The sermon for Sunday, November 11 is called “Everyone is a part” and takes its inspiration from 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. This is the third in our series on Spiritual Gifts. Read this devotional to be more deeply prepared for the sermon.
Daily Bible Readings:
Monday, November 5. Read 1 Corinthians 6:12-20. 1) What does the Psalmist say about how I should treat my body? 2) What, for example, makes fornication wrong? 3) What privilege does each of us have as disciples of Jesus?
Tuesday, November 6. Read Psalm 139:13-14. 1) What does the Psalmist say about God’s involvement in the Psalmist’s creation? 2) What does it make you think knowing this about yourself? 3) About your responsibility as a human?
Wednesday, November 7. Read Genesis 1:26-31. 1) What conversation does God have regarding the creation of humans? 2) What responsibility does God give humans? 3) How does “image” make humans different than the rest of creation?
Thursday, November 8. Read Romans 12:1-8. 1) What does Paul say the body is for? 2) What do you think it looks like to live in the way Paul prescribes? 3) What does Paul warn against?
Friday, November 9. Read Proverbs 6:16-19. 1) What are the six things that God hates? 2) What role does the body play in the expression of these sins? 3) What responsibility do we have in curtailing the things God hates?
Saturday, November 10. Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. This is Sunday’s sermon text.
Prayer for the Week:
Hymn of the Week:
A Charge to Keep I Have
by Charles Wesley, 1762
A charge to keep I have,
a God to glorify,
a never-dying soul to save,
and fit it for the sky.
To serve the present age,
my calling to fulfill,
O may it all my pow’rs engage
to do my Master’s will!
Arm me with watchful care
as in Thy sight to live,
and now Thy servant, Lord, prepare
a strict account to give!
Help me to watch and pray,
O let me not my trust betray,
but press to realms on high.
Devotional Article for the Week:
How Spiritual Gifts Impact the Church
Experiencing the fullness of God’s love
Spiritual gifts are part of the very nature of God, given to us for Him to use to fulfill His purposes in our lives and on the earth. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul clearly explained the purpose of spiritual gifts.
God gave spiritual gifts for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect [complete] man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight [fraud] of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ (Ephesians 4:12–15).
As we use our spiritual gifts, the Body of Christ will be edified, unified, and matured; we will avoid deception by Satan and by wicked men
The Church Is Designed to Function in Harmony
The Body of Christ is meant to function in the same manner that a physical body functions: “The body is
Each Member of the Body Is Given Spiritual Gifts
Ideally, members of the body of Christ do not function independently as servants of God; rather they function as a healthy, contributing member of the Church:
“Now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. . . . And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you” (I Corinthians 12:18, 21).
The Fullness of God’s Love Is Expressed in the Gifts
If one Christian possessed all of the spiritual gifts, he would be self-sufficient and have no need of the other members. Yet God has deliberately given us different gifts: we need each other. As each believer responds to needs according to his particular spiritual gift, and as God allows believers to serve Him in various roles of spiritual service, the Body of Christ can experience the fullness of God’s love.
We can receive “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of . . . [our] understanding being enlightened; that . . . [we] may know what is the hope of his calling, and what [are] the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power . . . [in] his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:17–19, 23).
God wants us to “know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that . . . [we] might be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19), and He is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20). As we serve God, His people, and the world through the spiritual gifts bestowed upon us by the Holy Spirit, the love of God—the fullness of God—will be demonstrated, proclaimed, and manifested.
Neglected Gifts Diminish the Church’s Effectiveness
If we do not accept and obediently use our spiritual gifts, which are expressions of “the manifold grace of God” (I Peter 4:10), we neglect God’s work of grace in our lives. We will “fail of the grace of God” (Hebrews 12:15). God forbid that we would make that choice!
If you pout because you think you’re not the most important or the most honored or the most noticed or the most needed part of the Body, you don’t automatically stop being an integral part of the Body; however, you do cease to be useful to your fullest potential. If you are dissatisfied with your spiritual gift and decide not to use it, you’ll still have the same gift and the same role in the Body, but you will have refused to function. God will still accomplish His purposes on the earth and in the hearts of men (see Philippians 1:6), but you will forfeit the privilege and joy of carrying out your God-given assignments on the earth.
The Gifts Give Direction and Purpose in Life
Knowing that each of us has gifts that are valuable and needed in the Body of Christ gives us purpose in God’s kingdom. As we demonstrate the love of God through gifts that He gives us, we can experience personal fulfillment and great joy: we can experience purpose in life. As we mature in our understanding of spiritual gifts and learn to be channels of God’s power as He works through them, we are equipped to bear abundant fruit in the kingdom of God.