Hello and welcome! This is the Geeks Under Grace daily devotional where we dive into the Bible everyday. We take devotionals from bible.com and read the verses, devotional, and give our own commentary. Sometimes we will have multiple writers, but most of the time it will be just me. I hope you enjoy and comment with your own commentary.
This devotional is titled “Casting Crowns – The Overflow Devo”. It is only 7 days long. I use the ESV bible but feel free to use the version of your choosing.
1 Corinthians 12
“1Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. 3Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.
I can still see her face.
The young Venezuelan girl eased into our Wednesday youth group meeting, joining others from a visiting missions group. Our students didn’t know she came to help us prepare for a trip to her country. I learned later that she was so poor that they had to buy her some presentable clothes for the trip.
None of our students welcomed her. No one struck up a conversation with the obvious stranger who looked a little different. Our youth milled around her as she sat and listened to all of their conversations. I tried to imagine everything our Venezuelan visitor heard from the gabby teenaged American girls ignoring her. If the conversations were usual fare, some of the girls talked about what others were wearing and some of them talked about what they were going to do Friday night.
Surely, the visiting girl must’ve heard it all. Then she sat back and watched all those same girls stand and raise their hands in worship.
When the leader of the missions group invited the Venezuelan girl onstage, the first thing she did was pray. In Spanish. I looked over and wondered what the girls who had sat around her were thinking. When she finished praying in Spanish, she looked up and began speaking in English. The room fell into a hush. Surely some of the girls in the audience thought, “She heard everything we said.” As I listened to her give a heartfelt appeal to come to Venezuela, I couldn’t help but wonder whether she was thinking in the back of her mind, “You are going to come to visit us? No way. This place isn’t real. I don’t know who you people think you are.”
I don’t know. Maybe our visitor never had such thoughts. But if she made any effort to listen to the America that was around her that day, I believe she could not have helped but notice the superficiality. Our youth ministry has matured since that day, and we have many core kids who are solid believers. But one of the reasons I felt comfortable in writing such an outspoken song was because I also once was a kiddie-pool Christian. As I continue to learn a life of faith, I look at my students and see myself twenty-five years ago. I don’t know where I missed it as I grew up in church, but giving myself over to Jesus and letting him help himself to my life never really crossed my mind. This song was my attempt to remind all of us that James says faith without works is dead. In other words, if Jesus is really in you, he’s going to pour out of you.
The sad truth is that many of us in the American church aren’t close enough to God to see what anybody else would want with him, so fulfilling The Great Commission becomes only a duty. At that point, what little energy we muster in Christ’s service is hardly a labor of true love—for the Lord or for a lost world.
First Corinthians 12 helped open my eyes to our individual roles in the body of Christ. It’s a short chapter. Go check it out.
I learned that everybody has a ministry in the Church. Ministry isn’t reserved for only the people onstage. I once thought that if you didn’t sing or act or speak—or if you weren’t off in Africa wearing one of those little missionary shirts—you weren’t in ministry. I mistakenly believed that I was just part of the audience. Eventually, I discovered that there is no audience in the body of Christ. There are only believers, only servants. We’re the body. We’re the hands, the feet, the ears, and the toes, and when everyone in the body isn’t performing his ministry, the body suffers. It limps and crawls. It doesn’t work. We’re the first and primary way that Jesus is going to love on others. We’re his chosen vessels. He chooses to love them through us. That’s his design for the Church. We are their clearest picture of Jesus. And how we respond is how they’re going to see God.
I am right on board with Casting Crowns. Kiddie pool Christian. I was that whilst growing up in the church as well. Blame it on my church, my parents, or myself. It really doesn’t matter. It didn’t hit me until I was an adult about what being a real Christian was all about. “ I once thought that if you didn’t sing or act or speak—or if you weren’t off in Africa wearing one of those little missionary shirts—you weren’t in ministry.” Yeah, I thought that too. It was never really made clear that everyone is the body of Christ and part of His ministry. Maybe, I wasn’t listening. That is a viable weakness I have had my entire life. Nonetheless, we are all a part of the body of Christ and all have the awesome duty of reaching out to others.