Summary: Encourage all of us to realize that we have been given wonderful gifts by God and He encourages us to use those gifts to do our very best and invites all of us to join together to serve Him.
Having a Servant’s Heart: Give Him Your Best I Corinthians 12 September 2, 2007 CBC
The story is told of this woman who decided one day to try horseback riding. Now she had never ridden a horse before and had never had a lesson on how to ride a horse. And so she sees this horse and she says I’m going to ride this thing. And she hops onto that horse and it immediately begins to spring into action. Well the horse is moving along at a nice pace but the women begins to lose her balance and is about to slip from her saddle and so she grabs for the horse’s mane but she can’t get a firm grip. So she then tries to throw her arms around the horse’s neck but that dies not work and she begins to slide down the side of the horse. And so here is this woman struggling on this horse but the horse pays her no mind and continues to move along. Seeing that something must happen, she attempts to leap away from the horse and throw herself to safety. But her foot becomes stuck in the stirrup and is not at the mercy of the horse as her head is struck against the ground over and over again. And just as she is about to lose consciousness to her great fortune, her comes Bobby the Wal-Mart Greeter to her rescue and he rescues her by unplugging the horse.
After reading I Corinthians 12:verse7-11 we can explain the connection to this story in this manner: If a person’s gift is saving a woman from a mechanical horse then let him be the mechanical horse hero. Today I want all of us to know that we each have a special gift for his or her ministry. This morning as we continue our series on Having a Servants heart, I want to encourage you that not only does ever believer in Christ have a spiritual gift but Christ encourages us to use those gifts. And so today I ask all of us the question, are we using our gifts and are we giving God our best?
Well to be honest, statistics tell us that not every believer is using his or her gifts to serve God through the church. It is a proven fact that not every Christian is committed to service. The statistic that has been used is the 80/20 principle: That is that 80% of the work of the church gets done by 20% of the people. I am thankful that statistic does not work in this church; however we are only doing slightly better. Yet can you imagine what would happen if 50 percent of the people were willing to give God their best through service. Imagine what would happen if 75% of the people were involved in giving God their best through serving in His church.
I am a firm believer that it takes all the people of God to do all the work of God. God’s work is so important and so large that it cannot be done by just 20% of the congregation. No, it takes all people giving their best to God through service in his name.
And so this morning I want to take just a few moments and encourage all of us to realize that we have been given wonderful gifts by God and he encourages us to use those gifts to do our best and to invite all of us to join together to serve Him.
Now our story opens up in I Corinthians 12 in some pretty uncomfortable territory. There is a church in Corinth who is undergoing a lot of problems. It seems that there are different groups in the church and they are filled with division and griping and complaining about just about anything that is going on within the church. Chapter 12 comes up in the midst of a growing argument between two groups of people who are upset because there are some people in the church who thought they were more important than others because they had some pretty spectacular gifts. When Paul wrote this letter to the church he specifically addressed these issues.
1) To Give God Our Best, We Need To Understand Spiritual Gifts
Paul wanted to make sure that the Corinthians as well as we understood what spiritual gifts were and how they were to be used. In verse 1 Paul encourages us to not be ignorant about spiritual gifts.
Now in order to not be ignorant about spiritual gifts and to understand them, it’s probably best that you and I define what a Spiritual gift is. Here is one definition that I think will help: “Spiritual gifts are divine abilities distributed by the Holy Spirit to every believer according to God’s design and grace for the common good of the Body of Christ.”