Is your life a “Living” Sacrifice Do you think more highly of yourself than God? Do you use God’s gifts that are given to benefit the church?
During his reign, King Frederick William III of Prussia found himself in trouble. Wars had been costly, and in trying to build the nation, he was seriously short of finances. He couldn’t disappoint his people, and to capitulate to the enemy was unthinkable. After careful reflection, he decided to ask the women of Prussia to bring their jewelry of gold and silver to be melted down for their country. For each ornament received, he determined to exchange a decoration of bronze or iron as a symbol of his gratitude. Each decoration would be inscribed, "I gave gold for iron, 18l3." The response was overwhelming. Even more important, these women prized their gifts from the king more highly than their former jewelry. The reason, of course, is clear. The decorations were proof that they had sacrificed for their king. Indeed, it became unfashionable to wear jewelry, and thus was established the Order of the Iron Cross. Members wore no ornaments except a cross of iron for all to see. When Christians come to their King, they too exchange the flourishes of their former life for a cross. Lynn Jost.
Have you indeed exchanged your former life to and for the “cross of Christ”?
Do you think more highly of yourself than God?
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Romans 12:3-5
God’s intent was to save us not for us to think of ourselves more highly than we should.
This is to all believers in the world “every man that is among you.”
Each of us needs to work at humility to God our creator.
We have a natural tendency to think too highly of ourselves.
Are you today suffering because of conceit, pride, and arrogance. Your own... ·importance ·looks ·popularity ·position ·ability ·performance ·wealth ·possessions ·opinions ·education ·goodness ·title
Far too many even within our churches esteem themselves way too highly and think themselves better than others.
Instead we are to think of ourselves soberly; in a balanced, sane manner.
We evaluate ourselves by sober and sane judgment, not the worlds standards but God’s.
God is saying: Thinking too highly of yourself is insane
Don’t you know that each person is important to God; every person is meaningful and significant to God’s kingdom work.
Why should we walk humbly before others you might ask?
Because everything that we are and have comes from God for HE has “dealt to every man the measure of faith.” This means and includes both...
·the gifts and abilities God gives to a person.
·the faith and drive or confidence to use the gifts.
Working faith is the ability and drive within a person to serve God, by contributing to life and society.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
“For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (1 Cor. 4:7).
We have only received a measure. None of us has a full measure, so we are all required to do the work that God lays before us.
“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ” (Ephes. 4:7).
God tells us HE gifts every person, not just one nor a few persons. None have a monopoly on any gift or ability. We are not more important, such thoughts are insane.
True believers are one body in Christ, the most beautiful picture of the body of Christ in Scripture.
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (Phil. 2:3-4).
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:10).
“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).
“By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honor, and life” (Proverbs 22:4).
We should continually pray for deeper faith.
“Lord, increase our faith” (Luke 17:5).
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17).
Do you use God’s gifts that are given to benefit the church?
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;  Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Rom 12:6-8
We in the body of Christ are called to use the gifts God has given us.
The word “gift” charismata means very special abilities given to the believer by God.
It is from God; and is not a natural talent we could attain on our own.
It is a spiritual gift to be used for a spiritual purpose within the church.
It is given to believers so that we may fulfill the churches task on earth, only after we have received the grace of God.
This is part of our heritage in Christ, the glorious privilege...
·of being given a very special task upon earth.
·of being given purpose and meaning and significance in life.
·of being given a very special gift or gifts to fulfill our task on earth.
So what are the gifts?
There is the gift of prophecy. In the Old Testament the gift of prophecy was the gift to proclaim and explain the will of God. The proclamation dealt with past, present, and future events. However, in the New Testament, the gift of prophecy changes dramatically. The prophet is seldom seen predicting the future. Instead, he is seen proclaiming what has taken place in the Lord Jesus Christ and what has been revealed by Christ concerning future events. His function is to edify, exhort, and comfort. The Scripture is clear about this.
“He that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification and exhortation and comfort” (1 Cor. 14:3).
The prophet is the man who proclaims and explains the Word of God...
·the living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
·the written Word, the Holy Scripture.
There is no question today, the gift to predict events has been abused to the point of the being ridiculous.
However, the abuse of a gift does not eliminate the gift: the Spirit of God does sometimes give believers a glimpse into coming events in order to prepare and strengthen them to face the events.
However, the major function of prophecy is clearly stated by Scripture, and the fact should be learned by all believers:
“He that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification and exhortation and comfort” (1 Cor. 14:3).
There is the gift of ministry. A servant who serves and ministers to others in the most practical ways. They use their God given ability to serve, minister, aid, help and assist others—to assist them in such a way that they are built up and truly helped.
“And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward” (Matthew 10:42).
“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:5-7).
There is the gift of teaching . Teaching is the ability to explain, root, and ground people in the truth. The Word of God is to be proclaimed by the prophet, but must also be explained by the teacher.
People must be guided and rooted in all the truths of the Word day by day, week by week, and year by year. This is the teacher’s task.
The people who seek to be transformed will and must avail themselves to this teaching. Are You?
“And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues” (1 Cor. 12:28).
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers” (Ephes. 4:11).
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20).
There is the gift of exhortation. This is the very special ability to excite, motivate, advise, encourage, comfort, and warn people. They motivate and encourage God’s people, they stir people to make a decision for Christ and to grow in Him. They arouse people to get up and get busy fulfilling their task for the Lord.
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Tim. 4:2).
“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9).
There is the gift of giving. The giving of one’s earthly possessions such as money, clothing, and food with “simplicity”. It means...
·to give with sincerity and in simplicity.
·to give with singleness of heart and without show.
·to give liberally and generously.
God gives some persons the special gift to make money in order to have plenty to help others and to spread the gospel around the world. These persons...
·must give and give generously.
·must not hoard and bank and misuse their gift of wealth.
·must not give grudgingly and complainingly about having to give.
·must not give to attract attention or to heap honor upon themselves.
·must not give to boost their own egos and pride.
“But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth” (Matthew 6:3).
“Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come” (1 Cor. 16:2).
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7).
There is the gift of ruling. The ability of leadership, authority, administration, government, with diligence: with haste, zeal, desire, and concentrated attention. There is no room for laziness, complacency, and irresponsibility in the Kingdom of God.
“Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11).
“Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2-3).
There is the gift of mercy . This is a person who is full of forgiveness and compassion, pity and kindness toward others, with a cheerful heart. A person with the gift of mercy...
·is not to forgive grudgingly.
·is not to hesitate in forgiving others.
·is not to show mercy in an annoyed spirit.
·is not to show mercy in a spirit of criticism and rebuke toward the person who needs help, but to do all to lift up the person needing mercy.
“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).
“Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:36).
“Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually” (Hosea 12:6).
Several years ago, two students graduated from the Chicago-Kent College of Law. The highest ranking student in the class was a blind man named Overton and, when he received his honor, he insisted that half the credit should go to his friend, Kaspryzak. They had met one another in school when the armless Mr. Kaspryzak had guided the blind Mr. Overton down a flight of stairs. This acquaintance ripened into friendship and a beautiful example of interdependence. The blind man carried the books which the armless man read aloud in their common study, and thus the individual deficiency of each was compensated for by the other. After their graduation, they planned to practice law together. Gary Inrig, Life in His Body.
So can it be said of you that you are doing your part in the body of Christ and using your spiritual gifts in your church to accomplish God’s “good and perfect” will?
Will you commit today to be an active part of God’s work at Nome Community Baptist Church and to the people and villages of Norton Sound and the world?
If you have not accepted Christ will you today come forward and do so?
If you have not been baptized will you commit to this first step of obedience in your walk with Christ?
God wants to see each of you avail yourself to every opportunity to come to know HIM more each time we study here…we look forward to seeing you more…