“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 NLT
What do you think God has gifted you to do? You have a gift to contribute to the body of Christ, the church. In I Corinthians 12 the apostle Paul uses the illustration of the human body, with its many parts, as an example of the way we are supposed to act as the church. We all have something to contribute to the operation of the whole. The human body is made up of billions of cells, various internal vital organs, a nervous system, vascular system, digestive system, skeletal structure, muscles, ligaments, tendons, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and the list continues. The human body is a masterpiece of almighty God!! We are created, by God, as unique individuals who are endowed with various abilities. We are to use our abilities to contribute to the benefit of the whole. We cannot shut out everyone else in order to live for the ambitions and goals of self. We are called to give up our selfish pursuits for the benefit of others. When we do this, we fulfill our God given purpose and maximize our potential. When we contribute to the whole, we are also receiving from the whole as well. Let's look at it like this: the hand feeds the mouth, the stomach accepts the food, the digestive system imparts nutrients to the bloodstream, the bloodstream flows to all the parts of the body, and the body is healthy. Each member, then, receives what it needs to function and be successful. If any part "decides" to stop contributing, it handicaps the body, disallows the other parts the opportunity to benefit, and can even kill the whole body (including itself). An example: If the heart stops, the whole body dies. God has designed life to operate in sync. When we understand this valuable principle and practice it, we accomplish what we were created for and live successful lives on every front. We weren't meant to live life selfishly. Today, utilize your gifts to serve others and you will find your purpose.
Let's stop living for me, me, me. JOY is:
O - Others
Y - Yourself
Jesus said it like this: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” Matthew 16:24-25 NLT
Rev. Curtis Norris