You Are Strong, Important And Necessary

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This morning on Rich Thoughts For Breakfast I referred to 1 Corinthians 12:22 without quoting it. After the call. . .that verse kept stirring in my spirit.

I vividly remember the first time I heard 1 Corinthians 12:22 in the New Living Translation. I immediately knew it was a verse that should be taught and/or quoted on a regular basis.

I knew God would use this verse to touch and change people’s lives who feel they are weaker or less important to Him as others.

The entire verse of 1 Corinthians 12:22 in the New Living Translation says:

“In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.”

As I was re-reading that verse God immediately gave me seven reasons why you and every other believer are strong, important and necessary to the Body of Christ.

Before getting to the seven reasons you are necessary I want to share 1 Corinthians 12:22 in two other translations.

First, the Contemporary English Version of 1 Corinthians 12:22, says:

"In fact, we cannot get along without the parts of the body that seem to be the weakest."

Second, the New International Reader’s Version of 1 Corinthians 12:22, says:

“In fact, it is just the opposite. The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are the ones we can’t do without.”

If you were raised in a loving family or live in such an environment now. . .you may have never questioned whether or not you’re necessary for the Body of Christ to be complete.

I remember several years back, speaking with a lady on the phone who was crying the entire time we were talking. She said to me:

“Nobody knows I’m alive. No one cares if I live or if I die. I feel so unnecessary.”

That is such an absolute lie of the devil.

If you get nothing else from this teaching. . .let the words of Psalm 115:13 in God’s Word Translation get down in your spirit. It says:

“He will bless those who fear the Lord, from the least important to the most important.”

Here are seven reasons why you are strong, important and necessary.

1. You may be so broke you can't pay attention....BUT you are necessary.

The problem with many believers is that they have a tendency to get caught up looking at where they are . . .instead of focusing on where God wants them to be.

You may be so broke at the moment that you can’t pick up all the pieces but you’re not condemned nor destined to a poverty existence for the rest of your life.

The scripture says that God doesn’t change His mind. . .so 3 John 2 is real and applicable in your life as well as anyone else who wants to grab ahold of it in faith.

Listen to 3 John 2 in the Classic Amplified Bible which says:

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers.”

Does that sound like God wants you to be broke all your life? Of course not.

Here are several quotes that stirred me.

John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress and an amazing preacher, once said:

“He who bestows his goods upon the poor shall have as much again, and ten times more.”

R.G. LeTourneau, an American inventor of heavy earth-moving equipment who sowed 90% of his income while living on only 10% once said:

“I shovel [money] out, and God shovels it back. . .but God has a bigger shovel.”

Anne Swetchine, the Russian-French writer, once said:

“We are rich only through what we give: and poor only through what we refuse [to give] and keep.”

Okay, one more quote. . .this one is from Colonel Harlan Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken:

“There’s no need to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can’t do any business from there.”

What you sow today. . .will be your harvest tomorrow.

2. You may be unemployed or under-employed...BUT you are necessary.

You may have maxed out your unemployment benefits. . .but God wants you enjoying the labor of your hand and mind.

Ecclesiastes 5:18-19 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is for one to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment in all the labor in which he labors under the sun all the days which God gives him--for this is his [allotted] part. “Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God.”

If you’re unemployed. . .stop fretting over the job you lost and begin preparing yourself for the new job God has planned for you. Have you asked Him about it?

How can I be sure. . .you’re going to get another job? The Bible gives us two scriptural reasons.

First, Psalm 84:11 in the Amplified Bible says:

“For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

Second, Ecclesiastes 5:19 in the New Living Translation says:

Also, every man to whom God has given riches and possessions, and the power to enjoy them and to accept his appointed lot and to rejoice in his toil--this is the gift of God [to him].”

3. You may not be well educated or then again, maybe you’re educated beyond your intelligence...BUT you are necessary.

It’s not the alphabetic abbreviations behind your name or the lack thereof that determines your success or financial independence here on planet earth.

I recommend you read “Straight A’s Never Made Anybody Rich” by Dr. Wess Roberts. It’s a powerful book. I know lots of PhDs who are living in a sea of red ink. . .seemingly destined to live in debt the rest of their lives.

I also know numerous people who never graduated from college but have experienced tremendous financial and personal success.

It’s what’s in your heart. . .and the actions you take. . .not the degrees on your wall that will ultimately determine your success or failure in life.

Financial principles are available to everyone but putting them to work is what guarantees success.

James 2:14 in the New Living Translation says:

“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?”

When it comes to wisdom. . .I often find humor in the words of Pastor John Hagee who said:

“I’ve graduate from three universities and I can tell you that some of the dumbest people on earth are hiding out there.”

Educate yourself in the Word. . .that knowledge will always make you strong, important and necessary for Kingdom business.

4. You may be handicapped mentally or physically...BUT you are necessary.

Some of the greatest love I’ve ever witnessed is that of family members who focus their affection on loved ones who are mentally and physically challenged.

One of the greatest motivational stories I ever heard was about a young man with Down’s syndrome who was a bagger at a local grocery store.

A few years ago, a lady named Barbara Glanz was hired by a large supermarket chain to lead a customer service program - to build customer loyalty.

During her speech Mrs. Glanz said, "Every one of you can make a difference and create memories for your customers that will motivate them to come back. How? Put your personal signature on the job. Think about something you can do for your customer to make them feel special - a memory that will make them come back."

About a month after her speech she received a call from a 19 year old bagger named Johnny. He proudly informed me he was a Down Syndrome individual and told her his story.

"I liked what you talked about!" he said, "but at first I didn't think I could do anything special for our customers. After all, I'm just a bagger."

Then I had an idea!" Johnny said. "Every night after work, I'd come home and find a thought for the day. If I can't find a saying I like," he added, "I just think one up."

When Johnny had a good "Thought for the Day," his dad helped him set it up on the computer and print multiple copies. Johnny cut out each quote and signed his name on the back. Then he'd bring them to work the next day.

"When I finish bagging someone's groceries, I put my thought of the day in their bag and say, "Thanks for shopping with us."

A month later the store manager called Mrs. Glanz..."You won't believe what happened. When I was making my rounds today, I found that Johnny's checkout line was three times longer than anyone else's! It went all the way around the frozen food aisle. So I quickly announced, "We need more cashiers; get more lanes open!" as I tried to get people to change lanes. But no one would move. "

They said, "No, it's okay - we want to be in Johnny's lane - we want his "Thought for the Day."

The store manager continued, "It was a joy to watch Johnny delight the customers. I got a lump in my throat when one woman said, "I used to shop at your store once a week, but now I come in every time I go by, because I want to get Johnny's "Thought for the Day."

A few months later, the store manager called me again..."Johnny has transformed our store. Now when the floral department has a broken flower or unused corsage, they find an elderly woman or a little girl and pin it on them. Everyone's having a lot of fun creating memories. Our customers are talking about us...they're coming back, and bringing their friends. "

Everybody is important and necessary. . .that story always blessed us. You can find it online.

It shows that love comes from the heart and can touch and transform lives in a very powerful way no matter what your situation.

We should also take to heart the words found in Luke 14:12-14 in God’s Word Translation:

“Then he told the man who had invited him, “When you invite people for lunch or dinner, don’t invite only your friends, family, other relatives, or rich neighbors. Otherwise, they will return the favor. Instead, when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the handicapped, the lame, and the blind. Then you will be blessed because they don’t have any way to pay you back. You will be paid back when those who have God’s approval come back to life.”

5. You may be as lost as a goose in a blizzard....BUT you are necessary.

There are millions if not billions of testimonies of people who were lost in sin. . .only to become born-again.

1 Timothy 1:15 in the Amplified Bible says:

“The saying is sure and true and worthy of full and universal acceptance, that Christ Jesus (the Messiah) came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost.”

Paul was once responsible for killing Christians. . .but later used by God to give instructions Christians have used throughout the generations.

I’m sure you know folks whose lives were filled with evil and sin only to be transformed by the saving grace of Christ. Each one of us has our own story of God’s touch. Testimonies often help change the lives of others when they hear them.

You may have been a chief sinner but you’re necessary to complete the Body of Christ.

6. You may be single and lonely....BUT you are necessary.

I get letters, emails and phone calls from so many Christians whose number one prayer request is for a godly spouse.

My advice to them. . .is the same as it was to my oldest son who’s now been married almost 30 years.

If I remember correctly Jim was a sophomore in college. At the time I was helping my father in his restaurant and Western Auto store. Jim would work there when he wasn’t in class or studying.

I remember vividly where I was standing when he and I got into a conversation about a dance club he was planning to visit. I told him it wasn’t the kind of place he needed to frequent. He reminded me that he didn’t drink and that he was just going there to meet girls.

I told him that the kind of girls who would frequent those establishments were not the kind of girls he would want to marry. He told me that the kind of girl I was talking about a Christian. . .a virgin. . .attractive. . .did not exist. He pointed out that nine of the ten girls he knew weren’t even virgins.

I proceeded to tell him that if he put God first in his life. . . God would bring an attractive Christian virgin into his life. We then joined hands and prayed in the back of my father’s store.

Within two weeks. . .the attractive Christian virgin walked into his life. They ultimately married and gave us two of the smartest, most adorable grand sugars you’ll ever meet, Annabel and Andrew.

Having told you this story. . .it’s also important to realize that God has a plan for your life. Bev came across a saying she likes to repeat to those who desire a spouse. “Just focus on your dance with God and He’ll make sure the right person cuts in.”

7. You may be poor or wealthy...BUT you are necessary.

You’re necessary regardless of your current economic circumstances.

If you’re poor. . .you don’t have to stay that way.

Staying where you are in life is a matter of personal choice. You have determined that where you are is where you’ll stay and that’s a primary tactic of the enemy in his efforts to render you ineffective for the kingdom of God.

Once you pull yourself out of the economic abyss. . .just think of the testimony you’ll have. And more importantly, how you’ll be able to help others get out of theirs.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 in the Message Bible says:

“All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.”

Your past experience makes you necessary to encourage and mentor someone else on their journey from poverty to prosperity.

If you’re rich. . .there are two things you need to know and one thing you need to do.

First, your money and your success came from God. . .don’t ever forget that.

Second, the more you give. . .the more you’ll get in return.

Third, get your checkbook out. . .and listen for the Lord’s instructions.

You’re necessary to fund the gospel and operate in the end-time office of the giver.

Two more quotes. . .

Another quote from Pastor John Hagee who said:

“The measure of a man’s greatness is not the number of servants he has, but the number of people he serves.”

And lastly, John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, once said:

“When a man becomes a Christian, he becomes industrious, trustworthy and prosperous. Now, if that man when he gets all he can and saves all he can does not give all he can, I have more hope for Judas Iscariot than for that man!”

Remember, you’re strong, important and necessary to what God is doing on planet earth … or you wouldn’t be here.