Day 23: Body Building

Opening Prayer:Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.”

Daily Scripture Reading:

  • Genesis 40:6-15
  • I Corinthians 12:7-31
  • I Peter 4:10

Today we see the dreamer become the dream interpreter. Not only did Joseph notice that the cupbearer was “dejected,” and ask why he “looked so sad,” he went on to help him by interpreting his dream. We can learn a couple of important lessons through this interaction. First of all, Joseph recognized and declared, “Do not interpretations belong to God?” before he ever asked to hear the cupbearer’s dream. He was extremely clear on who held the power, and immediately gave God the credit for the gift he was about to use. Secondly, we see Joseph courageously risk being wrong or looking crazy as he interpreted the cupbearer’s dream. What if things didn’t turn out like he said they would? Wouldn’t he look like an idiot? Wouldn’t he give God a “bad name” by claiming His power then blowing it? Joesph doesn’t seem deterred by these doubts. He knew that the bigger risk was being disobedient and withholding a gift that could help another.

In I Corinthians 12:7-11 we read a long, yet not exhaustive, list of spiritual gifts that God uniquely blesses us with when we come to Christ. Some of these feel very supernatural- prophecy, tongues, healing, miraculous powers. Other gifts listed here and other places feel a little more natural- faith, generosity, administration, craftsmanship, teaching. The important thing to know is that every Christian has the the Holy Spirit living inside of them and is gifted in one or more of these areas. Yes, even you!

Then in verses 12-31, we read Paul’s masterful metaphor of the Church as a body. The body needs all the parts to function wholly. Though some parts seem more important than others, they can only do their job if every other part is healthy. A body with 5 heads and no feet would be non-functional. We can’t all be the eyes. We can’t all be the hands. A healthy body is diverse. A healthy body protects its members. A healthy body is only healthy when every part is strong willing to do its job.

And then in I Peter 4:10 we read that each of us should use our various and unique gifts to serve each other. We are to pull each other into wholeness using all of who God created us to be! I have not been asked to use your gifts and you have not been asked to use mine, but I have been called to use every bit of my gifts FOR your benefit and your’s FOR mine! It goes much further than a neat list on the pages of Scripture. We are to use our unique experiences, our personality types, our introversion or extroversion, the special strengths of our gender to build up the body of Christ. No one person with one set a spiritual gifts, one personality type, inhabiting one gender can fully represent the character of God, though we are all made in His image. We all have the privilege of showing our part of the Father to the world. “Oh look, you have His eyes. You have His smile. You have His Hands.”

Be a Body builder and an image bearer. Be courageous and take risks as you seek to be obedient in using your gifts. Your Heavenly Father has blessed you so that you can bless others. Don’t hold back!

Today’s Big Questions: Are you a Body builder? Do you use your unique gifts, experiences, and personality to build up the Body of Christ? If not, what is holding you back? Are you unsure of your gifting? Are you afraid to risk messing up? Are you too consumed with your own dream to invest in someone else’s?

Prayer Response: Today ask the Holy Spirit to show you for the first time or remind you of ways He has uniquely gifted you to build up the Body of Christ. Then ask Him for the awareness and the courage to use those gifts today to bless those He puts in your path.

Optional Action Step: Make a few lists under several categories to help you clarify the ways you are being called to build up the Body of Christ. List unique past experiences. List the things you are naturally good at or talents you have. List the activities you love to do. List the issues that fire you up and make you exceptionally excited or exceptionally angry. If you know your spiritual gifts, list those. If you know your Enneagram number or Myers Briggs personality type, list all that means as well. If you need some help, ask a trusted friend or family member to speak into some of these areas. When you are finished, see if you can identify a few threads or things you know God is asking you to be or do for the Body.

Closing Prayer:Now to Him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

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