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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Today’s scripture reading:
Our oneness in Christ does not destroy our individuality. The Holy Spirit has given each Christian special gifts for building up the church. Now that we have these gifts, it is crucial to use them. Are you spiritually mature, exercising the gifts God has given you? If you know what your gifts are, look for opportunities to serve. If you don’t know, ask God to show you, perhaps with the help of your minister or Christian friends. Then, as you begin to recognize your special area of service, use your gifts to strengthen and encourage the church.
Some Christians fear that any mistake will destroy their witness for the Lord. They see their own weaknesses, and they know that many non-Christians seem to have stronger character than they do. How can we grow up into Christ? The answer is that Christ forms us into a body–into a group of individuals who are united in their purpose and in their love for one another and for the Lord. If an individual stumbles, the rest of the group is there to pick that person up and help him or her walk with God again. If a person sins, he or she can find restoration through the church even as the rest of the body continues to witness to God’s truth. As part of Christ’s body, do you reflect part of Christ’s character and carry out your special role in his work? (NLT)
Ephesians 4:11-16 – He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.
Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. — Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
Carol Purves (Cumbria, England) titled her story “GOD’S PLACE FOR ME;” here is Carol’s story:
“When I went to visit Maria, I found a clean and tidy house that smelled of freshly baked bread. Everything was ready for her husband and three sons to return home from work and school. But Maria wasn’t happy.
“‘The sermon on Sunday she said, ‘but I don’t feel I have any. I married very soon after leaving school and when the children came along I couldn’t continue my small job in the office. These days I never manage to tell anyone about Jesus and his love.’ I assured Maria that she displays the love of Jesus to others every day. Her sons have always brought their friends over to spend time in a home where they have always felt loved and welcomed. Besides these acts of hospitality, Maria has supported her husband in his many different activities. Furthermore she is a compassionate listener for her neighbors and serves in the church in many ways. She is the biblical Martha and Mary — rolled into one.
“The mission field for some of us is abroad; for others it’s the home, office, church, or neighborhood. Wherever we serve God and our neighbors is the place where God needs us to be.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God has placed me precisely where I can serve best.
Prayer: Loving God, help us to enthusiastically serve in the situations where you have placed us. Amen.
Prayer Focus: SOMEONE WHO FEELS USELESS
To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
SPIRITUAL GIFTS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/spiritual-gifts/
UNITY, UNIFY, UNITED: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/unity-unify-united/
OBEDIENCE, OBEY: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/obedience-obey/
ABILITY, ABILITIES: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/ability-abilities/
PREPARATION, PREPARED, PREPARING: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/preparation-prepared-preparing/
RESTORATION, RESTORE, RESTORED: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/restoration-restore-restored/
COMPASSION, COMPASSIONATE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/compassion-compassionate/
IMPOSSIBLE, IMPOSSIBILITIES: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/impossible-impossibilities/
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