April 11, 2006

God’s Gracious Gifts

Posted in church, I wonder at 7:23 pm by jimazing

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 4:8-11 (New International Version)

I keep coming back to the idea that the Church is not about an event on Sunday. It is about brothers and sisters coming together in love. It is about our using our gifts to serve one another as if we were the very body of Christ Himself. That's radical! Stop and re-read that passage again. Take your beliefs and put them on the shelf for a moment. Ignore your life experiences and read it for what it says. Forget about church being something-you-go-to. Some of you are thinking that you don' t have any gifts or talents. Just imagine the possibility that you are wrong and read it again. Did you get it? Read it again.

If you are a follower of Christ, you are a part of His Body. Just like my fingers are parts of my body. I have trained them to touch the keys on my computer keyboard so you can read these words. But the words come from my mind. My fingers could complain that they do not know how computers work and therefore, they have no talent. Only my mind knows about computers and blogs. But my mind needs my fingers to type it out, or it will never be published for you to read. The fingers do have talent. They will never find it by looking at what the mind does for direction though. They have to do finger stuff.

In this way, we brothers and sisters in Christ need all of us to be the body. None of us has what it takes. We cannot do it alone and that is by design. God doesn’t want us to be alone. We can appreciate and even admire the gifts, strengths and talents that God has put in others by observing them. But we cannot learn what our gifts, strengths and talents are by looking at others.

What will it look like when we figure it out? I don't know, but my belief is that the possibilities are boundless. As I re-read what I just wrote, I am frustrated. I have been thinking about this for weeks and months and it runs deep. I feel like this is just a stone skittering across the surface of the water. I hope to come back to it. But it is late and I need my rest.

Is it legal to pray in a blog? Would that be a prog (prayer+log)? I’ll risk it… Father, I ask you to bless those who read this blog. I ask you to speak to their hearts. You have given me some measure of talent for putting words together. You have given me enough talent to understand how to publish a blog. You have the ability to lead people to this blog and to even use me. On the one hand, I couldn’t ask for more than to be used by You. On the other hand, I am wasting my time if these are not Your words. I ask you to guide my thoughts and words and to speak through this blog.

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