Worship Service for Sunday, October 16, 2022
Well, I got a question. Did you mean it? That's a powerful song. And let's not forget the words that we're singing when we're enjoying the song that we're singing. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander. How many of you growing up were swimming on the shallow end, looking carefully at the deep end? Yeah. And there were times when you were like, "I don't know that I want to swim over there because my feet can't touch." Is our faith such that we are only willing to go where our feet can touch? Or are we willing to go in a place where all we have is Jesus to get us through? Let me give you a hint. You'll probably be given a situation like that anyway, so get used to it, because God has a way of putting us in unusual circumstances that shows us that we can trust Him above the circumstances.
Well, I'm going to hone in on a passage of scripture in Romans 12 on talking about how we serve Christ together. And the reading of the scripture from where Jesus washed the feet of His disciples reminds me of a time when we planted our church and where we went to what was called basic training for church planters. And the leader of that training event on the second night of the second day of the three days that we were there, had us all sit in a circle and he took a towel and he simply just started wiping each of our feet. We didn't take our shoes and socks off. I've had that happen a couple of times. In fact, when we started our service, our church, before we even got launched, somebody did that for me. And it was a powerful example of servanthood and love, and I grew up going to a church that did that.
But even just wiping the outside of our feet was humbling. And it reminded us that Jesus, the Son of God, the king of the world, the king of the universe, the King, bent down and served his disciples and demonstrated that the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and to give us life as a ransom for many. We did a series of messages on servanthood in our church when we got start in the early days. And we actually had a towel that was printed up, got our old style logo on it, and it says, "I will serve my Christ, my church, and my community." We handed it out to everyone who was willing to take it to say around here, we're not passing out titles, we're passing out towels because we are servant-minded. I still have a few of these.
If one of you wants to get deputized and be a servant, and we may even print some more up because it's a powerful reminder we are called to serve, and we serve together in Christ's name. How do we do that? And I believe chapter 12 versus three through six kind of gives us a hint as to how to do that. And I'm not going to go into the spiritual gift, mix lists of spiritual gifts, but I want to talk about the practical application of that we have them and how we actually use them for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ followers imitate Christ by serving. If you want to look like Jesus, start serving in His name. You don't look like Jesus by being in charge of a bunch of stuff. You might be in charge of a bunch of stuff, but you are in charge of a bunch of stuff as a servant of the people and the situation that you're in charge of. We are all servants in the name of Jesus Christ, and every believer is gifted to serve. Every believer has some kind of a spiritual gift. And I'm not talking about abilities; we'll talk about that in just a few moments. I'm not talking about - some people... we all sang this morning, only a few ought to have a microphone. And that's just, I mean, you know, in fact, I realized, did you all hear me singing through your earpiece? Good, because occasionally I keep it. They'll mute it up there, but then it still goes through the earpieces and my daughter's like, "Yeah, we heard you singing." I'm like, "Oh, I'm sorry," because it still comes through there. And so I'm like, "Eh."
But anyway, but we all have different gifts. I'm not talking about abilities. I'm not talking about talents, things that we're we just kind of naturally good at. Some people are carpenters, some people are mechanics, some people are neither, some people, right brain, left brain. We're going to talk about that a little bit this morning, but I want to hone in on the conversation that every believer is gifted by the Holy Spirit to serve. When you become a Christian, God gives you a spiritual gift. We're going to talk about it in Romans, but it also talks about it in 1 Corinthians 12 In your homework time, you can go look at 1 Corinthians 12, and in 1 Peter 4:10, I'm going to actually hone in on that a little bit later as well to say that we all - in fact, let me read that for you 1 Peter 4:10 says, "Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others as good stewards of the varied grace of God." We show the grace of God through the using of our spiritual gifts as we serve people in Jesus' name. And people will not really receive the full grace of God. And I mean, I'm not talking about you get the grace of God, but you won't experience that grace, that unmarried favor unless the body of Christ is functioning well and that we're all serving the way we're gifted so that everybody experiences the grace in a practical way.
You see, God says we're supposed to serve, but he empowers us to serve. Think about it. You may have had an employer or a supervisor or even a teacher that told you to do an assignment, but they didn't equip you to do it. Anybody. And if you're a supervisor, don't do that. A parent says, "Go mow the lawn," but if the parent doesn't show the child how to turn on the lawnmower and safely mow the grass, "straight lines, please," then and then get mad at them because they didn't do it right, that's just cruel. So in the same way, if God has told you to go serve people and then He doesn't give you any ability to do it, He doesn't show you how, that would be unfair. Not right.
There's a saying, you know, when you talk about calling and being called to be a pastor, being called to be in ministry, God doesn't call those who are equipped, He equips those who are called. He takes care of the empowerment part, we just have to show up and be obedient to do the work, and He will come through us and be a blessing to other people. So, we all are gifted to serve. And the reason He changes our lives and the reason that He wants to move in our lives and we become more like Jesus is so that we do serve people in His name. So in Romans 12, it starts out by saying, "Therefore brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. This is your true worship." And then he says verse two, a lot of times you may have heard this, if you've been in church a while, "Do not be conform to this age."
Don't just be a conformist to this age, to the people around you, to what's going on to the culture. No, no, no, be transformed. How do you do that? By the renewing of your mind. And we talk about prayer, bible study, getting around other godly people, being around godly influences, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing and perfect will of God? So that you can do the right thing. And then the word "for" in verse three actually attaches itself back to what he said, "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. And when your mind is renewed, this is what you're going to do." So let me read for us, verse three, "For By the grace given to me," this is Paul talking through the inspirational Holy Spirit, "I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, he should think sensibly as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one."
Verse four. "Now, as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function in the same way, we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another, according to the grace given to us, we have different gifts. "
Let me pray for us, Father God right now, is we unpack this very meaningful and important and practical passage of how to experience and how to use the gifts you've given us, how to understand what you've done and how to function well as the body of Christ, Lord, may You deliver the message to every heart that's needed this morning. There might be someone who's far from God. They're not even figuring out what it means to have a spiritual gift. They're just trying to figure out how to hold things together. I don't know where people are this morning. I can't read minds. I don't know every heart. I've prayed for a lot of people in this room, but only you know where they are right now. And so, I just pray in Jesus' name that if it's someone who just needs to draw closer to You this morning, may You translate this message in their hearts to know that You love them and You have a purpose for their lives. And You want to work in and through their lives to make a difference in their situation, and that they can live a life of purpose and meaning. And if it's those of us that have lived with You and walked in You for a long time, Lord, wake us up to what You want us to do next, to serve You and to honor You and to be a blessing to You in whatever season of life we're in. And everywhere in between, God, You know what to do in this moment. May you be more important and may you be thought of more, and may I diminish even as I'm talking and I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.
Well, I want to talk about what Christian servants are like this morning. And this passage gives us a pretty clear picture of what servants in the Lord Jesus name are like. It first says in verse three that we are humble. Verse three says don't think of yourself more highly than you should think. We need to be humble. We're not all that more, but we are - I'll get that in a minute. But we need to make sure that we're not thinking puffed up, thinking about, "Oh, look at that. It's like the story of the pastor that's coming home from church and he's in the car and he's just thinking about how he got all the words right. He didn't twist his tongue up like I do occasionally. His kids didn't giggle at him when he messed up, and he just thought, you know, he brought it. You know, dropped the mic moment in the pastor's life, right? And he's just thinking to himself these thoughts. But you know, you don't say that out loud in the car. So he said something to the effect of, 'Aren't there a lot of great preachers out there today that probably preach the word of God?" And his wife heard that and she immediately said, "And probably one less than you think."
We need to make sure that we don't get too full of ourselves. Don't think too much of yourself. But then he goes right around and says, but think sensibly of yourselves. We need to be confident. There's these two bumpers or guardrails that we need to have in our lives. There's the bumper guardrail of pride that says, "I'm all that and more. "And I don't mean you can't use the word proud. I think there's a right way, but don't be proud. God resists the proud, gives grace to the humble. Do you want to be resisted by God? Don't be proud. So that's the bumper. Don't be proud, but don't feel like you're insignificant, like I don't matter to anything. As I said in the early service - worm theology, I'm a worthless worm. There's actually a hymn that we would sing, and it just brought this whole idea that I'm just a groveling nothing. And that is saying that God made junk. That's saying that God didn't make you into something special and important in this world. Like, you were the mistake in the universe. And that is a lie from the pit of hell.
That is an absolute lie, it's a lie that causes people to have more anxiety, more fear, more struggles. It causes people to have identity crisis and it causes people to take their lives, and anywhere in between. And they sit on a shelf and they think, "Well, I'm just not good at anything." You're good at something. You're not good at everything, but you're good at something. So don't be so prideful that you think you're all that more. And don't live life saying I'm not good at anything. That's a lie. God has gifted you. And every Christian in this room has been given a spiritual gift to be used to the glory of God. Again, not a talent or an ability; I'm talking about a spiritual empowerment that so uniquely makes you see the world that you see it in such a way, that sometimes when a brother or sister in Christ sees it a different way, you get a little offended. You're like, "Well, you're just not as merciful as you should be because you're the super mercy.
Or the person says, "Well, you're being a little soft on them," because they're more the teacher or they're the exhorter. A teacher, you know, kind of teaches an exhorter. I'm not getting into the weeds here, but an exhorter says, "Well, here's..." they come alongside and they encourage. There's hard gifts, there's soft gifts, there's gifts that are, you know, gift of giving, gift of mercy. And then there's the gift of forth telling, the prophet that tell it like it is. Frank and Ernest who's done more; those two men have done more to destroy fellowship than anywhere else - just being Frank and Ernest. Don't! No, we work together. I'll talk about that in a minute. I'm getting ahead of myself here. We need to be confident that God has given us a gift, but not so confident that we get high minded.
Sometimes we get too confident and we think we need to have some kind of recognition. God will recognize, and God will use the body of Christ to recognizing you. You don't have to worry about that, God don't take care of that in his timing. You present yourself. If someone's supposed to be in ministry, present yourself. That's a good thing to do. But let the body of Christ work with you and in and through you as you do that. Or to be humble, to be confident, and a Christian servant, we are gifted. Okay, let's just state the obvious. We are gifted. It says in that first verse there, verse three. And think sensibly as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. Some commentators suggest that that measure faith phrase means "the faith" that God's been measured out, the faith of Jesus Christ, the faith in trusting in Him. And that's it.
Others will say no, that's actually, measure of faith is just a synonym for... it's another way of saying spiritual gifts. He's given you a measure of spiritual gifts. And I think of measure of faith like I've been given my piece of real estate to take care of in a football game, and I got to stay home. That's what one of the things they talk about, stay home. You need to stay where you're supposed to be as a defense to make sure that you're capturing and cleaning up the area that you're responsible for on the field. And just as the offense is supposed to go where they're supposed to go, you don't put two receivers to go the same direction. Maybe you do, but then there's a split off so that there's actually a confusion so that the quarterback can get to somebody who's open. You need to own the real estate you've been assigned to take care of. So you've been given a measure of faith; you have a spiritual gift that you've been given and you're responsible for taking care of it and using it and fostering it into better and stronger so that you might honor God with your life with that spiritual gift.
In verse six it says we have different gifts. We are given these gifts. In 1 Corinthians 12:7, "A manifestation of the spirit is given to each person." The Holy Spirit gives you that gift. And by the way, there are things about our lives sometimes that we get irritated with ourselves about. Why don't we always see things that way? Why is it if I'm a hammer, every time I see a problem, I think it's a nail? And I just bang on things all the time, the way I design to bang on things and it just doesn't work right. Yeah, because I'll talk in a minute here that there's a reason for that, but don't resent the fact that you're a hammer. Don't resent the fact that you see the world that you just - why is it that I just get bent out of shape when I see bad things happening? That just tears me up. I don't know what to do about it. So just thank God that you have sensitivity, some of us don't, like you do.
Sometimes I have to - my wife and I, I don't think either one of us have the gift of mercy. Poor kids! And get hurt in games and we're like, "Get up. Throw some dirt on it." "Yeah, but there's blood on it." "The blood will make the blood clot better, faster." Yeah, just go for it. That's why one kid had a broken ankle for two days before we found out that they had a broken ankle. Yeah, that's God's six sense of humor on our kids. That's awful. Anyway, pray for my kids, pray for my kids. But we all are all gifted in our particular ways. That's no excuse by the way, for us not being merciful. That's why I'm self-confessing this morning. It doesn't mean that you can just forget mercy if you're not merciful.
Alright, let me give you another. I don't have the gift of evangelism, the gift of telling people about Jesus, but we're still called to go and tell people about Jesus. Just because you don't have the ability to help others do it better, and every time I was growing up, the evangelist would come into town, we'd have week long bible worship services each night and this evangel and every time he got on an airplane, it seemed like he was sitting next to somebody and they got saved on his way to somewhere else, or he'd be somewhere. Everywhere he went he'd be like, they all came to Jesus. I was like, man, I'm not that person. I talk to people, I feel like I might take people to the next step, but I just don't - I'm not the closer, I guess you might say. I don't know what it is. But the bottom line to is, people are super gifted to give, but it does not negate all of our responsibility to tell people about Jesus.
So I'm not talking about the commands to go and tell people. I'm talking about the spiritual unction that you have, that spiritual power that's within you that enables you to equip the body of Christ to be something more than they are already. We're gifted, but we are also interdependent. Verse four, "All the parts do not have the same function," which means none of us has all the gifts, only Jesus was perfect. And if we're going to be like Jesus, we got to work together to show what Jesus looks like through all of us doing our particular part in the body of Christ. Verse five, "We are individually members of one another." So we're individuals, but we belong to one another. There is this trend of going off and doing my own little house church by myself, all myself. And sometimes it's because they get offended by other people's spiritual gifts and they have to run off and they go off and they do their own thing, and then they become the hammer that sees the whole world as a nail.
Nonprofits are started in a positive way because of this. Someone has a spiritual gift, and they start a nonprofit ministry to do this, that or the other. And they're given that gift and they go do that, but then they don't realize that they are part of a bigger picture in the body of Christ and they are kind of soloed or they're siloed and they're basically over here doing their thing and they're not being inputted by others who have other spiritual gifts and they kind lose their way or they start resenting how everybody isn't like they are. And there's just that pride thing. And so we need to make sure that we're not... now, some people, they're wounded and there's struggles and there's been bad things that have happened in church. I've had some bad things happen in church, but God still works through the body of Christ, and He works as we are interdependent.
We're better together than we'll ever be by ourselves. We have different gifts. And it says in 1 Corinthians 12:7, "For the common good." Your spiritual gift isn't something for you to profit on by yourself. It's something to be a blessing; not just to you, but to other people as well. We're all in this together, working together blessing one another. In 1 Corinthians 12, it also talks about that each one has gifts, there are different ministries and there are different activities that result from that. Let me just say that maybe you have... like my pastor in the church that I was an intern in Texas would say that he had the gift of servanthood. He just, that was his spiritual gift and yet he's a pastor. Servanthood you would think, oh, he's the janitor, right?
I mean, I'm not saying that are good to say that, well that's how you're the pastor. No, no, no, no. Your giftedness does not necessarily mean what your ministry's going to be. His gift was service. His ministry was calling as a pastor of the church. But then it was God who brought about the activity and the result that was needed in the body of Christ. In that passage, it also says it is the same spirit who gives the gifts. It's the same Lord who gives the ministries and it's the same God who brings about the activity.
And what he would say is that I serve through my motivational gift of servanthood. And he would be the first one in this megachurch of thousands to get up on a Wednesday night dinner. And we had weekly dinners at the church in the family life center. And he would often be getting plates for people and serving. He was also administrating a massive church, but he administrated it as a servant in his spiritual giftedness. And it was God who gave him the gift, who called him into a ministry, who then by the power of the Holy Spirit brought about a result that was honor and glorifying to the one God who brought this all together as interdependent individuals for the common good to do the work together. We all work together to reflect the glory of God. We depend on one another as we all depend on God together. That's what it's all about, because ultimately not only we are we interdependent, but we are united.
How are we united? We who are many are one body in Christ. Our spiritual gifts combine together are meant to display the one Jesus Christ. There is no Jesus Christ superstar in the room. Jesus is the only superstar. And we in our own way, when we blend in unity and He says, "They'll know that you're my disciples if you have love one for another." I pray father that they may be one even as you and I are one," Jesus said. The oneness of the body of Christ is the most powerful witness that God is working and moving in this world. And we must work together to make that happen.
Again, what are the pitfalls? Oftentimes we see things the way we see things and we get a little upset when people don't see things the way we see them. In marriage there's usually an opposite attract, and then after a while opposites rub people the wrong way in a relationship. And yet, it's sort of like - let's just use a simple one, spenders and savers. How many of you live in a household, it's you have both in your home spenders and savers? Yeah, that makes for interesting conversation, doesn't it? Yeah, but if you were both savers, you'd be misers. You might not be generous. Your children would hate you. There's all kinds of things. I don't know. But if you're both spenders, uhoh, I won't ask if anybody's both spenders. You wouldn't have enough money to do anything. I mean, you're always broke because you're spending it all. So that particular, again, that's not a spiritual gift, but the gift of generosity is spiritual gift.
And by the way, people who have the gift of generosity aren't necessarily rich. Some of the most powerful people who have the gift of generosity are some of the poorest people you'll ever meet. And sometimes it aligns with people who have money. But oftentimes the gift of generosity, the gift of giving is possessed by a person who just like the widow give all to the god with faith that God is in control of the right resources. But we come together and as we do that, we sometimes we get upset or offended by the way somebody sees the world with their spiritual gifts. And that's true. Like we have in the benevolence team; we have people that are very merciful and people that are very forth tellers and say how did you get into that situation? And we want to know some more details to be able to kind of help you in a real way. We're not just giving out money. What does the rescue mission say? "Real change, not spare change."
We want to bring real life change. We want discipleship. We are to make disciples not just give out a bunch of money as a church. So if part of the discipleship process is that you help somebody financially, but it also might mean that you help somebody learn how to better manage their resources. And we put both people on the benevolence team and sometimes they fight over what they ought to do. I mean that in a positive way, they have a disagreement, but it works well because they're balancing each other out to represent the body of Christ in a holistic way, not just in one way. We are united for the purpose of glorifying God, fulfilling His purposes in the body of Christ, in the church and in the world. So, that is the explanation in Romans 12.
I want to close this morning with just a couple of thoughts about how to get started. First of all, how do you get started? Consider your shape. Shape - S H A P E. It's a little acronym. It's a word that's an acronym for spiritual gifts, heart abilities, personality experiences. So, what's your "s" your spiritual gifts? And I'll tell you, talk about every one of us has one and I'll talk about how to figure out what that is in just a minute. But consider what you seem to have the most heart passion for doing. Read the list, there's different list in the Bible. I already gave you some passages and if you go online, you'll see those passages on my notes and you can look up all of those.
I some people think that those lists are complete and others think that there's more than what even the lists and the Bible of spiritual gifts that there are. And I would just say be careful to go beyond the Bible, but don't think that you're like locked into, because the Bible never says anywhere. These are the only ones, but it doesn't say you can be creative and do whatever you want either. Yeah, be careful. So there's spiritual gifts, and then what's your heart interest. On Wednesday night we're actually going to have a meeting at 7:30 for anybody who wants to think and talk about how to help the rescue mission, the rescue mission minister team. And so if you are interested and you have a heart passion to help people; think about the rescue mission and the homeless, then come join us. But if you don't, don't feel guilty that you didn't go. That's not your heart passion.
We are a pro-life church. We believe in the life begins at conception. We also believe that we ought not to be practicing euthanasia, right? I mean, you know, we need practice on both sides of the spectrum. But some people are on the front lines of the pro-life movement. Some are out there on the front lines politically to make sure that that people are elected that will protect life and that we will be defeated in public office who don't respect life. Then there are people that they're there to serve and help people who are in crisis and are thinking at the crossroads. They are abortion minded. They're thinking about abortion because the culture says that's your only way out, and they are trying to support ministries. Those are heart desires and we all support life, but some support it in a heart passion that's more than others in the room.
There are people who... anyway, I can just go on and on and on, but those are different ministries, but different heart passions. So what are you interested in? Some people really have a big deal about our children's ministry and others are like, no, not so much. And here's the deal, by the way, let me just be real careful on this. We all ought to be serving that where we're shaped, you know, how God has gifted us to serve. That's our primary thought of where we're serving in the church, but other places we serve where we're needed. And just because you say, "Well, I don't know that I'm gifted to work with children," but you might be one of the safest, best persons to work with children. And we have needs all the time in the children's ministry, so I'm going to ask you right now for thus to have a signup list right here for the children's ministry, and my wife will thank you, and so will all the children and so all the parents of children who depend on our church to help disciple them in their own age appropriate way during our services.
So please don't think, "Well, I'm not so good at that," that doesn't mean you're not qualified to serve. Sometimes the qualify factor is, there's a need; show up, start doing it, come on. And then as we grow and more people come in, then you can hand that off to someone who might need more shaped than you are to serve.
And then we have abilities, we have certain things we're good at, and I mentioned that earlier. Some people are more gifted to do things with their hands. And some people are more right brain, left brain, they can do things. And we have to be careful to know what our abilities are. What are you good at? What do people said you're good at? And your personality; some of you are introverts and some of you are extroverts and somewhere in between. Some of you, you're very logistical minded in your ways of doing things, and some of you, you're all over the map. Wish you could be like me, all over the map anyway.
And then what are your experiences? What have you done? What's happened to you? Some of you come from intact Bible believing homes. Some of you come from good homes that weren't Bible believing. Some of you come from homes that exploded. Some of you are adopted; you that you all come from all different ways of life. You all have are different vocations in this room. You have different hobbies and activities. You've seen things. Some of you been in military, some of you have not. You all have different experiences. And God uses all those experiences for His honor and his glory. And there are some things, there's some things in this room that you've experienced that someone ought never experienced, but you know full well, somebody probably will. And God doesn't waste a hurt. He's going to use your hurt. As He healed you and as you found him in the deeper waters where your feet couldn't touch and you found His strength in the midst of that experience to get through it. And here you are today, victorious because of Jesus Christ, you can be there for someone else who's getting on the journey on that same problem.
God doesn't waste a hurt, consider your shape and then start serving somewhere. Just pick up a towel and start serving. Just get going. Serve where we're needed. There's a lot of entry places here at St. Joe. Just get involved. Ask your connection group leader, what's some things that need to be done? If you're a half decent smiler, we need more people to greet people when they come in. It's like, "thanks for being here. Here's a bulletin." You know, there's all kinds of different ways. If you're in a connection group, you don't have to like do something officially functional in the church life. There are all kinds of other things that we do for and with one another in the body of Christ that's never cataloged as a ministry service project in the church. Just start serving somewhere. And then ask other believers, am I good at this? And be willing to listen to them. Your mom probably thought you were good at everything. You aren't. Just listen to an evaluation. If there's any moms in the house, I'm sorry, your son is the best son in the world. My mom's probably listening to this at some point this week. Thank you, mother. I am the best son anybody could ever have. I'm her favorite son. I'm her only son.
But seriously assess your progress, get people asking you questions, "Am I doing this right? Is am I good at this?" Assess yourself. You know, I really don't get into this. At some point I need to give this away, and then keep it up. Keep it up. Retirement is not a biblical concept. Now, we may slow down, we may retool when we get older. We have seasons of serving in particular areas of the church life, of life in general. We have seasons of serving. We've gone on mission trips and there's things we've done on those mission trips that like... we've done unspeakable things on mission trip. I mean, down and dirty work that just needs to be done. Very hard stuff. And then you come home, you're like, "Man, I don't know if I'll ever do that again." And you're thanking God that you'll never do that again.
And then there's times when you go on that mission trip and you go, "Man!" It unlocks your whole door of like, if I could do this here in this mission field over here, I can do this when I get home. And that's why we take people on mission to do things because it gets you outside of your thinking of where you are just thinking, maybe I'm good at that, maybe I'll do this or that. And we just got to keep it up. Keep going, keep going, keep it up. So my final prayer this morning is that we will glorify Jesus Christ with our lives. And I'm just going to say, you can't do that if you don't know Jesus. You can't do that if you haven't put your life in His hands. You can't go deeper because you don't even have the one that you trust in your life to begin with.
And I pray this morning that if you've been listening on the outside of an inside conversation in our family talk this morning, we invite you to come into the family. We invite you to walk into the presence of the family by putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, by just admitting that you don't have the spiritual strength to do what you know is right and wrong. And you know that you've offended a holy God that deserves your allegiance. And you just say, "God, I can't do enough to earn my way into your favor." I can't do enough to earn my way into heaven. I'm a good person, but I'm not a perfect person. And only perfect people get to heaven. You know when you become perfect because you've trusted in Jesus to forgive your sins and you become the righteousness. His righteousness becomes our righteousness. We become like Jesus when we put our faith in Him. And we get in not because of how much good we've done, but because we've trusted in the one who did it all for us when he died on the cross. We trusted Jesus.
And this morning, that's the step you need to take this morning, is to put your faith in Him. Maybe to come forward and say, Pastor, I like to know more about what it means to be a Christian. Or go in the back and we'll have some people in the back praying. And if you want to have some prayer time with them, say I need to know more about this trusting in Christ. I want in on what God's up to in the world. I don't want to miss eternity without Him. And then I pray that we will demonstrate the love and the unity in Christ's name, that we will together display the unity of the body of Christ by the way in which we serve with one another in His name.
The world needs to learn how to get along in their differences. God's given us a prescription, and I think the world and our nation especially needs a better answer than anybody else is giving. We can give it to them by demonstrating our unity in Christ as we serve together. And finally, that we will serve one another with our unique gifts so that God's grace will be experienced.
It says in 1 Peter 4, "Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others as good stewards of the varied grace of God." My final appeal this morning is that we all have the grace of God if we're a Christian, but we may not be experiencing the grace of God, the unmarried favor of God, the love of God, because somebody in this room is sitting on their gifts and not expressing them in such a way that we all experience the grace of God like we need to.
So I pray in Jesus' name, will you get up and go and start serving in His name, trusting that, yeah, I don't have all the gifts, but I got something. Show up, get going, that others might experience God's grace in their lives. Now let me just give you a little secret. No, it's no secret. The Bible says it is more blessed to give than to receive. You'll go in thinking that you're the blessing; I've gone into many times at Greystone Nursing Home and Cindy listens to us all the time in the live broadcast. And I go in there thinking, and I don't mean it in a prideful way. I say, "I'm going to go in there and try to be a blessing." You just try to go be a blessing and you walk away more blessed than when you thought. You probably gained more than you gave. So, you want to live the best life ever; show up, start serving and trust what God's empowered you to do.
How We Serve Christ Together
October 16, 2022
Christ followers imitate Christ by serving (Matthew 20:28)
Every believer is gifted to serve
1 Corinthians 12
1 Peter 4:10
We are being renewed to serve others in Christ’s name
Romans 12:3 is connected to Romans 12:1-2
Christian Servants Are…
How to get started
Consider your SHAPE: Spiritual Gift, Heart interests, Abilities, Personality, Experiences
Start serving somewhere
-ask other believers
-assess your progress
Keep it up!
-retirement is not a Biblical concept
-we may slow down, retool, etc, but we don’t stop serving!
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B: Bible book