October 12, 2011

Exodus 34:32 Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the LORD had given him on Mount Sinai.

God gave the Law to Moses, but it certainly wasn’t for Moses alone. Even if he had followed the Law perfectly himself, if he had not communicated it to the others, it would have been essentially meaningless. God’s gifts are seldom, if ever, to stop with the immediate recipient. In our self-centeredness we have a hard time remembering that. Even the most individual of the things God gives, such as physical healing, for example, have a large effect on those around the person who receives them directly. We need to remember that God loves us individually, but He loves all of us individually, so His gifts are always for the blessing of many. In my father’s final letter to the family, written when he was facing the tests and surgery from which he would not wake up in this life, he said something profound. He said that his desire for each of us was that we would do God’s will perfectly, which would fit in perfectly with God’s will for everyone else. We cannot keep even a fraction of that much stuff straight in our minds, but God is personally concerned for every individual on earth, past, present, and future, and His plans leave no one out. That’s why He uses us to bless others, and vice versa. Failure to use what God has given us is depriving others of what God wants to give them through us.

This is something I have come to realize personally, and my father’s words were very helpful in that. However, as a pastor, this has been a very difficult thing to communicate effectively to the believers. People don’t see that their insisting, “God hasn’t gifted me in any way,” is depriving the Body of Christ of what God wants to pour through them. Churches are only healthy to the degree that each member is willing to be God’s agent and instrument of blessing to others. It’s the old problem of comparing. We see someone who is gifted in a particular area in which we aren’t, and we see ourselves as inferior. Or, we think others are insensitive and/or inept because they can’t see and do things as we do. We don’t distinguish well between unity and uniformity. In the Church, unity is one of the highest values, but uniformity is impossible! I cannot get this message across in my own wisdom, as I have demonstrated many times, so I have got to depend on the Holy Spirit to do so, perhaps using my words in the process.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for Your faithfulness to speak through me. I pray that all my hearers, and readers, would have hearts to receive what You are saying, so that hearts and lives may be transformed and the Body of Christ built up, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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