Romans 12:1, 4-8 - I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. ... For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
There's a phrase you've heard, "Mind your own business." It means different things to different people, but it has a useful meaning for us Christians as we think about a world where there are so many needs, so many screaming disasters that we can't figure out what to do first. Do we send money to Ukraine? Feed and house the homeless? Work against natural disasters? Educate children? Care for a single elderly person who is lonely and shut-in? Type up the church bulletin? What first? We can be so overwhelmed we do nothing at all!
Against this, Paul tells us to focus on the gifts and functions God has given each one of us. We should consider our stations in life. Are we married or parents? Then we must care for our spouses and children well. Are we students, workers, retired? In each of those areas of life, we have responsibilities and opportunities that God has given us, and we can ask the Holy Spirit to guide us as we figure out what to do next.
I say this because it's incredibly easy to soak up all the guilt and despair of the world, especially if you read or watch a great deal of news media. No one could cope with it all, not even for a single day. And God doesn't expect us to. We are not the Messiah, after all. We are not the Savior of the world—but we are His body.
Jesus met the needs of the whole world, completely and finally, when He lay down His life on the cross for all of us. His resurrection means everyone who trusts in Him has eternal life starting now. This is the work of Jesus as the head of the body, and we can never match it—nor should we try to. Our jobs are smaller but very important—to meet the needs God has put before us individually, to carry out whatever responsibilities He has placed in our hands right now. One may be called to politics, while another is called to serving the poor. The Holy Spirit will coordinate everything. It is a thing to be happy about, that Jesus gives us so many different assignments as the members of His body—and He Himself is at work in all of us. What an honor! And what a relief, to have the weight of the world where it belongs—not on us, but on Jesus.
WE PRAY: Dear Jesus, show me what You have for me to do—and help me to rely on You as I do it. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. When in your life have you tried to do too much?
2. How did that turn out?
3. When have you seen God using His people to meet the needs of the world?
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