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Gifted: To Belong

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Have you ever found yourself somewhere new and from the minute you got there, felt like you belonged?
I want you to think about that for a minute? What does it feel like to belong?
When it comes to the church...

Big Idea: Show Up. Join in. Be you.

1 Corinthians 12:12–14 ESV
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
1 cor 12:12-

1. There is beauty in a diverse community.

Illustration: Now it always feels easier to belong when you have something in common with others in the group.
Now common ground is not hard to find, but it isn’t always apparent, particularly when we have focused so much on outward appearances.
We decide where we belong based on what other people look like, how they are dressed, how they are acting.
When I was in high school, all the cool kids wore abercrombie and fitch clothing. Now I could never afford that in high school. So after college, I had my first job and was like I’m going to go buy some abercrombie and fitch clothes. And from the moment I stepped foot in that store, I realized, I don’t belong here. And all from the music. And the truth is Abercrombie isn’t looking for a diverse community. They are really targeting the high school and college students. They aren’t looking for common ground with adults.
Application: The church should be different. WE should be made up of different people. Jews and Greeks talks about different races and ethnicities. Slaves or free talks about different socioeconomic statuses.
But as we’re about to find out, the church is made up of people with different gifting that help build up the church and to exclude someone based on race or how much money they have keeps the church from reaching its full potential.
1 Corinthians 12:15–20 ESV
15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
1 cor 12:15-

2. Don’t settle for being a loner.

Pew Research just did this big survey of america regarding religion in america. Now I’m naturally skeptical of these polls, because I’ve never actually participated in one nor known anyone who has.
Top 4 answers:
To become closer to God.
So children will have moral foundation.
To make me a better person.
For comfort in times of sorrow.
What’s interesting is that only 35% of professing Christians claim to go to church regularly. And here’s why. Those 4 answers don’t require you to go to church.
People attend church regularly when they are connected.
Illustration: Some people find it i easy to connect with people while the rest of us find it difficult. For some people finding common ground is like, “Hey I see that you are breathing air. I too am breathing air. let’s be friends.”
For the rest of us it somewhat takes work. But common ground is easier to find that we think. The hard part is putting ourselves out there. Which is why many settle for being a loner. We say a person is introverted.
But the truth is we are all capable of deep meaningful relationships if we can find common ground. Sports. TV shows. careers. Our kids.
Application: In the Church we need one another. We can find common ground in that we are followers of Jesus, but we must go deeper than that. When it comes to spiritual gifts we have to recognize that if we are all not given every gift common ground means seeing someone that has a gift you don’t have and then realizing that together your gifts compliment each other.
Like captain planet....your powers combined, I am captain planet. Or power rangers? Anyone…I guess it’s just the millennials here.
The point is…each of us what meant to be a part of the bigger church. Let’s not settle for being a longer.
1 Corinthians 12:21–26 ESV
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
1 cor 12:21-

3. Stay humble.

Do you ever compare yourself to other people? Do you tend to see yourself as more or less important than others?
Illustration: When it comes to spiritual gifts, attending church, being a good christian. It’s easy to get prideful. Anything you can do I can do better.
For many, that we go to church can be a source of false pride.
I read this story online about a waitress that was accosted by a group of Christians on a Sunday afternoon for working while she should have been in church. They then proceeded to place their order for food.
Let’s not forget that the outside world needs to hear and see the message of Jesus through us.
But even in the church. We can begin to think....this church needs me more than you. I’m more important because attend more…I give more.
We all know that the most important person in the church is the person who can cook.
Everyone is needed. Everyone is valuable.

Reflection: Will you see that you belong?

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