Posted by: pastortomvabeach | July 30, 2019

Thought For The Week August 4, 2019

We spent some time last Sunday focusing on spiritual gifts and explored the truth that God gives everyone who believes in Christ at least one and, very likely, more than one spiritual gift which He expects us to use within the context of our local churches and communities to build up the church and Make Jesus Known.

I want to key in on one aspect of the gifts He gives us and repeat something I mentioned on Sunday.  Romans 12:5 says, we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.  “Member” used here literally means “limb” as in a part of the human body.  When Paul says we are members of one another, he is telling us that we belong to each other, in the same way that you fingers and toes belong to your whole body.  So that means that I belong to you and you belong to me and we all belong to each other.

So if God gives me gifts to use, those gifts are meant to benefit everyone else, not myself.  My gifts, in the truest sense, don’t belong to me, they belong to you and everyone else and vice versa.  So if I choose not to use my gifts because I don’t feel like getting involved; or I don’t think I’m mature enough, know enough, trained well enough, or whatever; or I feel I’ve earned a rest since I’ve been serving along time already; or I never get connected at any one church well enough to serve; or whatever, I’m actually stealing what belongs to you and everyone else.

Not using my gifts means that I am not being a good steward of this marvelous spiritual ability God has given me.  In the parable of the talents, Jesus had some pretty harsh words for the servants who sat on their talents without using them (Matthew 25:26-27).  He said that servant was wicked and lazy.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to hear that from the Lord, if I can help it.

I mentioned a quote from R.A. Torrey, evangelist, pastor, educator, and writer of the late 19th and early 20th century.  He said regarding using spiritual gifts, “Great emphasis needs be on this, for many Christians seek the baptism in the Holy Spirit for personal ecstasy and rapture.  They go to meetings and report the wonderful blessings they received.  But when you watch them, it is difficult to see that they are any more useful to their pastors and churches than they were before.”  Spiritual gifts are not meant to give us excitement or happiness, nor are they status symbols.  They don’t make us any more special or spiritual or in love with God.  They don’t mean that we have somehow arrived spiritually.

Friends we are all equally important to the body of Christ.  Your gifts are not a badge of honor for you but a box of tools for your church.  When we all use our gifts as God intends, our churches grow and we seriously impact our communities.  It’s up to us.  Are we going to make a difference for the Lord and make Jesus known?  We can do it because we all have all the gifts necessary.  We just have to use them.

The only question is, have you found your job, where your gifts fit?  If you have, maybe you can look around and help someone who needs a bit of encouragement in finding where they fit.  If you haven’t, talk to someone you see who is serving and ask how you can get involved.  It will bless you because you will be blessing others.  Just a thought.

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