Summary: A message on servanthood.
ROOM AT THE TABLE
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Pastor Brian Matherlee
Main point: It takes people to reach people.
Illustration: Drop leaf table with the leaves down to begin with.
• Everybody loves a party. Last night my family was together and the activity and conversation around the table was great. We were loud. It’s a good thing they put us in a room by ourselves. We love to talk, we love to eat, and we love to catch up.
• Today, I have a table here. It’s a good little table and can serve my purposes well, depending on my purpose. I can sit and eat by myself, or I can have someone join me. But what if I want to include someone else? I want them to be served and have a place at the table. What do I do? I put up one of the leaves. (keep raising it up but don’t put the support there.)
• What’s the problem? The support must be used to make the table big enough.
I want us to see today how we are like the supports to this table.
Jesus gave the mandate in Matthew 28:19, “Therefore, go and make disciples.” Making disciples is hard work. It’s a lot of work. It is important work and we’re the ones Jesus asked to do it!
The Scripture refers to the Body of Christ. I want us to understand today that God desires to use this Body of believers.
1. It’s the design of the Body (I Corinthians 12)
a. The parts of our body have a job to do and they do it.
i. The hands don’t wonder if they’re supposed to do what they do.
ii. The feet don’t pause to think if they’re supposed to support or walk.
iii. The stomach certainly doesn’t question what it’s supposed to do with food.
iv. Why do we question whether or not we are supposed to act?
b. The Body works until it can’t.
i. Eyes see until they go dim.
ii. Ears hear until they go deaf
iii. Arms lift until they lose strength
iv. Hearts beat until we die.
v. Why do we think that there’s a time when we can retire from serving?
1. What would have happened had the four friends left the crippled man to himself.
2. What would have happened had Paul decided he had planted enough churches?
3. What would have happened
c. If one part of the body doesn’t do their work, the rest of the body suffers.
i. The willingness of each one to do their part means the body works more effectively.
2. It’s the calling of the Body (I Peter 2:9)
a. Being chosen to work for Almighty God. What a privilege!
b. There’s no one who is not someone in the kingdom service of God.
c. The royal priesthood is not reserved for ordained, professional clergy. It’s everyone who will declare by their acts of service that God is alive and longing for people to have a place at the table.
d. In our church it is neither financially feasible nor spiritually prudent to hire someone to do all the tasks necessary for the needs of this body of believers and our community to be met.
e. Pages consider it a privilege to serve in the political realm for the experience. People clamor to have apprenticeships with the rich and famous, smart and innovative. They’ll work for nothing or next to it for incredible amounts of time, little sleep and little thanks and come away glowing about the experience.
f. Serving Jesus is the best experience of life. Nothing is more satisfying, more thrilling than having a part in the Kingdom of God.
g. By the time Rockefeller was fifty-three his life was a wreck. Throughout his business career he said, “I never placed my head upon the pillow at night without reminding myself that my success might only be temporary.” He was the richest man in the world and yet he was miserable in every sense of the word. He was sick physically, mentally, and emotionally. There was no humor, balance, or joy in his life. Then a transformation occurred. He determined to become a giver rather than an accumulator. He began to give his millions away. He founded the Rockefeller Foundation, dedicated to fighting disease and ignorance around the world. He lived to be ninety-eight years old and was a happy man in those years because of his new and revitalized definition of success. Glenn Van Ekeren, The Speaker’s Sourcebook II, pp. 354-355
h. An attitude and lifestyle of serving can change everything.
i. Tired of being a grumpy Christian?
ii. Tired of getting so little out of a faith experience?
iii. Tired of seeing others joy and wondering why they’re so chipper?