Summary: You are gifted by God to serve God.
I’ve been a little disappointed with your winters here so far. I was hoping that we would have more snow. Not because I’m a big fan of snow, but I never got around to raking my leaves this fall and I was hoping that there’d be snow to cover that fact up. All my neighbors had their leaves nicely raked or blown and there sat mine right where nature had laid them. I thought about doing them, once, but a better offer came along and I took it. I’ve had a thing about leaves since I was a kid. I grew up with a perfectionist father. That was a plus in some way, but when it came to yard work and house work, it made life miserable. I can remember spending perfectly good Saturday afternoons with a rake in my hand and my father wanted every single leaf up, no stragglers, no exceptions. I remember one Saturday when all of the neighborhood guys were going to play football and there I stood, looking out over our ¾ of an acre with a rake in hand. The task was seemingly impossible. Then something happened. My friends took pity on me and about 10 guys showed up with rakes and an hour later I was done and playing football with the guys. When each of us played a role instead of one guy trying to do it all, the job was easy and we accomplished in a short time what would have taken me 2 afternoons to finish.
Israel faced a task like this, something that looked huge and impossible. God had delivered them from Egypt and in Exodus 25-30 (it takes 5 whole chapters!) he lays out in great detail for them through Moses the kind of tabernacle that he wants them to build. He gives dimensions, kinds of wood, what kind of metals to use, how to make the walls and ceiling and furniture, right down to how to make the clothes for the priests, no detail is left out. But when God was building that first church, he let Moses in on a little secret. He had already sent his spirit ahead to gift the right people for the right jobs so that the task could be accomplished quickly and exactly the way it was commanded by God to be done.
Read Exodus 31:1-11
What a great picture this gives us of the church today. God wants to build his church, his Body and he tells us in Scripture what that church should look like, it is to be loving, it is to be accepting, it is to preach the word and change the world. In great detail, he lays out his vision of His body on Earth. And then he says: Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you:
Who are the craftsmen, we are, the church, those who have placed their faith in Christ. What are the skills, His spiritual gifts that the Spirit has given to al who believe. Just like that first tabernacle was built by those that the Spirit gifted, His church today is built in the same way.
So, we’ve looked at most of the individual spiritual gifts and how they function practically with in the Body of Christ. Hopefully, you have a better grasp on what those gifts are and what they entail and you’ve started to get a feel for how God has gifted you and where you can plug into this work here in this church. This morning, I want to conclude this series by looking at some ways that we can discover God’s gifts in our lives, but before we do that, there are a few things I want to make sure that you understand about the way that we were created and where ministry fits into the overall purpose of the life of every believer.
I think that we need to understand, not just the concept of gifts and how God has gifted us, but we need to understand as well, why discovering and utilizing our gifts is essential to our growth, personally, and to the growth of God’s kingdom. There are seven truths about ministry and service in our lives that I want you to know. These 7 things give a pretty complete picture of what the Bible teaches about service and its place in our lives. Some of these are going to be review but each of these truths is something that I want to make sure that you understand and can see how it translates into your life before we move away from this topic of gifts and ministry.
These truths apply to the life of every believer.
Every Christian is:
1) Created for Ministry
One of my favorite characters in the Star Wars movies is C3PO. If you’re not familiar with the movies, I have all 6 if you’d like to borrow them. C3PO is a robot, a droid, and throughout the movies he tries his best to be adventurous and brave but it simply is not the way that he was programmed. He’s a translator droid, he knows every language in the galaxy and wherever his adventures take him, he can’t get away from how he was made and what he was made to do. In the middle of a battle, with guns going off all around him, he can be heard reminded those around him that he is fluent in over six million forms of communication in a snooty voice that drives others nuts. You can take him away from where he’s comfortable, you can place him in a very different environment, with different people and ask him to do different things, but you can’t change what he was created to do, it’s always going to rise to the top.