Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4 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.”
Christians are to live together in love as members of Christ’s body, the Church. They are to use their various gifts to serve the church. By way of an analogy, Paul compares the community of believers to the human body in verses 4-5 to remind us that we’re all members of one body, and to encourage us to utilize our individual gifts for the benefit of the entire church. The health and welfare of the body depends on the proper functioning of each member. Just like the body is made up of many parts, so there is diversity in the church.
This really is great news for us—it means you have a distinct role to play in the Body of Christ, the Church! You have been given unique gifts and abilities that are to be used within the body. We’re all different; we’re not clones! We have the same standing in the gospel, but we are different in our varied abilities to minister to each other. All of us have been given distinct personalities, temperaments, histories and abilities that equip us for a particular set of works that God has created us to do. God has called us to be interdependent and so that we belong to each other (Keller).
Stop now and think about your unique role here at River. Think about the small group you are a part of and the people God has brought into your life; he has gifted you to minister to them in your own unique way. That ought to encourage you. Think about it…your personality, your gifting can all be used to encourage and minister to the folks in your life.
I can’t help but think about the difference between my ministry and Patty’s ministry. Mine is a bit more public, while Patty’s is more behind the scenes. What’s interesting to me is that if Patty were to move into a more public role, it would be hard for her. She wasn’t made to be in the spotlight; she feels more comfortable working behind the scenes. She is so good at it! Don’t give her a large crowd; give her a couple of gals and watch her pour her life into them. I also can’t help but think of what a great listener she is. She could be in a crowded room, but if you’re talking to her, she’s focused right on you…it’s like there isn’t anyone else in the room! Those are a few ways God is using Patty in our community. And yes, in case you’re wondering, I’ll probably get in trouble for drawing attention to her! ☺
So what about you? Are you sitting on the sidelines? You have a role to play. If you’re part of River, then God has brought you here to invest in others. You don’t have to wait to be given a ministry; start loving the people around you by using the gifts and abilities God has given you to love them. Give your life away. If you’re not doing this, a good way to get started is to plug into a small group. Would you consider doing that this week? If not, what’s keeping you from doing it? Ask God to give you the desire and ability to plug in with others.
*From what you have just read and considered: What is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians; NIV Application Study Bible. The Cambridge Bible Commentary, Romans, Best, Ernest. Romans 8-16 For You: For reading, for feeding, for leading (God’s Word For You – Romans Series Book 2, Keller, Timothy.