Spiritual Discipline // CELEBRATION
By Donia Hovet
My daughter Ava is going to turn 11 in just a few days. In our family, the birthday girl or boy gets to pick their favorite breakfast, dinner and birthday dessert. Each of my children has their “usual,” and all of them are different. We always end the birthday meal by giving words of affirmation to the person of honor-in other words. We celebrate the individual and everything God created them to be.
This past Sunday we got to celebrate the individuals who completed our Doing What Jesus Did seminar by commissioning them to go forth and minister in the name of Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit. What a joy! While all have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Bible is clear: each person is uniquely gifted and will express those gifts as God has bestowed them. This type of celebration reminds us that we are each uniquely equipped by God to do, as Paul says, “the good things he planned for us long ago.” Amazing!
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.Ephesians 4:1-9, 11-17
For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all.
However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures say,
“When he ascended to the heights,
he led a crowd of captives
and gave gifts to his people.”
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Just as we celebrate the diversity of our family members, we get to celebrate diversity in the family of God. Celebrating the diverse giftings among the family of God is part of maturity. It is Christ who makes the whole body fit together perfectly as each member does their own special work.
- Do you need to celebrate YOU? Sometimes comparison or envy can steal the joy of what God has sovereignly placed inside us. Take some time to celebrate who God created YOU to be! It was no mistake! You are vital and necessary to the body of Christ.
- Verse 3 says, “Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” Celebration can be a key to unity. Celebrate those who have offended or frustrated you. Make a list of the good things they bring to the people around them. Pray for their blessing.
- Take some time to celebrate someone who has used their spiritual gifts in a way that has blessed your life or the lives of your family members. Write a thank you card or send a quick text letting them know.