Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Give Thanks To God"1 (Lyrics)
At this time of year, some sports teams such as baseball reach the conclusion of their year, while other sports, such as basketball and hockey, start their year. A team is defined simply as persons working together.
As we watch the top teams, we can name the leading players on each team. Frequently, however, the star players will state, correctly, that their outstanding performances were possible only because of the performance of the other members of the team.
Even stars in individual sports like golf or tennis often mention the outstanding work done by other members of their supporting team.
Indeed, because of the corporate aspect of life, we are all members of a team whether we realize it or not. Paul, writing to the church in Corinth, tells us that as Christians, we are part of the body of Christ, which means that we are involved with other Christians. He gives a simple illustration of how our body shows that all our parts are needed to constitute a complete body or team:
1 Corinthians 12:14-20 – For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 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. 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. 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? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. (ESV)
Just as a spectator isn't a member of the team, neither are you or I, unless we are willing to do our part. While players say that they are encouraged by cheering fans, to really be part of the team, we must be there actively doing our best, regardless of how large or small our part is. Paul gives us clear directions:
Romans 12:4-8 – 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. (ESV)
Are we spectators, or active participants?
Prayer: Dear Father, help us to be active members of Your team, following the lead of Jesus, helping others in all we do. In His name, we pray. Amen.