Today's Bible Reading
     II Samuel 1
     I Corinthians 12
     Ezekiel 10
     Psalms 49
      ''For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ." (I Corinthians 12:12)
      Someone recently remarked to me, ''The church is rapidly becoming a non-prophet organization." What they meant was is that it is hard to find anyone willing to exercise fully their spiritual gift of being a prophet. I think I understand why. That is my spiritual gift and there have been many times I've wished that I had another gift. Being a prophet means you often have to deal with issues and situations that produce opposition and controversy.
      Sometimes all of us would like to trade in our spiritual gift for another one, but that’s impossible. Paul understood man’s dissatisfaction. In these chapters of I Corinthians, he draws many analogies from anatomy. He tells us about the enraged ear that is upset because he is not an eye. He also mentions the fretful foot that would rather be a hand. The truth is that you are never going to enjoy the abundant Christian life until you discover your gifts and learn to use them as a productive part of the Body.
      The Body of Christ in Corinth was severely divided because they did not understand spiritual gifts.  They were divided over the personalities of their leadership. Some of them liked Apollos, others Paul, and it was probably the common folks who liked Simon Peter.  I can almost hear them chant, ''Simon, Simon, he's our man.  If he can't do it, nobody can."
You need to understand that you are a vital part of the Body of Christ on this earth. There are many who are members of local churches who are not really a part of the body at all. They are simply attachments. They are like a watch or a piece of jewelry. This tells us why some in the local church are never happy or content. This is why they have no spiritual appetite and are constantly at odds with the body.
Why is all this so important to you and to the rest of the Body of Christ today?  Paul put it this way:
                  Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today.
                  He has no feet but our feet to lead men in His way.-
                   He has no voice but our voice to tell men how He died.
                   He has no heart but our heart to lead them to His side.
      It is beautiful to see the church presented as the bride, the brotherhood, and the building, but my favorite analogy is to see the church as the Body of Christ. As you discover your spiritual gift, you will learn how essential you are and how effective you can be as a member of His body. So you are a gifted child. Discover all you can about your gift and use it with diligence in the Body of Christ.
      I remember sitting on the boat on the Amazon River, spending time in prayer for the people of Brazil. The Amazon Basin, which is larger than the whole of non-Russian Europe, and is of global importance because of its oxygen-generating forests, is also spiritually needy. The challenges for outreach are the pioneer settlements springing up along new roads through the forest, and the 36,000 yet unchurched river communities accessible only by boat. Church planting is made more difficult by the relative poverty and loss of key members to cities and geographical isolation. Pray for the reaching of people on the rivers and in the jungle s of the Amazon Basin.
      ''Long prayers injure prayer meetings. Fancy a man praying for twenty minutes, and then asking God to forgive his shortcomings.''