A Cell in Christ’s Body is the sermon for October 21. The sermon comes from 1 Peter 4:10-11 and begins a short series on spiritual gifts. This subject was suggested in Small Group several weeks ago as a point of curiosity and confusion by LifeSpringers. Use this week’s devotional as a way to prepare for the sermon next Sunday.
Daily Bible Readings:
Monday, October 15. Read 1 Corinthians 5:6-8. 1) What was Paul’s view about the human body? 2) What purpose did Paul think the body served?
Tuesday, October 16. Read 3 John 9-10. 1) Describe Diotrophes’ behavior. 2) What effect was he having on the church? 3) Read verse 11. What does Paul advise about Diotrophes?
Wednesday, October 17. Read 1 Corinthians 3:1-4. 1) What criticism does Paul have about the Corinthian church? 2) What do you think Paul wants them to do? 3) Read verses 16-17. What does Paul say about the members of the Corinthian church, here. 4) What is God’s view of a destructive member of the body of Christ?
Thursday, October 18. Read Ephesians 4:11-13. 1) What gifts did Paul say that Christ gave to the church? 2) What is the responsibility of people who possess these gifts? 3) What is the ultimate purpose or goal of the gifts?
Friday, October 19. Read Romans 12:3-8. 1) How does Paul say we should regard ourselves personally? 2) What analogy does Paul make t describe the relationship we have with each other?
Saturday, October 20. Read 1 Peter 4:10-11. This is the text for Sunday’s sermon.
Prayer for the Week:
God and Father of us all, to you I offer my praise as well as my grateful expressions for the ways that you bless your children and equip them for fulness of life. Thank You for the gifts and graces you give us for edifying and encouraging your church.
Lord I dedicate these gifts and graces for the good of your church and for the encouragement of my fellow disciples and followers of you. May my life be used unselfishly for your service, for the growth of the kingdom, and for ministry to those around me.
Use me in whatever way You choose. I ask this in Jesus name,
Hymn of the Week:
How sweet and heavenly is the sight
Joseph Swain, 1796
How sweet and heavenly is the sight
When those who love the Lord
In one another’s peace delight,
And so fulfill his word!
Oh! may we feel each brother’s sigh,
And with him bear a part;
May sorrows flow from eye to eye,
And joy from heart to heart.
Let love, in one delightful stream,
Through every bosom flow,
Let union sweet and dear esteem
In every action glow.
Love is the golden chain that binds
The happy souls above;
And he’s an heir of heaven who finds
His bosom glow with love.
Devotional Article of the Week:
Good and Perfect Gifts
Bet you couldn’t get the wrinkles out of these pants!
by Alan Smith
The following story sounds like an “urban legend,” but it’s true: Roy Collette and his brother-in-law exchanged the same pair of pants as a Christmas present for 25 years — and each time the package got harder to open.
It all started in 1964 when Collette received a pair of moleskin trousers from his brother-in-law, Larry Kunkel. Kunkel’s mother had given her son the pants the year before. He wore them a few times, but they froze stiff in cold weather and he didn’t like them. So he gave them to Collette. Collette didn’t like them either, so he wrapped them up and gave them back to Kunkel for Christmas the next year.
The friendly exchange continued each year until one year Collette twisted the pants tightly, stuffed them into a 3-foot-long, 1-inch wide tube. And so the game began. The next Christmas, Kunkel compressed the pants into a 7-inch square, wrapped them with wire and gave the “bale” to Collette. Not to be outdone, the next year Collette put the pants into a 2-foot-square crate filled with stones, nailed it shut, banded it with steel and gave the trusty trousers back to Kunkel.
The brothers agreed to end the caper if the trousers were damaged. But they were as careful as they were clever.
Kunkel had the pants mounted inside an insulated window that had a 20-year guarantee and shipped them off to Collette. Collette broke the glass, recovered the trousers, stuffed them into a 5-inch coffee can and soldered it shut. The can was put in a 5-gallon container filled with concrete and reinforcing rods and given to Kunkel the following Christmas.
Kunkel installed the pants in a 225-pound homemade steel ashtray made from 8-inch steel casings and etched Collette’s name on the side. In turn, Collette found a 600-pound safe and hauled it to Viracon Inc. where the shipping department decorated it with red and green stripes, put the pants inside and welded the safe shut. The safe was then shipped to Kunkel, who is the plant manager for Viracon’s outlet in Bensenville.
One year, the pants were trucked back to Collette in a drab green, 3-foot cube that once was a 1974 Gremlin with 95,000 miles on it. A note attached to the 2,000-pound scrunched car advised Collette that the pants were inside the glove compartment. And so it went until 1989, when the pants were finally damaged in an attempt to encase them in 10,000 pounds of jagged glass. They have now been turned to ashes and sit in an urn on Kunkel’s mantle.
I imagine more than a few of you receive some presents that you didn’t really want, and would like to have the opportunity to ship them back. However, we can’t say that about the gifts that come from God.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights …” (James 1:17)
God’s gifts are as wonderful as they are bountiful. I hope that you’ve taken the time to thank him lately.