Summary: Use your gifts!
1 Timothy 4:14: “Do not neglect the gift that is in you.” Using our gifts to serve God and serve others is something that goes against our natural desire for popularity, influence, and prominence. Our corrupt flesh only wants to oblige itself and it only wants to help others only if it gains something by it. I hear people quite often saying, “I do this and do that and help so and so with this and that”. Our flesh has the inclination to help others if it brings us reward or limelight, not because we want to lift them up and push us down. We want all of the accolades for ourselves.
But, the Savior told us in Matthew 6:3-4: “But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” It is very tough for us to become servants when all that our flesh wants is to be served. You have to serve the Lord God with all that you have without expectation; serve with only love for Him. We have to have the heart of Christ because we have been redeemed; to serve as He served and to love as He loves. We as Christian brothers and sisters are called to be one body of Christ. We are called to be one church family in Jesus our Lord.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6: “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” If a member of the body struggles, we must (not we should), we must help them. If a member of the body is hurt, we are to use the rest of the body to help them heal. We must love as Christ loves and do as Christ does. How easy it is for us to forget that we must imitate Jesus Christ; He must be at the heart of everything.
US Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper said of spiritual gifts: "A ship in port is safe, but this is not what ships are built for. To hide in the safety of a pew when the Holy Spirit is calling you to use your gifts for the Kingdom, is as ludicrous as a battle ship perpetually sitting in the harbor.”
So this means that you will be coaxed or even ripped out of your comfort zone and you have to be OK with that. That means that we have to be all things for all people as the Apostle Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 9:22. We have to find common ground so that some may come to Christ! That means as a church you have to be willing to try new things and be all things for all people so they come to know about God! And if we are torn out of our comfort zone for that cause; that some may be saved, Hallelujah - that is fantastic – Praise God Almighty that He uses us for that cause! God does not want you to come to church or serve Him in the view of it as an obligation. God wants you to serve Him with all of the love in your heart knowing that you want to do it to please Him.
Billy Graham once said, “Some people have a warped idea of living the Christian life. Seeing talented, successful Christians, they attempt to imitate them. For them, the grass on the other side of the fence is always greener. But when they discover that their own gifts are different or their contributions are more modest (or even invisible), they collapse in discouragement and overlook genuine opportunities that are open to them. They have forgotten that they are here to serve Christ, not themselves.”
We are not meant to “keep up with the Jones’s.” We visited a church onetime and in a bible study a woman was being hard on herself because she did not do visitations like so and so and just felt like she had to do more. That is an obligated view not a serving one. Visitation is not her gift. Maybe God does not want her doing visitations, maybe God wants her to teach or clean or cook or sing, etc…My gift is not your gift and vice versa. Listen, we don’t develop our gifts until we first learn to serve and then the Holy Spirit will show us our gifts. Serve God and seek God for your gifts then use them!
We have to find our own identity in Christ and learn what our spiritual gifts are. It does not matter if you are 8 or 80; your gifts are meant to be used until you draw your last breath on this earth. But, you cannot do that if you are not willing to try things. If you are not willing to come out of your comfort zone then you will never know what God has intended for you to do for Him.