Summary: Using puzzle pieces to look at the church; since we are all a piece of the puzzle.

Romans 12:3-8

Are you Puzzled?

October 6, 2013

There are some people who are really, really patient. I’m not one of them! I’d like to think I am, but I’m not. I’m not just talking about waiting patiently in lines or waiting for others. I’m talking about doing projects. For example, there are puzzles I would like to work on, but I don’t have the patience.

Some puzzles just have way too many pieces for me. Like this one, it has 24,000 pieces on it, and took years to finish. That’s just crazy and ridiculous. Do you know how long it would take to separate the border pieces from the middle pieces? I don’t have the patience for that. Yet, I do like working on puzzles. I like the ones which are not too complicated and don’t take me hours. I like the puzzles like this one.

Maybe you are wondering and even puzzled about the puzzle piece you were given this morning. Maybe you’ve already given your piece away. Or maybe you’ve thrown your piece in the garbage, or you conveniently put it down somewhere and conveniently forgot it?

Of course, you may look at the one piece you received this morning, and wonder, ‘So what am I going to do with this piece, it’s really worthless.’ But, I’m going to tell you why this piece of the puzzle is so important.

Have you ever found one piece of a puzzle lying on the floor? You’re not sure what puzzle it belongs to, so you put it on the counter and it collects dust. When nobody complains about it, you eventually throw it out. It was a seemingly insignificant piece. One piece missing out of 200, that’s not much, it’s ½ of 1%. You’d hardly miss it.

In fact, if puzzle pieces could think, they would feel rather insignificant. Significance is defined as ‘the quality of being important or being regarded as having great meaning.’ A puzzle piece, significant? Give me a break!

And I believe we’re pretty similar to these pieces. Left to ourselves, we can feel pretty insignificant, but when we find ourselves in a community, whether it is family or church community, we can feel more significant. So, along with our puzzle pieces, we need to learn 4 secrets of significance. Knowing these four secrets can transform the way we think about ourselves.

Here's the first secret — EVERY PIECE IS A GIFT

Isn't that true? This morning, when you came in, you were handed a bulletin which contained a puzzle piece.

Some of you may have looked at that piece and thought it wasn't worth very much. Think of what the Bible says about the concept of spiritual gifts. “God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well” (12:6 NLT). That's the spiritual equivalent of saying ‘God has given each of us a piece of the puzzle.’ Let's draw some parallels --

When you came in, you were given 1 puzzle piece. You didn't choose the piece you received. You might not have liked the color or the shape. You might not have wanted a piece at all. You didn’t choose what you received.

You may have felt that your piece was insignificant. If you got rid of your piece, it’s either because you placed no value on the piece you received, mostly because it looked insignificant and you didn't have to go buy it, but I did! If you don't value your piece, give it to me!

Or maybe you wondered what this piece of Puzzle was for. I'll bet you've been wondering what that piece of Puzzle is for ever since you received it! The same reactions take place in the church when God passes out these supernatural abilities.

Nobody chose the piece or the spiritual gifts God gave them. I didn't and you didn't. If we believe that God knows better than we do, then we need to accept that God has given us the gift we needed to have, and no other piece would be better suited to us. It also means we can't take credit for the piece or gifts God gave us. God gets the glory - not us.

But you might look at that supernatural ability God gave you and undervalued it. You might feel you don't have a piece, or the piece God gave you is too small. You might have questioned why God gave you a piece at all. You're struggling with significance. But the first lesson we need to learn is this: everyone has received a piece / a gift which came directly from God.

Paul said it well in Romans 12:6 ~ "God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well." Every piece is a gift, and every person has received a gift. Take a look at what you’ve been given, value it, it was given by God.

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