Friday, November 1, 2013

40 Days of Gifts Day 20

Scripture: Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Romans 12-10-15

Observation: The "best" gifts are the most needed gifts at the moment. When we see rejoicing we should seek to join the party. When we see sorrow, we should seek to share the sorrow. We should encourage patient endurance. We should contribute to one another and share hospitality. When opposed, we should seek to bless our opposers. Why? We are all part of one body. If my finger hurts, I don't rejoice and look down on it. When part of me hurts, I hurt. When part of me is happy, all of me gets happy. If part of me does wrong, all of me does wrong. My left hand can't laugh at the misfortune of my right hand.

Application: Often we follow the world's pattern of insecure comparison and self-promotion. The church, however, is not the world; it is the Kingdom manifested on Earth. We live by a different standard. All of us are saved by the same Lord and empowered by the same Spirit. If gifts are the Spirit operating in us as He chooses, why would we compare our acts of service to another's. We are who He says we are, and we as a church are free to be who He made us to be only when we quit the insecure worldly pattern of comparison.

Prayer: Help me today to be OK with who you made me to be. Help me be OK with how You want to work in my life today. Help me live to please You alone and get my identity from You so I am free to be a part of the wonderful gift of the church. When I know who I am in You I am free to weep with those who weep and celebrate with those who celebrate. I can contribute rather than take!