Devotional: ‘Unity Within the Body of Christ’

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According to WebMD, – “The idea of making a presentation in public is the No. 1 fear reported by people in the U.S.”  “It is even scarier than rattlesnakes,” reports Paul L. Witt, PhD, assistant professor of communication studies at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth. The technical term for it is Glossophobia (the fear of speaking in public) and most people who suffer from glossophobia would much rather work behind the scenes than to be up in front of people. Though I wouldn’t want anyone to suffer needlessly from any type of anxiety or fear, I do praise God for people who love to serve. Serving is one of the most important Spiritual Gifts within the body of Christ.

Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Note that Paul refers to the Spiritual Gift of Ministry. (vs. 7) The Greek word ministry is ‘diakonia’ , from which we get the English word ‘deacon.’  The biblical definition of a deacon is someone who serves. William McRae writes in his book, The Dynamics of Spiritual Gifts, “The person with the Gift of Service has an unusual capacity to serve faithfully behind the scenes, in practical ways, to assist in the work of the Lord and encourage and strengthen others spiritually.”

Those with this gift not only serve, they enjoy serving. Doing something that will help others, brings them great joy and satisfaction. They understand well the meaning of Psalms 100:2 ‘Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.’ Serving is a part of their worship!

If all the gifts are needed to form the body of Christ, then all the gifts are needed to demonstrate the character of Christ. Having said that, perhaps no gift better demonstrates Christ’s character than the Gift of Serving. Consider what the Lord said to His disciples – Matthew 20:27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave– 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Though we might be tempted to think that those with the Gift of Serving are among the least important, I am sure that our Lord would say that they are among the most important. Servants are the greatest in the kingdom of heaven!

In 1 Cor 12:28, Paul refers to another Spiritual Gift which seems to go hand in hand with the Gift of Serving. Paul refers to the Spiritual Gift of Helps. Though Paul doesn’t describe exactly what someone with the Gift of Helps will do, we do gain valuable insight into their ministry by the way Paul used a similar word in the book of Acts.

Acts 20: 34 Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. 35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “

The word ‘support’ is very similar to the word ‘helps’ and therefore we may determine that someone with the Gift of Helps will desire to do things that will specifically help those in need.

Being a pastor who pays great attention to details, I can assure you that I see what many of you are doing. I know that successful ministries don’t happen by accident. Though you are often hidden behind the scenes, in reality you are the backbone of our church. As Paul wrote to the Philippians – “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” (Php 1:3)

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