3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,. — Titus 3:3-5a NIV
We are often reminded of the things we did in the past. The thing that causes us to remember can be a single word, a song, a picture, a place, a taste, or a chance meeting with someone we used to know. Even though there is no situation that can ever be duplicated exactly as we remember it, the memories sometimes cause a great longing in us for “the good ole days”. But, as Christians, we need to be very selective in the memories we hold onto. Very few memories are neutral, they remind us of good times or bad times. They also remind us of the evil that was in us before we accepted Jesus as our Savior and hopefully, as our Lord. If we can use our memories and experiences to glorify God, that is a wonderful thing. But we should be careful that when rehearsing our memories that they don’t give more glory to a sinful way of life than they do to the one who gave His life that we might have a glorious future with Him.
38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him. — Luke 8:38, 39 NIV
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. –1 Cor. 12:27-31 NIV
Paul, using the comparison of the physical body to the Spiritual body of Christ, continues to emphasize over and over, the importance of each part. The parts of the Spiritual body are the gifts that the Holy Spirit has placed in each of us. Each smaller body of Christ, the individual congregations, must have the parts to function in unity. All of the gifts are given to edify the complete body. Each congregation must have those with gifts of leadership. But not everyone can be a leader, so there are other positions to fill. God has given each of us a specific gift that is necessary for the body.
10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. — 1 Peter 4:10 NIV
Each of us should study, meditate and pray so that we might know our gift and use it effectively. The gifts are not given to us for our own possession, but for the benefit of the whole body. Unless we share the gift, it is of no value to us or to our congregation. The gifts are given to each of us to share with others.
33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. — Luke 11:33 NIV