Unwrapping Spiritual Gifts
The Holy Spirit Compels Service
January 26, 2020
Intro: Did any of you watch the NHL playoffs last night? Three on three hockey. It made for more scoring but it didn’t take long to know why there are usually 5 players on the ice. One wrong move and another score for the other team. One good pass and light the lamp.
There is more defense and more offense when there is full team on the ice. There are more people to help and more people to cover up short comings. More people to get stuff done.
As we have moved through this series of unwrapping Spiritual Gifts I hope you understand why God calls us His body. I love it when we serve together as body and a family. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit is moving each of us to a big, “Yes Lord! I will do what you equipped me to do in this body.” We are not quite ready for that yet. Today I want affirm what to do when you know what it is that the Spirit is leading you to do.
God is always putting a body together. It changes based on needs within the body or the community. It changes based on who is in the body. Or who has left and who is joining us. I’m not sure that we do enough to help people know how needed they are in our ministries. We want our new members to find a place to serve or find a place in a ministry. I want those who are part of the family though not yet members to have a place to serve and know that they are important to what we do as a church.
This is one thing that we are going to work to change. In the next few weeks I will be asking everyone to resign their place of service. Then I will display ministries and teams where you can commit to serve or minister. Then it is time for you to say, “This is where God wants me to serve”. I’m counting on this body to confirm and affirm each person’s choice.
I am jumping over to Romans 12 today. We are still looking at a passage that Paul has written. It is on the same topic of Spiritual Gifts. What Paul writes here is just what we need to hear.
3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
The church is a body (3-5)
3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Paul is using grace and faith in a similar way here. In that He gives us what we need to do a task that He asks us to do. It lets us know that we are right where God wants us to be and prepared with just what we need to grow in our relationship in Christ. We have enough to get start and enough to keep going. Enough to make us mesh as a family.
The first rule of a body is that it exists for the body. It’s purpose is to make sure the body is able to function as a body. Paul lets us know that each role has a specific purpose and a person to fulfill that role.
Is an ear lobe a separate body part? Or is it attached just to enhance the ear. All mine does is grow hair and sometimes get in the way of my razor. Others get decorated quite elaborately.
I say do whatever you want with your gift as long you serve as a part of the body and encourage others to do the same. Don’t think that every part should do their task with your same flare. Each part is different and God is always at work in each of us. Encouraging growth with each other.
Learn how to mesh together with the other ministries. A smooth working body is a joy. We don’t notice when every part is functioning at a high level. But when there is a problem we know what part it is. We know what we notice, anyway.
We get a ache in our foot or in our back, we know it. The whole body reacts. It may be our shoes that are making our back hurt. It could be our back that is causing problems down our legs but it seems like our feet are just not liking the shoes.
I notice, when Roy or Dick are not here greeting. I notice if Lynn or Marvin are not at the front door on Sunday morning welcoming people as they arrive. I notice when your friendly face is here in worship, like Geri, Anne, May and Charlene. I notice when I don’t hear a word of encouragement from Harry or Peggy. I notice when faithful people are here like Cheri and Marcella. I really notice when Terri is here. I am thankful when I am not here, that Maurice will be here to take responsibility.
I also notice that there are many more opportunities for ministry and many people who the Spirit is getting ready to call into service. There is a need for more body parts to hit their stride in ministry and service. I think God is speaking to your hearts as well. I can’t tell you what that is but I can or we can help you find just where you are gifted to serve.
As a body we help each other. Sometimes we will all be doing the same thing. Sometimes a few of us with serve in a specific ministry. Sometimes you may even work alone. All along we are working as a team or as part of the whole body. Know when to ask for others for help. Keep your eyes open for ways to coordinate with others to accomplish a task or to help a ministry succeed.
A key mindset for a body is we all have a role. No part is more important than another. Humbly serve where you are gifted. Don’t be envious of others who serve in another area. Pray for one another.
Each Part Must Serve (6-8)
6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
When you discover your gift and the need…serve.
The Holy Spirit will make sure you are equipped and empowered. It can’t make you committed. That is between you and your Savior. You don’t want to say no to Him.
Here is where the circles you have been filling come into play. What have you discovered about yourself? What have you noticed that God has been doing in your life that you thought was just a hard time in your life? What interest do you have that you could use for a powerful ministry?
First commit to attempting to do something with what you have discovered.
Pray for wisdom about how to begin. What help do you need? What would help this ministry to succeed?
God could be about to turn your love for crafts as a means by which you can bless worshipers who attend or to connect with members of the community who like to be crafty.
Will your recent grief placed in the hands of the Father become your way of helping others deal with their grief?
Do you have a passion for cleaning or budgeting. For tinkering or organizing? For painting or praying?Have we got place just for your gifts.
You gift may just be, “I am willing to be used” That is a great place to start. God will use you just where you are needed and He will bless you and us as you serve faithfully.
Challenge: I trust that as you have added to your 5 circles each we that you are discovering areas where God has been working in your life. I pray that you thinking about ways that your ministry would help people in this body or people on your pathway.
Many times we just don’t know where we could be used but I pray, in this instance, that you are struggling to narrow it down as to where would be the best place for you to begin.
If you need prayer in finding your place of service just wave and we will all be praying for each other.