1 Corinthians 12:1-31
Theme: Our role in the body of Christ.
This week’s lessons challenge us to know our spiritual gifts and to use them in the Church.
There are three applications that I want to make from 1 Corinthians 12. The first is, be content with what you have been given. If you are not content, you are telling God that you know better than he. Therefore, be content with whatever God has given you, because God gave it to you and he knows best.
Second, do not exalt one of God’s servants over another. If there is anything we are guilty of in the Church of Jesus Christ, this is it. There are many who are prone to idolize preachers in this way. One time while I was standing with some other preachers, someone said to one of them, “Oh, you offered us so much wisdom.” Then that same person turned to me and said, “Oh, I just love your voice.” Well, that was humbling. Do not exalt one Christian over another. What do we have but what we have been given?
God has given some of us talents that place us in the public eye. He has given others talents that nobody sees. Either way, God is working in your life through your gifts and talents, and he is doing so wisely. When we exalt one gift over another, we are failing to appreciate our own gift and we must not do that.
The final application is the most obvious of all, and that is the need to be conscientious. Use your gift. Do not be like the man who was given a talent and buried it. When the master came back and asked him what he had done with the talent, the man said, “Oh, Lord, I knew you are a hard man, gathering where you do not sow. Consequently I took your talent and buried it in the ground. Here it is. You can have it back again.” The master said that his servant was wicked as well as slothful. He was wicked because he wrongly ascribed evil to his master, and he was also slothful because he was too lazy to use what God had given him. Let us not be slothful. Let us not be wicked. Let us use what God has given and look forward to that day when we will stand before the throne of Jesus Christ and, by his grace we will hear him say, “Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”
How does discontent dishonor God?
Meditate on the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25:14-30.
Offer God thanks for giving you your own unique gifts and abilities; then pray for a heart to go out and use them for his glory.
Begin to exercise your gift or gifts in at least one specific instance every week.