Summary: What is your ministry, what gifts or talents has God given to you? How can YOU make a difference?
Fresh Fire: The Difference - The Holy Spirit in the Church and in You
When you think of church what do you think of?
Do you think of the building?
Do you think of the worship service?
Do you think about what we do?
Or do you think about who we are?
Let me ask the question in a different way:
Do you come to church or
Do you ‘do’ church? or
Are you church?
See the bible clearly states it’s us, it’s the people who are the church, it’s not the building, its not what we do, It is who we are.
How we think about what church actually is, affects how we behave, it affects how we act and it effects who we are.
If we see the church purely as a building then it’s something that we can just visit on occasion.
If we seen church as the services, or the ceremonies, or the way in which we do things - then we can choose not to fully participate.
If we see ourselves as church then that means we have to think about who we are, how we behave and what we do - 24 hours a day - seven days a week
If we are church then we don’t stop being church because we’re not in a church building, we don’t stop being church because we don’t feel like getting up and going to the morning service, we can’t stop being church because God has called us to be church, His Church, His people when we accepted Jesus as Lord, when God forgave us for our sin, when we repented and turned to Him, we were adopted into His family.
Over the last nine months, as part of our fresh fire series we have been thinking specifically about the Holy Spirit, who the spirit is, how he works in our lives, the difference He makes to our lives, and the difference we can make in other peoples lives when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us.
This month we are looking at the Spirit in the Ministry of the church.
Maybe we should retitle this month as the Spirit in the Ministry of YOU.
You are the church - and your ministry is important, Having the Spirit in your ministry is vital to being the church God has called us to be.
Your ministry can make a difference in the life of your family.
Your ministry can make a difference in the life of your friends.
Your ministry can make a difference in the life of your community.
Your ministry can make a difference in the life of our church.
So how can YOU make a difference?
First - let me start by saying it’s not about who YOU think you are…
Yes you are important to God.
Yes you are valuable to God.
Yes you are loved by God.
Yes you may have gifts or talents that someone else does not have.
But its not about how important, or valuable, or gifted, or talented you think you are…
It’s all about what you are willing to allow God to do with your life,
it’s all about how willing you are to be used by God to bring others to Christ,
It’s all about how willing you are to live sacrificially.
It’s all about how willing you are to be led and guided and empowered by the Spirit of God.
It’s not about who you are, it’s about how open you are to serve the God who loves you and cares for you and has a perfect plan for you.
It’s about allowing God to use you to make a difference.
If you think about it, throughout the Bible there are people that God has used to make a difference.
And rather than just picking the strongest,
the wisest, the beautiful - God used many that, by the standards of the world, could be consider failures.
God uses imperfect people to accomplish His perfect purpose.
Someone wrote this list about people God used:
David’s armour didn’t fit.
Hosea’s wife was a prostitute.
Jacob was a liar.
King David had an affair.
Solomon was too rich.
Abraham was too old.
David was too young.
Timothy had ulcers.
Peter was afraid of death.
Lazarus was dead.
John was self-righteous.
Naomi was a widow.
John Mark - rejected by Paul
Paul was a murderer.
So was Moses.
Jonah ran from God.
Miriam was a gossip & bigot
Gideon and Thomas both doubted.
Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.
Elijah was burned out.
Martha was a clean freak.
Samson had long hair.
Noah got drunk.
And Moses had a short fuse and so did Peter, Paul… and many others
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 says this “God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.”