All too often, we delegate some forms of ministry as more important than other forms. We put the preachers and the missionaries up on pedestals while the nursery worker or the person who comes and cleans the toilets before each church service is often overlooked. But service is service and what matters is that we are doing what the Lord has called each of us to do. If we're being obedient to what God called us to do, then no matter what it looks like, it is being faithful and it is important in His Kingdom.
I was reminded of this over the last couple of days. My husband Jim and a few of our visitors from the International House of Prayer have been working on replacing glass damaged in the recent hail storm.
While he was doing that much needed job over a couple of days period --- a servant's task for sure --- just a few yards away, I was leading groups of volunteers in the clothes ministry. During one of those times, a friend showed up who had been experiencing hideous back pain. I gathered the visiting volunteers and we began praying for her. As one of the IHOP girls began leading the prayers for healing, we were amazed and filled with thankful joy as God literally began miraculously healing not just one person, but several people there that day.
Believe me, it isn't every day that I see legs that are too short literally grow to the right length, so it would be very easy to get so excited that this act of obedience gets exalted above other Kingdom work, and that we must not do. Yes, miracles are exciting. They are tangible evidence of God's power and love. They are a tremendous gift and have the power to draw unbelievers to a saving knowledge of the Lord and bring believers to a deeper faith. But, we are clearly taught in the Bible that when we are in Jesus, difference does not mean more valuable:
Romans 12:4For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your a faith; 7if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, b do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. 9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
And then in this passage:
! Corinthians 12:1Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,a and to still another the interpretation of tongues.b 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
12Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13For we were all baptized byc one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
Wow. Each one of us is a part of the body of Christ! ONE BODY with different parts, all working together for His Kingdom purposes.
Let's remember this when Satan tries to convince us that we're second class Christians because we don't have a glamorous gifting or call. Let's not forget this when we're replacing window panes or changing dirty diapers while others are seeing miracles happen or leading dozens to salvation. Jesus said that we were all not only worth dying for, but we're also worthy of being His body here on this earth. That must mean that in His opinion, despite all our imperfections, we're pretty darn valuable. And isn't His opinion the one that really matters?