Day 32 ~ The Purpose Driven Life ~ Using What God Gave You
You have a Unique Contribution to Make in God’s Ecclesia.
“Therefore I urge you, brothers, on account of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgment, according to the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and not all members have the same function, so in Christ we who are many are one body, and each member belongs to one another.
We have different gifts according to the grace given us. If someone’s gift is prophecy, let him use it in proportion to his faith; if it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is giving, let him give generously; if it is leading, let him lead with diligence; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” (Romans 12:1-8) (BSB)
Rick Warren in this chapter Day 32 of “The Purpose Driven Life” uses a portion of text from the Message as his opener “Since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvellously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be.“ Romans 12:5 (MSG)
- This chapter brings out three keys to living in the fullness of Christ-likeness;
1 – know you have a unique role to play within the ecclesia of Christ’s Church,
2 – know you are unique and have the right talents and will be equipped with the right spiritual gifts for your most valued contribution,
3 – do not be envious, live and relish in the truth of what you are, a facade or display of something you are not will be a temporary lie and you will be outside the realms of what God needs you for.
“Knowing” in terms of the statements above means having faith that God knows best, and having the peace and all sufficiency that what you are is enough. I have to continually remind myself that Jesus did not intend for us to be pressurised or driven into submission. In (John 15:1-17) it is about simply accepting the fact that we have to abide in him. Rest in Christ. Further, (Matthew 11:29-30) “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (BSB) is so simple yet in our fast-paced lives so difficult to achieve mentally. When Paul wrote “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works,” (Ephesians 2:8–9) (BSB) it also lightens the burden of responsibility to try to create some kind of facade of who we are not. If you frequent a true ecclesia, which is not some replica of the outdated temple model, then because your brothers and sisters in Christ will be practising “love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34–35) there is no necessity for performance beyond your abilities or natural Spiritual giftings.
Those who love Christ and live by his commands will love you because of the love of Christ in them. Will love and cherish who you are because when they look at you they realise that you are a wonderful being created in the image of God. The more humbly you wear the skin that God has given you the more beautiful and lovable you will be.
We live in a world where we are so hounded for performance that it is difficult for us to function within the realm of peace which God offers us under the new covenant. In the traditional religious world you are continually browbeaten by the Mosaic law. The misconstrued principle which is often subliminally enforced by traditional churches requires us to perform in terms of the temple model.
“You are the body of Christ; individually as much as you are his body corporately. Everyone of you mirrors Christ. He defines your form.
The individual member does not give context to the body; the body gives context to the member.
Wherever God places you in the body is to co-compliment the full function of the ecclesia.” (1 Corinthians 12:27–28) (Mirror Bible)