1997-08-21 - Service - Not an Option
God gives each one of us at least one spiritual gift. Some of us are blessed with several.
Rom 12:6-8 (NRSV) We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; 7 ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; 8 the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.
Actually, it is sinful to waste his blessings -- sin of omission.
James 4:17 (NIV) Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.
God expects us to use the gifts and abilities that He has given us.He gives those gifts for a reason -- for service, to build up the body of Christ.
We are to follow in the footsteps of our Lord. Yes, He is our Lord and Master, but He leads us as a servant leader. We are to serve our fellow believers.
Mat 20:25-27 (NRSV) But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 26 It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave.
And there can be a bonus to serving others, too. This should not be our motive, but often when we use our gifts and abilities, and serve God and others, we find that it helps us take the focus off us, off our problems and worries. We find ourselves feeling better, more fulfilled.
Our idea of being a good Christian doesn't quite square up with God's, sometimes. We think going to church, praying, etc. is enough. But God expects us to serve Himself and our fellow man.
ames 1:27 (NRSV) Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
Ministry is not the pastor's job. His job is to equip US to minister.
Eph 4:11-12 (NRSV) The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.
If you are not involved in at least one area of service in your church, please see what is offered. If you aren't sure what your gifts are, ask some of your closest Christian friends, or a teacher. Or you can take a spiritual gifts test. But be sure of this: Christ means for our Christianity to be active!
Dear Father, please show us how You want us to serve You and other people, and help us to get involved soon, to Your glory. Where there is no desire for this, give it, Lord. In Jesus' name, amen.;