“Your gifts find their fulfillment when used for the good of others.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 4, 2021
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12:7, ESV
In the past week, I have twice played in a “parents vs. kids” soccer game, taking on my children and their peers, reminding me in the process that I am not as young as I once was! However, it is amazing to see the power of a common goal and the way sports can draw people out and unite them around a shared mission. Prior to this game, the parents had spent an entire season sitting on the sidelines, alternating between watching their children practice and escaping into their phones. We sat in a row, side by side, yet entirely disconnected from one another. Yet when invited out into the game, we became friends and allies, quickly learning one another’s strengths and weaknesses and learned how to work together to show our children that we could still keep up!
Believe it or not, the spiritual life is not that different from this soccer game. Each of us has gifts that have been given by the Spirit, yet they remain inactive until we enter into the shared mission of God. Your gifts find their fulfillment when used for the good of others. Individual gifts of the Spirit are not meant to stay with you in isolation from others. Yes, they shape and form you more and more into the likeness of Christ, yet we must ask ourselves, what does Christ’s likeness look like?
To be like Christ is to be more and more concerned with the needs of others and the brokenness of the world around you. True growth in the Spirit will always move you from isolated self-interest to genuine concern for those in need. And when this happens in individual Christ followers, as they look up and out, they will see one another and discover the invitation that stands before them to enter into this mission together!
We need the gifts of the Spirit to live the life we have been called to live. Yet never forget that these gifts are shared gifts, given for the strengthening of the family of God in its shared mission. Receive the gifts of the Spirit today with anticipation, and discover the joy of using your gifts for the common good.
Father, help us to find our place in the family of God, working together for the good of others and your glory, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
What gifts have you been given, not to keep to yourself, but to share with others for the common good?
Loud Harp: I’m Yours
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