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Making Room for God and His Church 2 – Why You Matter

Making Room for God and His Church Day 2: Why You Matter

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11, ESV)

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-12, ESV)

My right foot has been driving me crazy for the past year or two. I have persistent plantar fasciitis and have tried everything to improve the discomfort and pain. I’ve spent a fortune on different shoes, injections, taping, physical therapy, massage, the works. Some  days I joke that I’d like to saw my foot off, but I don’t really mean it. Having no foot would be much worse; I would have to entirely re-train my body to function without it—a challenge for sure. 

Why in the world would I bring up this subject in today’s devotional? Because the Church as a whole is likened to a body, each person moving into position within that Body in order for its optimum performance. Each part is needed—even a bum foot. And did you know that each member of the Church has been given spiritual gifts at conversion? There are various gifts given to us—each vital to the health of the whole. There will be some who are givers, discerners, teachers, and who are hospitable. Others may be full of faith, mercy or wisdom. Some are given one gift while others may have a few. God never gives gifts that He doesn’t intend for us to use within the body of Christ.

Here’s the thing—you may not show up or plug yourself into a local church. Or maybe you do, but you never really make a connection there and simply show up when it suits you. You’re a body in a seat, but you really aren’t using your God-given gifts to contribute to the needs of the church. Will the church go on? It probably will, but it is missing your unique offerings and would function much better if each part of the body was present and working. 

So, who misses out when you don’t attend, or don’t bother implementing the gifts given to you for the benefit of your local church body? First, you’ll miss out. You won’t use your potential for Christ, won’t honor the gifts you’ve been given for the benefit of others, and will be seriously heartbroken when you stand before God to give account of what you did or did not do with what He gave you. Second, your church family will not function as well without you and will suffer from the lack of what you were meant to contribute. Third, you dishonor Christ by refusing to be used in the way He designed specifically for you. 

Being used within your local church will not only bring fulfillment to your brothers and sisters in Christ but also will bring you joy and purpose. If your gift is leadership, being there to lead well will fulfill you in ways nothing else ever will. And the blessing it will bring to your church family will, in turn, bless you. If you’re someone given a less public gift, such as the gift of mercy, oh, how you’re needed when a fellow believer is in a difficult situation and needs the exact care you’ll be able to uniquely offer them. You matter. You’re needed. Any whispers of doubt surrounding this are from the lips of the deceiver, Satan. 

One of the best truths with our amazing God is that it’s never too late to start fresh. If you’ve been neglecting church services and not plugging yourself in where you’re needed, you can start today. If you’re not sure what spiritual gifts you’ve been given, find another Christian friend who can give you help and direction—one who knows you well. Find ways you can be used within your local church and be not only willing but joyfully willing to do your part. Even if it doesn’t seem to be much or people don’t automatically notice the ways you are helpful, God notices. And the more you’re willing to use your gifts for Him, the more opportunities He will open for you to use them. But first, you have to be willing, and you have to be present. May we each have a heart for the body of Christ and a desire to plug in where He uniquely fitted us.

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