The Logic of Worship
Father in heaven, I want to trust You, but my fear remains. Today, give me courage from Your Word.
Read Romans 12:1-8
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“The possession and use of spiritual gifts are inseparably bound up with the functioning Church” (Kenneth O. Gangel). The corporate use of our gifts is a truth that’s vital to remember.
Having straightened out our thinking, Paul now turns to the implications for Christian living. We can now see that what God has done in Jesus, for Gentiles and for Jews, is the continuation and climax of his plan from the beginning–to show mercy to those who are near and those who are far off.
It is understanding this that equips us for life. When we see for ourselves the depths of the “compassions of God” (a better translation than the traditional “mercies”), then we willingly offer ourselves back to the one who offered himself for us. There is a “theo-logic” in this: if God has given us so much, why would we hesitate to give back to him? There is no sense in which we do this to earn God’s favor; it has been lavished on us, and this is just the natural response. And this whole process is transformative; once we understand God, ourselves and the world around us properly, we are free to live for him even if that means being countercultural and swimming against the tide.
We now see that we are not autonomous individuals, but we belong to one another as much as we belong to God. In a metaphor he has already used at length in writing to the Christians in Corinth (1 Cor. 12:12-31), we are “members” not just of the body of Christ, but of one another (5), and we see that such qualities and abilities as we have are not badges of merit but “gifts” from a generous giver. As our lives are caught up in the self-giving of God, we cannot help giving of ourselves to one another. The differences between us are not causes for division or rivalry, but are a sign of the richness of unity-in-diversity that flows from God himself.
Do you feel any sense of rivalry or jealousy about the “gifts” God has given you and others? If so, thank him for his generosity instead.
Father, I thank You for the spiritual gifts You have given me. May I find that using them in the Spirit’s power strengthens the Church and proclaims the Gospel.