Pause

The ability to do something – something creative, something useful – that kind of ability is called a gift. It’s not something intended for personal use and benefit alone. Gifts like these are meant to be used for the benefit of others.

That’s because these gifts come from God, who has in mind not only the individual, but everyone all together.

Think now about how you might use your God-given gifts for the benefit of all the world.

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Listen

On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts.

1 Corinthians 12:22-31a

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Think

I was recently at one of our local middle schools making my way through groups of students to the front doors of the school. The groups were fairly well-defined, and they were laughing and talking as they waited for parents to pick them up. There was a jesting attitude in most groups, but some were having conversations that sounded demeaning. I found myself thinking how glad I was not to be a student there. As an adult, I felt very much like an outsider in that situation.

My daughter burst through the door and sailed through the groups without a thought. I caught up with her, and she grabbed my arm and we went to the car. I wondered how these students decide who has the greater gifts. I wondered if one of them suffers, do they suffer too? I had my doubts. The church is set aside to be different in relationships. We are to change everything. Perspectives on weakness and strength are blown away because of what Christ did by dying on the cross and rising to new life.

Katie Sciba

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Pray

God who appoints, appoint me! Help me to be part of changing how people relate to each other. Show me how to see weakness and strength the way you see them. Let me see the gifts you have given me. Use me to change everything, Lord! Amen

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Go

May your gifts burn like a fire,
Bringing warmth to everyone you meet.
May your gifts light the world
And reveal the goodness of God.
May your gifts today be embraced
And expressed
With creativity,
Making you useful in God's mercy.

Katie Sciba

Katie Sciba is a freelance writer, a licensed social worker, an ordained Baptist minister, a pastor's wife, and a mother from Victoria, Texas. She is married to Matt and they are parents to Anna, Maile, Lydia, and Claire. Katie blogs online at Always Simply Begin.

This Is my Father's World

Ken Medema

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