Summary: A sermon about spiritual gifts in relation to Moses.
"What Should I do with the Life God Gave Me: The Bush is Still Burning"
Sometimes when we wake up in the morning and take a look at ourselves in the mirror we might not like some of the things we see.
Perhaps we become self-critical of the things we don't like about ourselves.
Sometimes this leads us to criticize others based on what we don't like about ourselves.
Well, I'm your pastor.
And if you find yourself doing this--STOP IT!!!
It's a waste of time.
Listen to the voice of God instead!!!
And God is saying to you--"You are standing on holy ground,"
"I am with you,"
"I am the Lord, the God of your ancestors,"
"Now go and live the full life of service I have called you to--I'll teach you what you should do and say."
God loves us.
God created us.
God died for us.
God calls us--everyone of us to serve Him so as to make disciples of Jesus Christ in order to transform this messed up world.
And messed up, it is.
As you know, this past week journalist James Foley was beheaded by the terrorist group--Isis(L).
James was 40 years old, was one of 5 siblings and had parents who loved him dearly.
It is hard to believe that human beings are capable of this sort of--seemingly--inhuman behavior.
As the President said, "One thing we can all agree on is that a group like Isis(L) has no place in the 21st Century."
But here they are all the same.
In our own country, we have watched in trepidation, the violence, anger and chaos that erupted in Ferguson, Missouri.
And here at home, in East Ridge, North Georgia and Chattanooga--we have shootings nearly daily.
There are children living on the streets and in cars.
People are destroying themselves with drugs.
Folks living right next door to us are enslaved and oppressed by economic hardship, no positive role models, gangs, and life without relationship with God.
Whole generations are living with no hope for a better future.
And God has decided to use you and me to change all this.
But we aren't called to do it alone.
We aren't called to do it with our own power.
We are called to do it, together, as the church.
And we are called to do it with the power of God living in us, enabling us, strengthening us, surprising us.
God has gifted each of us and calls each of us to use His spiritual gifts so that this church--the Body of Christ on this block--will be the most effective human transformation system possible.
We are called to use the gifts God has bestowed on each one of us to do our part in transforming the world, by bringing others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ--the only One Who can save us, and then inviting them into the Church--the Body of Christ so that we can all be transformed together.
A couple of weeks ago, we started talking about spiritual gifts.
And we learned that spiritual gifts are just what they say they are: gifts!!!
They aren't merely acquired skills or natural abilities.
They are something we are given when we are saved.
As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians: "A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good."
We are in this together.
The success of the life-changing mission of this church doesn't just rest on me, any one individual or just a handful of people.
We all have an important part to play.
When we joined East Ridge United Methodist Church, we made a promise to God, to ourselves and to the Church that we would uphold this particular Church with our service!!!
Which means every single one of us is accountable to God, ourselves and this Church as to whether or not we keep our part of this bargain.
We have a spiritual gifts inventory which many of you have taken home.
For those who did not get one, I pray you will take one today.
They are out in the hall.
Take it home and enjoy taking the test.
There are no wrong answers.
When we discover our spiritual gifts, we find out what is unique about our call from God; we discover that which most personally relates us to our Creator.
And because of this, our deepest joy comes from using the gifts God has given us to do God's work in the world.
When Moses was called by God, the Hebrew people had been enslaved for some time by the Egyptians.
They made their lives miserable and hard.
And God had decided to use Moses to "bring...the Israelites out of Egypt."
But Moses didn't have a very good view of himself.
It's as if Moses would get up every morning, look at his reflection in the mirror and say: "Ugghh!!!"