Everyone's Gift Matters

But that isn't the way God has made us. He has made many parts for our bodies and has put each part just where he wants it. What a strange thing a body would be if it had only one part! So he has made many parts, but still there is only one body.

The eye can never say to the hand, "I don't need you." The head can't say to the feet, "I don't need you."

And some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary. Yes, we are especially glad to have some parts that seem rather odd! And we carefully protect from the eyes of others those parts that should not be seen, while of course the parts that may be seen do not require this special care. So God has put the body together in such a way that extra honor and care are given to those parts that might otherwise seem less important. This makes for happiness among the parts, so that the parts have the same care for each other that they do for themselves. If one part suffers, all parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. 1 Corinthians 12:18-26 (TLB)

Linda Neff lives in Ontario, Canada. After having surgery on one of her big toes, she required a walker for support and weeks of recovery. Her entire day seemed to revolve around that toe and its healing. Linda had never said to a friend, "Let me show you my wonderful toe! It helps me so much every day!" But after this experience, Linda felt a new appreciation for its importance.

The way Linda had undervalued her toe made her think about the parts of the body of Christ - the church. Some people have roles to play that often go unnoticed, yet they serve important functions in God's work. She thought of the editors who make a writer's work clearer, the people who quietly pray for others, and the custodians who keep church facilities clean and ready for study and worship each week. The list goes on. How often do we take the time to acknowledge and encourage others? Paul reminds us that when any member suffers, we all suffer; and when any member is honored, we rejoice together. When members of our Christian family are hurting in some way, we can support and encourage one another , renewing our strength for the tasks God has assigned to us. When we care for and value one another ,it is cause for rejoicing.

How often do you take time to encourage or acknowledge the work of someone in the church? Too often it is easier to go on with our own concerns and problems. So this week, how about making an effort to pray for someone, to phone someone, or, if you see someone, take time to speak words of encouragement and kindness. I can think of many folks that I appreciate; so I would like to put out a thank you to Mike Slicker, Jean and Ken Blackman, Jean and Allan Gomez, John McEwen, Jim Hooper, Annette Sims, Rachel Kim; and, of course, Pastor Jacob. These are just a few of many. Now it's your turn.

Prayer: Dear God, help us to see the value of other Christians and to commend them for their work, in Jesus' name, amen.

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