When my husband’s grandma died, the church that hosted her funeral had a picture hanging in the foyer. From a distance, it was obviously an interpretation of the face of Jesus, but when you looked up close you could see that all the “pixels” were made from portraits of each member of the congregation and placed into a collage that formed the bigger picture.
Such a powerful reminder that we are all part of the body of Christ.
Only ONE You
Strength Finders is a secular tool that Gallup Poll developed through 30 years of research with 2 million individuals. It identifies people’s personality strengths. Most people are not aware of what their strengths are, but Strength Finder’s research shows:
“There is only a 1 in 33,000,000 chance of meeting someone else who has the same top 5 personality strengths you have in the same order as you.”
“There is only a 1 in 447 trillion chance that someone else in the world will have the same top ten strengths you have in the same order as you.”
When the Psalms say that “I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” this is no exaggeration. You are more than one in a million. You are the only one like you, exceptional in every way. No one can do what you do the way you do it. And because of this, no one can make the impact you can make in the world.
As if that weren’t enough, when we trust Jesus to be our Savior and give ourselves to Him, He gives Himself to us. He expresses Himself through each of us, His children, in wonderfully personal, completely unique ways. He takes all the potential He placed in us when He created us, and He adds a PS: gifts (supernatural capabilities).
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” 1 Corinthians 4:4-11
This list is not exhaustive. Gifts are also listed in Romans 12 and Ephesians 4. There may be gifts which are not listed, but at least we know our gifts can look different when they are put together in different ways (a gift mix) and mingled with the natural strengths we are given by God from birth. If Strength Finders could factor in the spiritual variables, those amazing numbers that show how totally unique you are would become even more staggering.
According to Eph. 2:10, you are God’s poem. His workmanship, “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Eph 4:16)
You are the only one equipped to serve in the church and build up the Body of Christ like you can.
COVID has presented the world with a new standard: Keep others at a distance. Avoid meeting together. Many churches are still not holding regular services. This season of separation has had different outcomes for different people. Some have been hungry for more fellowship, while others have become comfortable with online listening and Sunday afternoon chores. Yet, it isn’t God’s plan for the church to be disconnected. Separation is one of the first tactics the devil uses to weaken his enemies. Predators stalk the weak, the young, and the solitary because they are more vulnerable to attack, and the devil is no different.
Hebrews 10:23-25 tells us, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (NIV, emphasis mine)
Hold fast to your faith. Consider how to get each other moving. Don’t stop meeting together.
Have you ever thought about how important each part of the person of God is? He gives Himself to us, this Trinity. The Father’s will to reconcile us to Himself, the Son’s sacrifice to cleanse us, and the Holy Spirit’s power to draw us, fill us, sanctify us and teach us. Jesus is ours and we are His Bride, the Church. Pieces. All these parts of the church, you and me, filled with God’s glory and scattered all across the globe.
And He made us one body with Him. Pieces, knit together in love, living stones.
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Eph.4:4-6
Have you or those you know become comfortable with the new normal? Is it easier to listen alone online than to meet with others?
Come home, all of you beautifully unique, pieces of God’s heart. Fill the sanctuaries again. Come back to the table. Don’t do life alone. Just like God is 3 in one, we are made in His image and we need each other. No one can fill your shoes.
Image by Alexandra ❤️A life without animals is not worth living❤️, Pexels, and Free-Photos from Pixabay.