Jump Start # 2515
Romans 12:4 “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function”
Our verse today describes the various gifts, talents and functions that exist among the members in the church. Contextually, much of this has to do with special spiritual gifts. However, there are some principles that we ought to see among all of us from these verses.
In one way, we are all the same. We all have a background. We all have sinned. We all are saved by Jesus. We all are saved the same way. We all have to walk the same path and journey to Heaven. There is a unity and a sameness about us. That’s encouraging. There are no ‘lone wolfs’ among us. No one does his own thing. We can look to those ahead of us for example and those behind us to give encouragement. We are drawn together by the same Gospel. We worship the same God. In many ways, we are all the same.
But, as our verse shares, there is a way in which we are all very different. We do not have the same function. It is important to see this contrast, that we are the same, yet we are different. We are united, yet we have different functions.
Society has lost that idea of same and different. Girls are now in boy scouts. Girls want to play on the boys teams in sports. And in liberal progressivism anything a man can do a woman can do. Well, that’s not 100% true. Someday there will be a woman president. There are women CEO’s, and women have been sent into space. Equal pay for the same job makes sense to me. But, men and women are different. They are wired different and they look different. At home, when a child skins his knee, he runs to his mamma. She’ll kiss it, hug him and make him feel better. Dad would say, “walk it off and be tough.” However, when the bike broke, we went to dad. Men and women are different. That’s the way God made us.
So our passage says there is one body yet many members. These many members do not have the same function. It’s like a mom and dad in the home. Some are tender and great encouragers. Others, that’s not their cup of tea. Some are wonderful leaders and examples. Some are good at teaching. Some are the roll up your sleeves and lets get this done type of people. Some have the gift of vision and they see where we ought to be. Some just know what to say when someone is down. Some are very public and open with what they do. Others are behind the scenes and very few know what they do.
Now, all of this leads us to a few more thoughts:
First, we all function. There’s no one just along for the ride. We all add something, somewhere. That’s the key. Finding what you are good at and doing it. Using your ability in the kingdom is what God wants all of us to do. Some may have five talents and others one. But no one has zero. In the parable about the vine and the branches, the branches that did not produce were cut off and thrown into the fire. God is expecting you to do your part. If all you can do is clean, then get down to the church house and clean it. Get over to a senior citizens home and help them clean. If you can write, then do it. Make class material. Be sending cards. You got ideas, then share them. Every person ought to be able to say, “This church needs me because I do…” And the “…” is what you do. Pulling weeds. Opening doors. Mailing bulletins. Teaching a class. Having the teens over. You have a role to play. You are expected to function.
Second, some functions get more attention than others, but that does not mean they are more important than others. We notice the song leaders, the Bible class teachers, and of course, the preacher. Very visible. You see what they are doing. What they are doing is important, but don’t think it’s more important than what you do. On a Sunday, I stand behind the pulpit and preach. I’ve been doing that for decades. However, there is a whole team of folks that makes that easy for me. The building is clean. The lights all work. The buttons click when they are supposed to click. The mics are on and loud. There was paper and toner in the copy machine so things could be printed. There are people handing things out as folks walk in. Lots and lots and lots of people who have made it easy for me to stand behind the pulpit and preach. And, when someone wants to be baptized, we don’t panic and wonder if there is any water in the baptistery. It’s filled, heated and ready. There are so many people who do things so that our worship is smooth, excellent and encouraging. Don’t be jealous of others. Do what you can do.
Third, all of this ought to point to God who deserves to be glorified. It’s not about us. It’s not about who gets the most shout outs from the pulpit, name in the bulletin or pat on the back. All that we do is for God. We bow before Him. This is about Him. It is God who has gifted us with our talents. It is God who is deserving. When we forget this, pride enters the room. And, pride kills all the good that we do. Pride is like mold on a wall. It’s hard to get rid of and it’s not healthy to have around. Who is the best song leader? Don’t go there. Who is the best preacher? Stop those thoughts. This is not a contest like on TV. We have different talents and abilities and backgrounds. This is about giving our best to God. My best may not be very good, but if it’s my best, that’s all that counts. Remember poor widow gave two mites in the Gospels. That wasn’t much money. But she gave all that she had and that made it an incredible gift. When we try to do our best all the time, no matter what we are doing, then God will be glorified.
Finally, we need to be thankful that we have different functions and talents. If everyone sang like I do, that would be pitiful. We can learn from each other. We can teach each other. We can share what we know with each other. By doing this, we help others grow. And, in time we find that they may even be better than we are. That’s ok. That’s good. As long as it goes to the glory of God, that’s what we want.
Function—what are you doing for the kingdom? How are you using your talents? Remember, complaining isn’t a talent, nor a function. Being a bump on the long is not a function. It’s time to get up and get busy. The kingdom needs what you can add.
We all have a function…