- Chad Werkhoven
Romans 12:4-8 - Just Do It
You can discover your Spiritual gifts today and immediately use them tomorrow.
Read / Listen
Read Romans 12:4-8
4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 55
Q. What do you understand by
“the communion of saints”?
A. First, that believers one and all,
as members of this community,
share in Christ
and in all his treasures and gifts.
Second, that each member
should consider it a duty
to use these gifts
readily and cheerfully
for the service and enrichment
of the other members.
Throughout his letters, Paul often uses the image of the body as an analogy for the Church. It's amazing just how many systems within your body need to be working well and in harmony with other internal systems in order for you to be healthy. So it is, Paul writes, with the Church.
As Americans, we're a fiercely independent bunch, which in many realms of society is a good thing. We know that society as a whole does better when each individual looks out for his own interests rather than depending on more socialistic systems. But this passage commands us to shelve that individualistic attitude when it comes to the Church. In the Church, "each member belongs to all the others."
This means that the particular gifts that the Holy Spirit has given you do not belong just to you. As we noted yesterday, these gifts you've been given come with strings attached. Not only are you obligated to utilize them to build up the church, but you must use them to benefit your fellow church members.
The final two verses of today's passage form a comprehensive but not exhaustive catalog of gifts, as well as a repeated command to utilize what you've been given. Notice how the final few commands include an adverb to add emphasis that your gift sharing efforts must be more than mediocre. Give generously. Lead diligently. Show mercy cheerfully.
When we cleaned our truck repair shop out years ago before selling it, we found all sorts of things in the warehouse that we forgot we had. What made that especially painful was the realization that we had bought that same part several times over at tremendous cost when we had a dozen of them in storage. What a waste!
As we've mentioned before, you can't use what you don't know you have. You've been given a gift that Christ not only expects you to use, but in a sense depends on you to use it to build His Church. Your fellow members are being shortchanged if you're not sharing your gift with them. And you can't do any of this if you don't know what your gifts are! What a waste!
We have two resources available to help you identify your gifts and become the productive body part that God created you to be. One is a large catalog of different gifts, many of which you probably didn't even know were Spiritual gifts. That same page has a link to an assessment you can take online which will point out what kinds of gifts you likely have. Both resources can be found at wgtncrc.org/gifts.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who is in heaven. His name is holy.
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God for the gifts He's given you, and pray that you'll know what they are, how to use them and that you'll use them cheerfully!
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Romans 7