Notches and Ridges – Corinthian Style
“Great singing this morning,” said Robbie approaching the lectern. He was the young couples Sunday school class teacher and the church’s education minister. “For today’s lesson, please turn in your Bibles to I Corinthians chapter 12. What do you want out of your Christian life? Why does God, in His infinite wisdom, want you to remain here after you have accepted Christ as your personal Saviour? I believe we can find the answers to these questions in this chapter.” He hesitated for a few moments as the couples opened their Bibles before reading the chapter.
“Now, I want everyone to take out their set of keys.” The men shifted their positions to one side so they could fish their keys out of their pockets and the women rummaged through their purses. Finally, after several seconds, the couples were rattling their key rings except . . .
“Where are my keys?” Roseanne screeched as she frantically began to pull items from her purse. “I know I had them this morning, I drove to church.”
“Maybe you left them in the ignition,” Louise said calmly. Jumping up Roseanne scurried out the classroom door, leaving her purse and several items on the chair next to where she was sitting.
Pastor Robbie regained the class’s attention by saying, “That is a perfect object lesson. Where did God find you? Where were you when you were saved?”
“I had a Christian business man witness to me while I was waiting for my flight at the Dallas airport,” John exclaimed.
“A camp counselor showed me how to know Jesus personally at a youth camp in Virginia when I was a sophomore,” Janet added.
Ned chuckled, “I was underneath a car changing this guy’s oil. He began to witness to me about where I would spend eternity. Come to find out he was a new pastor in town. Friendly fella, he was.” Just at that time Roseanne entered the room smiling and waving her keys.
Robbie continued, “Isn’t it wonderful we don’t have to be in a specific place or a specific time to trust Christ? Now take one of your keys and look at it closely. Do you see those ridges and notches?” Everyone began examining their keys. “You will see that some notches are deeper and longer than others, and some of the ridges are higher and longer than some.” Few nodded in agreement.
“Pastor, if I may point out, if you take another key, it is cut different than this key, and some keys are cut on both sides of the shaft,” Leonard chimed in.
“Leonard you’re getting ahead of me, but that is a good observation. The point I’m trying to make is that each key is cut for a specific lock and purpose. We are all members of the body of Christ. We have special gifts and ministries that God has given us to use for His purpose. Ned is a good mechanic and uses his talents to keep our buses and vans running. John is on our church’s financial committee, Janet is our church pianist.”
Robbie continues, “Look at verses 12 through 25. Our physical bodies have different members which serve different purposes. Here, Paul talks about the foot, eye, hand, our hearing and smelling. Which member is greater or more important? The eye can’t function like a hand, the feet can’t smell.” Laughter spreads through the room. “Okay, I used the wrong analogy, but you get the point. Every member of the body of Christ is important because of what they contribute to His service. Turn to 2 Corinthians 1:4.” Robbie waits a few seconds as the pages are turned. “’who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.’(NKJV) The notches are the difficult times you have experienced in your life. God placed them in your life so you can minister to others. Does anyone have an example?”
“Trudy and I lost our first child,” Jim offered.
“Thanks, Jim. He and Trudy can provide Godly comfort to other couples, better than my wife and I because we have never lost a child. With your talents and troubles, God has designed you for a specific purpose just as that key is designed for a specific lock. Father, bless this time we have spent together and use us for your ministry. In Jesus’ name Amen.
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