of faith. Be persistent in using your gift, be diligent! Be devout in doing what you are gifted to do. With so much going on in the world, and so little time to conquer it all, devote yourself to doing what God has especially equipped you to do. How devoted are you to finding out who you are in the body of Christ? Stop concentrating on “if you are able to” and start believing in the promises of God. Again, I challenge you to read these verses daily or weekly, memorize them and let them speak to you.
Let’s see what can happen in our lives, all of us! Next month: Trial 4 (Romans 12:9-12)
Thanks, Pastor Zack