Summary: God created each of us for a purpose. God endowed us with certain gifts, unique to us alone. We can use these gifts for the building up of the Body of Christ or use them for selfish ends.
Partners in Ministry
Philippians 2:1-4 – People matter to God and should matter to you.
I Peter 4:10 - “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
I Corinthians 3:9 “We work together as partners who belong to God. You are God’s field, God’s building – not ours.”
God created each of us for a purpose. God endowed us with certain gifts, unique to us alone. We can use these gifts for the building up of the Body of Christ or use them for selfish ends.
God is all sufficient. He doesn’t need us for His fulfillment, but God does want us to become His partner in the ministry of reconciliation-helping people find and experience God’s love and forgiveness. God gives gifts to all Christ followers. God does not measure our success in life by our titles or positions or accomplishments, but by how well we use the gifts He has gifted us with.
Our goal as a local church is to give permission and encourage people to use their God given gifts in ministry. Ephesians 4:11-16 describes a healthy church as one where individuals are using their gifts to build up the Body of Christ. Under the direction of Christ each person uses his or her gift to partner with others so the whole body is healthy and grows.
As Christ followers we each have a choice to make. We either choose to live a mediocre below average life or choose to live an extraordinary life using whatever spiritual gifts God has given us to use in advancing the cause of Christ. Our theme song might be: “Let me burn out for You dear Lord, let me burn and wear out for You. Don’t let me rust or my life be a failure my God, to You.”
The Scriptures teach several truths concerning our partnership with God in ministry.
I. God Expects His gifts to be used in service to others.
The Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 12 makes it clear that all spiritual gifts are important in the Body of Christ. No one should boast that the gift he has is better than the gift someone else has. A person with the gift of teaching should not lord it over someone who has the gift of helps. All gifts are equal in the Body of Christ, the community of believers.
The primary point scripture teaches is that whatever gift you have, you are to use it. You are held accountable for the gifts you possess. Romans 12:6-8, “God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So, if God has given you the ability to prophesy (proclaim God’s Truths) speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you. If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching. If your gift is to encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift of showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” Everyone in this room has at least one of the 7 gifts mentioned in Romans 12.
Whatever your gift is, don’t bury it. Jesus told the parable of the talents to illustrate the importance of using what God has given you. In Matthew 25:14-30 Jesus told about a Master giving three of his servants money to invest for him while he was gone on a trip. He gave one servant 5 talents, the second 2 talents and the third 1 talent. John Ortberg in his book “If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat,” says one talent was worth about fifteen years’ wages. So, even the one talent servant was given a huge amount of money. The servant with five talents doubled the money, the servant with two talents doubled the money, but the third dug a hole in the ground and buried his talent. The servant with one talent failed to take advantage of a once-in-a-life-time opportunity.
When the master returned he praised the five talent and two talent servants for being good and faithful. The one talent servant who buried his talent he condemned as being lazy and gave his one talent to the servant who had doubled his five talents to ten.
God cares a great deal about whether we use the gift he has given us, but what we do with it is our choice, not His. We can use our gift and multiply it, or we can pack it safely out of sight.
We are stewards and managers of all that God has given us. God is owner of all we have. We are either faithful or indifferent in our management of God’s gifts. Psalm 24:1 says: