Summary: God wants to show-case you! You have an amazing talent that he wants your world to experience first-hand!
• Stewardship lesson one: God owns everything we have – everything we have has been given as a trust to manage on God’s behalf
• Stewardship lesson two: The extend that we prove faithful and trustworthy in that responsibility is determined by the condition of our relationship with God
• Then considered the stewardship of the resource call TIME – how we need to allow time to be renewed in worship; to evaluate our living and priorities; to rest in God; to be released into other peoples’ lives.
(Sermons on www.sakcc.com)
Today: Our spiritual gifts.
Many of us have known the experiences of enrolling our kids in the Kiwanis or Rotary Club Music Competitions. There are many shining stars ready to wow the crowds and we all have the same thought – my kid’s the best! Then when the award’s go around and my kid doesn’t pick up first place in every competition we wonder where did the organizers find this judge?!
God wants to show-case you! You have an amazing talent that he wants your world to experience first-hand! You are so special that there is not another person in the entire world wired the way you are! 1) God wired you for a specific task, 2) He connected you to a specific structure and 3) He designed you with a specific plan!
In our attempt to reinforce these truths, we will look to our text 1 Corinthians 12. It was written in a climate when spiritual gifts (especially tongues) were put on display. The Greeks in this historical context were very poor team players. Everyone focused on their own agendas and preferences. They loved to put off a spiritual talent show. Of course, the focus was self-serving. To quote one source of this factious church, “forces that should have built up the nation fly at one another in their mutual incapacity to seek the center.”
- One of our Enemy’s greatest tools of engagement is distracting us through self-focus. Self-focus means lack of God-focus - incapacity to seek the center.
- Consumerism mentality when giving to the church or programs – focused on personal return or benefit.)
Paul’s instructions highlight two things: i) the abuse of spiritual gifts is damaging to the body (abuse can involve no-use as well as misuse); ii) the proper use of spiritual gifts unpacks a powerful influencer in God’s community.
1. God wired you for a specific task (Vs. 1-11)
(SLIDE) – Verse 7
Manifestation: God shows himself to us so we can help other people.
Barclay: “The picture we get is of a Church vividly alive.”
People are more generous, forgiving, courteous and gracious at Christmas-time than any other time of the year. Did you notice that people are also happier and more joyful than any other time of the year? Why is that? One reason is certain: you cannot give yourself away for the good of someone else and not get a heavy dose of satisfaction in doing so!
Giving shows us who God is.
A church alive to the gifts God has placed within her awakens the sleepiest church from slumber! That church joys in and celebrates the diverse color and expression of service that God has intended! Shakespeare calls it “the symbol and the sacrament of freedom.”
Not having the freedom to live one’s calling is like going to a Circus to see a lion tamer swinging on the ropes or a clown snapping a whip at the lions! Specific tasks…
- Church tries to demand conformity
- Dress codes, sit on a certain pew, sing certain songs, and even respond in specific ways…
- There is no freedom in conformity. There is freedom in diversity – under God who works through our gifts – that is the glue that holds everything together!
- Diversity is not an invitation to run amuck with no accountability or responsibility. It is a call to run freely toward the same goal, with the same guiding presence of the Holy Spirit – in community, in partnership, in unity and common purpose. In that journey and process, God wired you for a specific task. Are you in touch with that ‘current’ embedded in your spirit? The next question is – when are you going to get moving and ignite the flame that is lying dormant in you?
Edward Scissorhands – 1990 film about a man created by a scientist. Edward has scissors and shears for hands. He was certainly a misfit in the colorful portrayal of a typical suburban community. He stood out, his scars ran deeper than his face, and he was taunted, feared and misunderstood. When Edward stood in front of a hedge, he experienced freedom and sculpted the most fantastic masterpieces!
Represents a caricature of many people. Many are misunderstood, rejected, and feel out of place. There are those of you here who are tired of the mundane, boring life you live. You want something more; all you know is, you’re not happy, even “in church”. It’s time to get sculpting! It’s time to discover freedom! It’s time to be alive to who God made you to be!