Monday, April 19, 2010

Body life

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 9:19b-43

TO CHEW ON: “Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.” Acts 9:31

The church in today’s reading is a beautiful example of the diversity that should be found in the Body of Christ as a result of the spiritual gifts God gives each member (1 Corinthians 12: 27-31; Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 4:11).

The newly converted Saul now channeled his passionate nature into spreading the good news about Jesus. He was a powerful preacher and apologist (evangelist, preacher, teacher). When the Jewish leaders targeted him in a murder plot his Christian brothers planned and carried out his escape from Damascus (administration).

In Jerusalem the church leaders didn’t trust Saul and were fearful of him. But Barnabas encouraged and stood up for him until he was accepted as one of them (pastor, leader, exhortation, mercy).

Spreading the gospel got a boost at Lydda and Sharon when Peter healed a local eight-year bedridden man (healing).

At Joppa, Tabitha, was known and appreciated for her “good works and charitable deeds” towards the poor, especially widows (helps / mercy). Her illness and death, followed by her coming back to life (miracles) after Peter’s prayers (mercy) brought more attention and converts to the Joppa church. There Peter continued to work, all the while enjoying the hospitality of Simon a Tanner (helps).

This is how the healthy church operates. People with various gifts fill their spot and work gets done on all fronts. It’s easy to envy the high profile workers – the evangelists, teachers and preachers. But there is a spot and a need for everyone (1 Corinthians 12).

Whatever your place is in the body – do your thing. Whether it’s hidden or public, whether you get recognition or are ignored, keep doing your thing (as in using your gift[s] for the benefit of all). No one else may know but God does and He will reward you.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the diversity of gifts and ministries in the body of Christ. Please help me to find and fill my spot. Amen.

MORE: Daphne Rademaker sings “Serving You” against scenes from the movie “Call to Harvest" produced by Gospel for Asia Mission.

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.

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