Friday, June 5, 2009

Each according to the measure of faith...Romans 12:3-8

"For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.: Romans 12:3

How many of us do the opposite of this word? How many of us think of ourselves more highly than we should think?
We are to think with sober judgment, according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. He assigns the measure of faith. He gives us all things including our faith and that is according to a measure.
We use things to measure the amount of ingredients we need in recipes. Too much and it doesn't come out right or we have more than we need and it gets thrown out. Too little and then we must add more. We must follow the recipe to the t in order for our dish to come out right. So could that be with this measure of faith. Too much and we get the big head and become puffed up. Too little and we don't truly accomplish all God has for us to do. So the work isn't finished.
You see He gives us a measure that is perfect for whatever situation it is we will be doing.
So at times you may have more than other days. So could that explain why at times we feel we can climb mountains one day and the next, feel as if we were hit by a mountain?
Could it be because God is using us for His purpose and reminding us who is in control, so that we will continue to give Him glory?

"For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we though many, aree one body in Christ, and individually members of another." Romans 12:4
We are many and yet one. Many different parts of the body, yet all members of the same.
Paul is using a description of our physical body to describe Jesus' body. We should all have two hands and 10 fingers. Yet if we only have two fingers with no thumb then you can't very well pick things up. We need our thumb in order to help the rest of the hand to fullfill its complete function. We need our feet to walk. We must know that in church we are not all thumbs, hands, feet, or eyes etc.. We each have a different purpose. And we must all be utilized in the church. Not just one person, but all!

"Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness." Romans 12:6-8

I want to really talk about this word. Paul says "having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us." You see there are different gifts that operate in the body, and they function according to the grace given to us. Paul then says, "let us use them." According to that, it seems the gifts are still for today. These are grace gifts. Charismata.

If your faith is built up then prophecy as the Lord leads- Some may have this gift functioning and yet not be operating in the others.
Such as service- I am experiencing a lot being talked about serving. I know a lot of people who truly operate in this gift to the point that they give almost all of their free time to serving others.
Not everyone has that ability. So we shouldn't look down at others who don't.
I don't always have this gift, but when I do....look out. It becomes a joy for me. I am not saying we shouldn't be out helping others. I am just saying for some it is not hard because God has given them the grace to do it.
As well as with the other gifts spoken above-I know a gentleman who is an excellent teacher.
He can take a verse of scripture and just pull so much out of it. Yet others can look at the same scripture and just see word. It is a gift from God. This young man functions well in that area. Yet I know also that he doesn't function well in others. Nothing wrong with that, it is just the grace of God has been given to him for teaching.
The one who exhorts- I have been operating in this gift for a long time on and off. I love to give exhortations, especially when people are feeling down. Yet this gift often times gets shut down, because some people see a person operating in this as overbearing. So they uses ways of shutting the person down, sometimes to the point of quenching the fire. I know others who operate in this gift with great fervor.
The one who contributes- Again this could be right there with service. Whether contributing time, monetarily, or exhortations etc.. This gift is needed. I know those who contribute a lot in time during their service of others. Again not everyone has this gift.
The one who leads with zeal-There are a lot of people who are what we call natural born leaders.
That is a gift from God. He gifts leaders to get out in the front of the pack and help show the way.
They are good at delegating and directing. And they must do this with zeal according to the word.
The ones who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness-Again I can mention someone who I know operates in this really well. This lady has so much mercy and energy for those who she helps.
And she does it with cheerfulness. People like this are likely to have a gift of serving. As they usually love being around people.

I want to make it very clear that I am not trying to put a label on each of these or use this as a litmus test as to whether you have these gifts or not. Our personalities usually work in with these gifts as well. All I am trying to point out is don't feel bad if you see or hear about people going out and serving, leading, teaching or doing one of the other gifts while you don't feel the way they do. You see it is all according to the measure of faith and grace that these function the way they do. We are all one body though many members. So if you have a heart for the homeless you shouldn't look down at someone who doesn't, because they may not be operating in that gift. They may be the one who is supposed to lead or teach etc.. I have been wondering aobut this for a while and the other night the Lord put Romans 12 on my heart. That is when I noticed this as if it were for the very first time. We are all given a gift. Not everyone will be doing the same thing. Yet we shouldn't be quenching one another' gifts either. We should be able to all function together using all the grace gifts.
Please when you recognize any of these gifts operating don't try to snuff it out, because not everyone who is a teacher is a leader. And not everyone who serves is an exhorter. Yet when you have different ones with the different gifts there should be LOVE and harmony in the body.
Your fingers don't fight against the arm. They need the arm to help. The arms need the torso. The torso needs the legs. The legs need the feet. Not to mention the internal members. Those you can't see.
Yet they all need the head....which is Christ.

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