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Summary: Encouraging believers that the body of Christ does not revolve around them, but they exist to serve others.

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I was in the supermarket one day, and a lady came down the aisle whom I could barely see over the top of her groceries. I got somewhat frightened because she seemed to be heading straight for me. She screeched to a halt within a few feet of me, peered over her load, wagged her finger, and said, "I left your church. I left your church".

So I said, "Well, if it’s my church, I think that was a very wise decision. If it’s my church, I think I’m going to leave too."

She said, "Don’t you want to know why I left?"

I said, "No, not particularly, but I think I’m going to find out". And I was right.

She said, "You weren’t meeting my needs".

I answered, "I don’t ever recollect seeing you before, let alone talking to you, let alone knowing your needs. Did you ever tell anyone specifically what your needs were?"

She couldn’t recall that she had, so I raised another question. "Can you tell me, if we have 5,000 people sitting in that church, all with your attitude, how anyone’s needs are going to be met? If you reserve the right to have that attitude, then you must give everybody the freedom to have that attitude. And if everybody has that attitude, who on earth is going to do all the need-meeting?"

Standing her ground, she demanded, "Then you tell me who will."

Relieved, I said, "I thought you’d never ask. This is what will work: when people stop sitting in the pew saying, ’They’re not meeting my needs’ and start saying, ’Whose needs can I meet?’ Then needs will be met. When the servant spirit flourishes in a congregation, then they minister to each other as unto the Lord."

Romans 12:3-16 As God’s messenger, I give each of you this warning: Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you. {4} Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, {5} so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others. {6} God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you. {7} If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching. {8} If your gift is to encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously (2 Corinthians 8:7). If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. {9} Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. {10} Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. {11} Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically. {12} Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful. {13} When God’s children are in need, be the one to help them out. And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or, if they need lodging, for the night. {14} If people persecute you because you are a Christian, don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. {15} When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow. {16} Live in harmony with each other. Don’t try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!


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