Sermons

Summary: Part of a series on the keys to joyful service in the church

Service with a Smile:

Finding Your Spiritual Gifts

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

[Show Fantasia video, segment one]

A vast orchestra,

composed of stringed instruments,

brass instruments,

percussion instruments,

and woodwinds . . .

All joining together,

the harp and the oboe,

the violin and timpani,

the trumpet and the triangle,

to produce strains of music that are capable of

lifting the soul to ecstatic heights,

or plunging it into depths of melancholy & despair.

None of those various instruments we saw

is capable--alone--of duplicating

what we just heard in that brief clip from

Disney’s Fantasia;

But together—together—

when you combine the crisp tones of a trumpet

with the thunder of a tuba

and the cascading notes of a harp,

together the instruments of that orchestra wield an amazing power,

a power FAR BEYOND the capabilities

of any one instrument

or any one musician.

That, ladies and gentlemen,

is a picture of the church.

The church is like an orchestra

made up of a wide range of instruments

played by a diverse array of musicians.

And God himself selects who will play what.

As the conductor, he determines the sections

and then decides which part each will play.

Because he is also the composer,

the music he writes is perfectly suited to each member of the orchestra,

and perfectly designed to accomplish his purpose.

Every Christian here this morning—

every person who has

experienced salvation by trusting Christ

and thus received new life by the power of God’s Holy Spirit—

is a member of that vast orchestra . . .

And God has placed in your hands,

whether you know it or not,

an instrument that is perfectly suited to you . . .

Now, I’m not necessarily talking about a trumpet, though Jeremy Michael does play one of those;

nor about a flute, like Sheena Johnson and Jasmine Isaacs play,

nor the drums, like Dave Wilkes plays,

nor even the spoons, which Henry Saas plays.

No, I’m talking about another kind of instrument,

the kind the Bible calls a “spiritual gift.”

Good morning. My name is Bob Hostetler, and

this morning at Cobblestone Community Church we’re in the second week of a four-week series of messages from the Bible, entitled “Serving with a Smile.”

You see, we here at Cobblestone Community Church have been meeting together for ten weeks now;

And it’s our plan, as we worship and fellowship and pray together, to prepare to launch a full fledged, new, different, dynamic,

community-oriented,

student-friendly,

seeker-aware,

outward-focused church

on Palm Sunday, April 8, 2001.

But we feel very strongly

that we don’t want the Cobblestone experience to be the kind of church that wears people out trying to keep the church machinery going and ends up being a drag on everyone’s energy and enthusiasm and enjoyment;

we want to be the kind of church

where people have FUN and find FULFILLMENT

in glorifying God and serving others.

And we believe that the way to do that involves:

• finding your passion, which we discussed last week,

• finding your spiritual gifts, which we’ll discuss in the next ten minutes or so, and also

• finding your style, and

• finding your place, which we’ll cover in the next two weeks.

So, let’s get started by turning in the Bible to the New Testament book of 1 Corinthians. . .

1 Corinthians chapter twelve.

Now, if you worship here regularly, I encourage you to get in the habit of bringing your Bible with you so you can read for yourself

with your own eyes

from your own Bible

what’s being taught up here at the front.

If you’re here without a Bible of your own this morning, please feel free to use on of the copies we provide for you in the center of each table.

And if you don’t have a Bible of your own, we would love for you to take one of ours home with you. . . Consider it your souvenir.

So, having said all that,

let’s look at 1 Corinthians, chapter twelve. . . .

It’s on page ___ if you’re reading from one of the

table Bibles today . . .

And our study of God’s Word this morning will begin at the first verse of that chapter, where the Apostle Paul writes,

Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant (1 Corinthians 12:1, NIV).

Now, let me pause for a moment to point out something interesting . . .

Paul used that particular phrase--“I do not want you to be ignorant”—six times in his letters. . .

twice in reference to the Jewish people, whose disobedience brought judgment,

once in reference to his plans to visit the church at Rome,

once regarding the sufferings he and his team had endured throughout Asia,

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