For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power. (1 Corinthians 1:17 NRSV)

Throughout the history of the church, God has been able to use people with different gifts and graces. Father Henri Nouwen notes the difference between Paul and another of the powerful leaders of the early church, Peter: "Peter, the simple, uneducated fisherman who had hardly any knowledge of the theological debates of his time and who responded to Jesus in a direct impulsive way without much distance or criticism; and Paul, the well-educated disciple of Gamaliel, a Pharisee, sharp, intelligent, deeply concerned about the truth and willing to persecute those whom he considered in grave error. The church is built on the foundations laid by both Peter and Paul. There are not two churches, one for the simple people who trust their emotions more than their brains and the other for the intellectuals who are willing to debate the current issues. There is only one church, in which Peter and Paul each has his own role and importance."

Everyone has something different and something positive to contribute to the church's life. Paul understood this when he wrote to the Corinthians, "For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel." There are many gifts, and many messengers but only one Lord and Savior.

Lord Jesus, move me today to use my gifts to left up your way of salvation. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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