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God’s Spiritual Gifts for Us

 

As many people know, I’m a big fan of LEGO. I love building detailed models and putting them on display in my office or at home (though my wife thinks our decor is becoming a little too “plastic”!) Did you know there are over 400 billion LEGO bricks in the world today? That’s 62 of the little plastic interlocking bricks for every person on earth. Did you know there are 915 million different ways to combine just 6 2x4 LEGO bricks? Or that there are 2,350 different LEGO elements in 52 colors, which together means there are over 7,000 unique LEGO elements?

I share all of that to make this point: As Christians, we are like LEGO—each of us are unique in our shapes, purpose, and styles—and together we can accomplish near-infinite possibilities!

Every follower of Jesus is given the same Kingdom work to carry out—to share the Gospel and make disciples of all nations, to worship Him in Spirit and Truth, and to “workout our own salvation in fear and trembling.” God has uniquely shaped and equipped each of us to accomplish that task in powerful, life-changing, world-impacting ways.

Like LEGO elements in a model or the pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, you and I are specifically shaped and placed by God so we can give the world a complete model and picture of Christ, and so that His Body, the church, can advance the Gospel.

One way God shapes us is through spiritual gifts. What I always tell my congregation is that really there is only One Spiritual Gift—and that’s the Holy Spirit, who indwells every person when they come into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Spiritual gifts are simply how God’s Spirit manifests through us to accomplish the specific tasks He gives us. We must never use the excuse, “Well, such-and-such just isn’t my gift” or “I’m just not gifted in that way.”

God will never call you to a task that He isn’t willing and ready to equip you to accomplish. So we must not use our “lack” of a spiritual gift to hinder us from meeting a need, sharing the Gospel, going on mission, or serving in some area in our church. Nor should we allow an area of giftedness to make us prideful or look down on others. That’s what was happening in the church in Corinth, as Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 12. Some in Corinth believed they were super-spiritual because they exhibited certain miraculous gifts, like speaking in tongues. They looked down on those who didn’t. They failed to understand the source of their gifts.

In verses 4-7, Paul explains, “Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God works all of them in each person.  A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good” (CSB).

Just as the Holy Spirit is the source of our faith and salvation, He is also the source of our spiritual life, growth, and service— including our spiritual gifts.

There is great diversity in the Body of Christ—look at how Paul contrasts “same” Sprit, Lord, and God with “different kinds” of gifts, service, and workings. This is an important overarching principle to remember: Christian unity is NOT uniformity! The beauty of the church is the diversity of people, and the variety in how God has shaped each of us, all while binding us together into one body! Christian unity preserves our individuality while directing us toward a unified purpose.

The power of a great football team is in the variety of skills and positions working together to move the ball downfield. Our bodies could not function if we were all thumbs, or all ears and no eyes, or all knees and no wrists. It takes all of us working together, leaning into our strengths, to accomplish the unified task of making disciples of Jesus from all generations.

Gifts are not about status, worth, or value—but are about function, roles, and tasks. There are no useless parts in the Body of Christ. God puts us all where He wants us in the Body according to His will.

One of the things that amazes me by great LEGO “master builders” is how they can use just about any LEGO element to build something amazing, creative, or life-like. I love the creative usage of different parts—a door frame, a minifigure hair piece, a wheel, or a rocket engine—to create something totally different. If you have a chance, just go on Google and look for LEGO MOCs (My Own Creation), and you’ll see what I mean.

Our God is a true Master Builder. No matter who we are, what our background, or what our giftedness, if we surrender ourselves to His infinite creativity, we’ll be amazed as what God can build with us. He can use us in unexpected ways to accomplish His purposes, if we surrender to Him in trust.

Just remember, our gifts don’t come from ourselves, but from the Spirit. He is the source. And the reason God empowers us, by His grace, is to work for the good of the church, to build up the Body of Christ. I can’t wait to see what our Master Builder has in store for His church! Will you be a part of it?

David Lambert – FBC Thomson

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