Warmth in Giving

Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-26.

All the parts of the human body were designed by our Creator to work together. Thus, when one part fails to function as it was designed, the whole body is affected. Every part matters to the whole—and the same is true for us, the body of Christ. 

The Bible compares the local church to a body to demonstrate that every member of that body is essential. You see, God has given every believer at least one spiritual gift, and these gifts are what determine a person’s function in the body of Christ. Every gift is incredibly important to the healthy functioning of the whole.

In Paul’s day, the Christians in Corinth were confused about spiritual gifts. Some envied the more attention-getting gifts, like miraculous powers and speaking in tongues. Others thought they were too good for the gifts they had received, the quieter gifts such as wisdom and helping. As a result, many gifts went unused or, worse, were twisted into sources of pride. But this kind of behavior is an affront to the wisdom and love of God. The proper response to our King’s gracious gifts is humble gratitude and joy in using these gifts to serve Christ and His church.

As God’s church, we are one body but many parts. We will not all have the same jobs to accomplish (see 1 Corinthians 12:17). God has given the church a variety of people with differing spiritual gifts for both our individual and corporate blessing. The gifts you’ve been given were chosen for you by God, and God knows what He is doing. So, if we are to see our local church thrive, we must discover what our gifts are and exercise them with diligence and humility.

When it comes to the body of believers, we need each other—every part—in order to be healthy and strong. We must support and protect each other. No part of the church can function properly on its own. And often the people you never see up front at church are among the most critical members of the body of Christ. Though they serve quietly in the background with administration, faith, giving, knowledge, and more, they are seen by our Father in heaven. So, when it comes to spiritual gifts, let’s use them not for self-promotion but for humble, loving service to the body of Christ.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the gifts You’ve given me. May I humbly use them to serve You and Your church for Your purposes. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be” (1 Corinthians 12:18).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Healthy Living in a Sick World, Part 17: LISTEN NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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