“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same LORD. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” I Corinthians 12:4-6
Our church had the opportunity to experience these verses this past weekend. Over 400 of us were involved in service projects throughout the Papillion and Omaha area. From Friday through Sunday, various members were involved in around 30 different service opportunities. Some to individuals, some to organizations, some to area ministries and some to community events. It was an amazing experience to see so many people working together to serve in the name of our Lord Jesus. Hundreds of people were serving but in many different ways. People were using just about every possible skill to serve in many different ways including organization, singing, playing instruments, construction, yard work, cleaning, baking, cooking, baby-sitting, visiting, giving (both financially and in goods), transporting, leadership, entertaining, being servants, listening and most of all loving. Huge jobs were accomplished in hours because many hands were at work. Notice from the verse above that the same Spirit distributes all these many gifts. We all served in many different ways and in different places but were serving the same Lord. In truth, it was God at work in all the various places we were at. I believe this is how He wants to see the church operate. Verse 7 in the above passage says the Spirit works this way for the “common good.” He works to meet needs wherever they are. It has been amazing to see what can be accomplished when many people work together and serve according to their gifts and abilities.
But what if everyone wanted to be the leader on a project? What if everyone wanted to deliver cookies but no one wanted to do yard work?
Paul goes on to say in I Corinthians 14 that each of us should be content in the body where God has put us. Just as our human body needs both eyes and ears, feet and hands, the church body needs people with all gifts and all abilities. All are important and we all need each other. We could not have accomplished what we did this weekend if everyone had insisted on being like everyone else. We are all different! We need to celebrate this and joyfully take part where we are. God wants all of his children to be as one. He wants us to work together to accomplish his will. He wants us to realize that each one of us is important. Like many others, there are times I struggle with jealousy, comparing myself to others, wanting to be noticed, all of which begins with pride. God wants me to let go of pride, jealousy, comparison, looking for recognition and to realize that he has already given me everything I need by giving me his love and notice. He loves me completely and unconditionally. That is what frees me to serve without worrying about “me”. I am already taken care of. Great joy comes from serving others in the name of Christ. Hopefully, we will take every opportunity to continue to do this.
Where could you serve this week?