I was sliding the last batch of cookies into the oven when my eight-year-old daughter asked, “I wonder what would happen if we just baked some flour in the oven?”
“Well, it wouldn’t taste very good, “I said. Then I got to thinking…
Each of us, like each ingredient in a cookie recipe has a job to do. Think about it. In the body of Christ, each of us are called according to a special plan and purpose for God, and to each of us God gives special gifts to meet his plans.
Romans 12:4-8 (NIV) says, “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”
Consider an average Sunday morning church service. To some, He gave the gift to preach, to some the gift to teach, to some the gift to play a musical instrument and to some the gift to sing. To some, He gave the gift of greeting, to some the gift of encouragement, and to some the gift of care and compassion; and let’s not forget the sound system people, the elders, deacons, nursery workers, maintenance workers and yard keepers and other staff and volunteers depending on the needs of your church.
When one of these is missing, the church still functions, but not very well. That person is missed. However, the church goes on, just not as well as when everyone is there.
”All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.”–1 Cor 12:11-12 (NIV)
Let’s go back to the cookies.
The recipe says,” Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, sift the flour. Add the baking soda and salt, vanilla…
Forget the salt, and it's ok. Your cookies will still be edible. You’ll think something is missing, but it's still OK. Forget the eggs or the butter, sugar, or baking soda….well…you might as well be eating paste. Your recipe won’t work.
You see God knows what we need when we need it, and how to meet the need. He equips each of us with special gifts to meet our own needs and help us meet the needs of others.
Be willing to let God use you and your talents and special gifts to make something beautiful in the body of Christ, the church, His people, you, and everyone you come in contact with. The next time you make cookies, remember each and every ingredient is essential to making something wonderful–just like you.