2005-02-11 - Service
Foundations, Part 4
God didn't design the Christian life, with the idea of us living like the Lone Ranger. Rather, we are to be more like a baseball team. Even the most skillful pitcher can't carry a game alone; someone needs to be behind the plate and behind the pitcher, to field the balls. Everyone plays his/her part, and each one of us in the Christian body is necessary, and we each need to do our part.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
Note the last phrase of verse 5 of Romans 12 - Paul uses strong words: Each member belongs to all the others. God blessed each of us with gifts. Some of us teach; others preach. Some can play the piano and/or sing; others "can't carry a tune in a bucket," but are great at listening to someone who is in pain. Some Christians enjoy providing practical, hands-on assistance with such simple chores as cutting the church's grass etc. Others feel led to specialize in a prayer ministry (this is not an exhaustive list).
Regardless, our abilities are not given to us so we can glory in them or use them just for our families and friends. We aren't to waste God's gifts, either. We are to use them in service of others. We belong to each other.
Our Lord Christ instructed us to live as servants.
Matthew 20:26b-28 (NASB) But whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
If we aren't using our gifts in the service of others, we are letting God down - and wasting what He has entrusted us with.
Are you serving in a local body of Christ? If not, I urge you to pray about this. You won't ever find a perfect church; there never has been one, nor will there ever be, of course - because they are made up of humans. But when we consistently find fault with every church, it prevents God from doing the good work He wants to do in our lives. Find a local body of Christ and get involved. They need you, and you need them. The body needs your gifts, and you need to use them. You won't ever be fully fulfilled if you aren't using your God-given abilities in service.