Talents and Stewardship. Cilia and Stirrup.

As I said earlier, the church is one body and all its parts has its distinctive roles. It doesn’t matter if you are the stirrup (the smallest bone in the ear) or the earlobe or the toenail or the femur. All have a play to role, and one is need of the other.

This morning, I was lingering on thoughts about the church being as a body and have always loved how the apostle Paul did the comparison a few times in his epistles. The church, with Christ being the head, is one body composed of many, many parts. I remembered the time that I was literally imagining the church having major parts like the heart, liver, skin, bones, spinal cord, and there’s the seemingly minor parts like the hair, eyelashes, nails and even the cilia which are the tiny hairs inside our noses. Thinking further, I told myself, then there must also be parts we cannot see with the naked eye like the capillaries, red blood cells, lymphocytes and the like. All these parts playing a function, a responsibility in the body that it belonged to.

Society today values the magnitude of the position and roles we play, especially when there’s a hierarchy present. We equate a higher position or a higher responsibility to a greater importance and put it on an unnecessary pedestal. Conversely, we associate trivial responsibilities with insignificance, resulting to much discouragement and neglect.

As I said earlier, the church is one body and all its parts has its distinctive roles. It doesn’t matter if you are the stirrup (the smallest bone in the ear) or the earlobe or the toenail or the femur. All have a role to play and one part is need of the other. What do you think happens if the stirrup malfunctions? Our hearing gets affected, right?  Then it irritates us as we are unable to converse properly when our sense of hearing fails us. When our nails get severely damaged, it restrains not only our affected finger but the whole hand as its movement become limited due to pain and inflammation. One small cut on the sole of the feet can cause the body to go haywire like in septic shock if this cut is not treated properly. If one part suffers, the whole body suffers with it.

As Paul particularly mentioned all these truths in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 (which I didn’t have a clue on until today, by the way), one part cannot say because I am not an eye, I am not part of the body. One part cannot say to the other that I have no need of you. The body is considered one unit, with all parts caring for one another and working together by focusing on the roles they were given, no comparison or envy.

Hence, it should be the same in the church. You may think that your role maybe irrelevant because you are not a pastor. Maybe you are discouraged because you only have the gift of tongues. Take heart! God, in His infinite wisdom and gracious love, has bestowed to you roles and gifts as He pleased; gifts, talents, positions, roles and responsibilities which we should be good stewards of as a sign of gratitude.

Remember the parable of talents (Matthew 25:14-30)? The master was greatly pleased when the other two servants became good stewards of the talents they were given by doubling it according to the amount they were given. What if the third servant did the same thing, that instead of hiding that one single talent, he also doubled it? Most probably, the master would have been pleased with him as well. As with the first two servants, the master said the same thing, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” It wasn’t a matter of who made more. The master didn’t require the servant given with two talents to produce five more like the first one. It was a matter of being faithful with what they were given.

We cannot all be preachers. We cannot all be worship leaders. We cannot all have the same gifts. Similar yes, but not all same. Some might be called to higher calling, but we all have place in this body. Some need to be the knee, the teeth, the uvula or the stirrup but all parts are essential and indispensable.

So if you are the stirrup or a cilia in this body of Christ, I encourage you, shine! Shine your brightest! Be the best stirrup you could ever be! Be the best cilia you could ever be! For your one most important Audience, watching from above, is greatly pleased as you shine your brightest in the part He has given you with.

If you want to know more about the God who generously gave us gifts, talents and positions in Christ Jesus, click here.

 

Be Still! Rejoice! He is God!

Break out into singing all you children of the Jehovah Sabaoth! Be still! Rejoice! He is God! He is exalted among the nations! He is exalted in the earth! Be still! Rejoice!

Yesterday, I was taken aback by a post in facebook. On the post was one of our church’s original songs entitled, “Purihin Pangalan Niya” (personal translation: Praise His Name) and who originally composed it. What surprised me was that it was composed by the youth of Hope Tacloban in Philippines as a thanksgiving song after these youth and their families where transferred to their new houses whilst Typhoon Yolanda was wreaking dire havoc. The song is well loved as its lyrics and tempo will bring about singing and dancing full of joy and praises to God.

Such a timely reminder, as today Strait Times reported 7 new cases of the 2019 nCOV infection here in Singapore. Some cases are near home which whispered much fear in my heart. At the same time, the words, “Be still and know that I am God.” lingered in my mind. Looking for more comfort, I read through the whole chapter of Psalm 46:

“God is our refuge and strength,
A[a] very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the [b]midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the [c]tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be [d]moved;
God shall help her, just [e]at the break of dawn.
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.

10 Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah”

What an encouragement from the LORD! He is our refuge and strength! He is always present and He will help in any trouble whether it was earthquakes, crumbling mountains or roaring oceans. He gives us an assurance that He is always with His children. He is powerful and sovereign above it all even when nations are in chaos and kingdoms crumble. Desolation and wars aren’t something He is unconscious of, but rather, in His wisdom and judgement, His works. He is Jehovah Sabaoth, Lord of Hosts and He is with us! What do we need to do? Do we fear? Do we panic? Do we give in to defeat? No! We need to be still and know that He is God! Our God, the Lord of the Heavenly Armies! Again, we need to be still and know He is God! The God who doesn’t change! Whose faithfulness and mercies cover a thousand generations!

Somehow, I understood how those youth from Tacloban were able to compose such a wonderful song of praise amidst much lost and sorrow. The typhoon may have taken their homes, but the LORD God have provided new homes for them. From the provision God rendered to them comes a quiet confidence that He was with them during the storm, their very present help in that trouble, thereby yielding a song full of rejoicing!  Truly, His name is worthy of highest praises!

So instead of being discouraged of this rising number of 2019 n-COV infection, I pray that we stand firm, not letting fear seize our hearts. Instead, we hold our ground and continue to believe that our LORD God is the God Almighty above all things! No matter how this outbreak unfolds, God is God! Break out into singing all you children of the Jehovah Sabaoth! Be still! Rejoice! He is God! He is exalted among the nations! He is exalted in the earth! Be still! Rejoice!

If you would like to have this stillness in Jehovah Sabaoth through Jesus Christ is, I greatly and lovingly encourage you to click this.

 

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