Where do you fit into the puzzle?

Series: But God

Title: Where do you fit into the puzzle?

Date: Sept. 23, 2018

Scripture: 1 Cor. 12:1-26

 

Intro: Who is here enjoys putting puzzles together? I enjoy a puzzle every once in a while and my wife enjoys them even more than me. When putting together a puzzle you understand that each piece is important and that each piece has a specific spot. When you were younger you might have tried to force a piece into place and you found out quickly that it doesn’t work well. When the puzzle is finished it is a sight to behold because each piece has a unique feature that by itself can be easily overlooked but when placed with the other pieces it creates something beautiful.

 

Please open your Bible to 1 Corinthians chapter 12. We will be reading the entire chapter.

* Read

 

Our sermon for today is called, “Where do you fit into the puzzle?”

 

BIG POINTS:

  • God puts the pieces of the puzzle together (1 Cor. 12:18)
    • He alone has the authority to do this b/c He is the CREATOR of things and that includes the CHURCH.
      • The church by the way is not a building the church is the people who are covered by the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
      • We are the CHURCH. This building is not the church.

 

  • Read verse 18

But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.

  • Placed – To set or lay down
  • Desired – According to His will

 

  • As believers we are part of the puzzle called the CHURCH.
    • Each believer has a spiritual gift given to them by the Holy Spirit

 

  • God’s CHURCH is composed of great variety yet it makes a beautiful picture:
    • Spiritual Gifts – Word of wisdom; Word of knowledge; Faith; Healing; Miracles; Prophecy; Distinguishing of Gifts; Various kinds of tongues; Interpreting tongues; Helps, and Administrations.
    • Varieties of ministries (Service, Aid) – Each believers can serve in a different manner
      • Preaching, Teaching, Working in the nursery, Singing, Playing music, Giving, Fixing, Caring, etc.

 

  • Varieties of effects (Energy) – God pours out His miraculous power in different ways through believers

 

  • This puzzle is put together by God not by us
    • We don’t get to pick the gifts we have they are GIVEN to us by God’s grace
      • This should drive pride and jealousy away from us
  • Pride because my gift was given to me
  • Jealousy because God gave each person their own gift
  • We don’t get to pick where in the puzzle we go that is up to God
  • There should be UNITY
      • No division
      • No jealousy

 

  • We don’t get to leave the puzzle (1 Cor. 12:14-26)
    • The church is not one member, but many!
      • Each born-again believer is needed to make the puzzle complete
        • Putting a puzzle together only to find out you are missing 1 piece!!!
      • You can leave the local church but you are still part of the church. The local church is part of the larger puzzle.

 

  • We don’t get to leave puzzle:
    • The gifts we have are meant to be beneficial for others
      • The gift(s) that GOD gave you are meant to be kept to yourself they aren’t to be used for the common good of the body of Christ.
  • Over being jealous about someone else’s gift
      • Paul describes this issue in verse 15: If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.
  • Just because someone says we aren’t needed
      • First and foremost they are wrong because each believer is needed

 

  • You think that your gift is not that great
    • Don’t downplay the gift that GOD has GIVEN specifically to you
    • God has given your gift for a REASON not matter how small you may think it is.
      • The boy offering his lunch to Jesus and then Jesus used it to feed 5,000!
      • With God ALL things are possible.

 

  • Once you are in the church you are in the church for the long haul!

 

  • God cares about each piece of the puzzle (1 Cor. 12:24-26)
    • We struggle to grasp at times that God cares for us.
      • We might think that God cares for other puzzle pieces more than He cares about us!
      • We might believe that our gift isn’t that great so why would God care?
        • Simple, He gave you that GIFT
        • We were created to do works and then walk in those good works. We can do this because God has given us spiritual gifts that will produce good works.

 

  • Read verses 24b – 26

But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

 

  • We as humans have a tendency to place more value on certain jobs and that same problem occurs within the church.
    • The pastor is a great piece of the puzzle but the nursery worker not so much
    • Those who teach Sunday School are important pieces of the puzzle but those who do maintenance around the church not really that important.

 

  • That kind of thinking is wrong because we are told that GOD gives abundant honor to the lesser puzzle pieces!
    • God doesn’t just give honor to the “best” pieces but to the lesser ones as well
      • The idea of honor is that of “SUPERABUNDANCE”
      • God values each piece of the puzzle but He places a SUPERABUNDANCE of honor on the lesser pieces.
      • Why? I think it is because we as humans naturally place more value on certain pieces and they receive their honor from other people but God notices the lesser roles and provides them with great honor.
      • So, if you have a role that is viewed as being lesser by people don’t get discouraged, don’t get disgruntled instead take heart because your Heavenly Father has placed a SUPERABUNDANCE of honor upon your work.
      • No matter what piece of the puzzle you are that piece is needed for the church to be successful.
    • I want us to notice the reason why God places this SUPERABUNDANCE upon those deemed less honorable.
      • … so that there may be no division in the body…
      • God desires for us to look at other through His lens and not ours. When we look at others through our lens we see different levels and values in the pieces. BUT, when we look at others through God’s lens we see each puzzle piece as important.
        • By seeing through God’s lens:
          • Jealousy is an afterthought
            • If I have an important job it was given to me by God therefore I am not to look down on others
            • If I have a job that seems less important God sees my job and me as being valuable therefore I don’t need be jealous of someone else

 

  • Unity prevails
    • Unity is not uniformity. Unity means that each person is able to look at others and see the value they possess and look at themselves and recognize they have value because of God.
    • Unity is accepting the gift God has given you and using that gift to honor and glorify Him.
    • Unity is each believer using their gift and other believers allowing them to use that gift

 

  • Other’s matter
    • Their pain matters
      • If one is suffering we suffer with them
    • Their success matters
      • If one is honored we rejoice with them

 

  • God cares about each piece of the puzzle and that means He cares for you!

 

Closing: For those of us who have trusted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior we are part of a wonderful puzzle, the church, the body of Christ. Each person in the puzzle matters and they have gifts given to them to be used. Each piece of the puzzle matter because God has placed you and God cares about each piece. Remember you belong in the puzzle because of Jesus and you matter. Where do you fit into the puzzle?