Volunteering in the Church

I’ve been thinking about volunteers and serving in the church lately… it’s that time of year in the Baptist tradition to enlist and secure capable and willing volunteers to ministries all over the church… teaching classes, serving on committees, nominating new deacons.

The goal is to have people serving in positions lining up with their giftedness. Once we understand how we are wired, we are better able to connection people into places and positions that allow them to accomplish the task with a certain ease and effectiveness. You know what it is like, sometime you have been assigned a task way outside of your strengths, but you were willing, so the job was yours!

Today I hope that you will see that some people in the church have a job while others involve themselves in ministry. What’s the difference?

If you do it just because no one else will… it’s a job!
If you do it to serve God… it’s a ministry!

If you quit because someone criticized you… it’s a job!
If you kept on serving in spite of challenges… it’s a ministry!

If you’ll do it only so long as it doesn’t interfere with other things… it’s a job!
If you’re committed to staying with it, even when it means letting other things go… it’s a ministry!

If you quit because no one ever praised or thanked you… it’s a job!
If you stay even though no one notices your efforts… it’s a ministry!

If you do it because someone else said it needs to be done… it’s a job!
If you do it because you sensed God saying it needs to be done… it’s a ministry!

If you do it because there is a need… it’s a job!
If you do it because it is your passion… it’s a ministry!

It’s hard to get excited about a job.
It’s almost impossible NOT to get excited about a ministry!

I pray that our church is NOT filled with people doing jobs, but ministries! If we desire to be a growing church, we need to be filled with people involved in ministry!

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What’s Your Special Skill?

The community of faith relies upon the giftedness and servanthood of its members and regular attendees of the church. I think everybody ought to officially join the church because we all know that “membership has its privileges” and it is a privilege to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I like what Moses writes in Exodus… God says:

“And I have personally appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be his assistant. Moreover, I have given special skill to all the gifted craftsmen so they can make all the things I have commanded you to make:” (Exodus 31:6)

Did you catch that? First notice who gave the skill. God tells Moses, “I have given…”The skills and abilities that we possess are God-given and they need to be used for his glory. We also need to stay humble because GOD is the one who gave us any skills at all.

In this same phrase, notice the past tense, (or in Hebrew) the completed action of when God gave the skill. The phrase, HAVE GIVEN tells me that the skill is already there, we must simply exercise it and turn it loose. How will we know if we are good at something unless we attempt new things and develop the skills within us?

Next, notice that God had given a special skill to ALL the gifted craftsmen. How many times do we feel like God gives skills and abilities to only a few people. Search for the skill that he has given you, develop it and use it for his glory.

Then notice that God PERSONALLY appointed Oholiab, which tells me that God CALLS people to come out of their normal routine in order to join him in his work in the this world. You possess a skill that only you can use to further the Kingdom of God. God has a plan and he wants you to walk in obedience, and he personally calls all of us to join him. God help us to listen.

Additionally, notice that God is talking to MOSES about the skills of Oholiab. I have to wonder it God already spoke to Oholiab or is Moses the first to hear about this and will go to Oholiab to enlist him in God’s service. Perhaps God will open the eyes of some skilled people by using OTHERS to enlist them into service. Who is around you in whom YOU notice their skills and how those skills can be used for the Lord?

Also notice that God commanded MOSES to make the sacred things for worship, so the leader NEEDED skilled people to make it happen. Who around us has the skills we need to accomplish great things for God?

Finally, notice that he gives skills to people for a PURPOSE, “so they can make…” The skills he has given are to be used for the building up of HIS kingdom, because all else will fade away (Isaiah 40:8).

Do you ever get down on yourself and think you don’t have any skills to offer? It’s not true, God has given you many skills. Thinking you don’t have any skills is not humility, instead, you fail to correctly see the blessings given to you by God. We even devalue our skills when we compare ourselves to others and wish we had THEIR skills. Those thoughts are not complimentary towards God either. God has given skills to everyone and by embracing them we can truly use our skills to worship God. Take a moment to correctly identify your skills and embrace them to honor God.

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Coming to Grips with the Real You

The Scripture reading for today: Romans 12:3, 1 Corinthians 12:7, Galatians 6:4, 1 Peter 4:10

The r12 series so far has been filled with powerful lessons on Surrendering to God and Separating from the World. Today the topic is to be Sober in Self-Assessment, basically Coming to Grips with the Real You.

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There is a person that we feel and believe ourselves to be, but we often fail to see ourselves from God’s perspective. The verses we read earlier have to do with spiritual giftedness, and challenge us to explore, employ and exercise the gift or ability that God has given to us. Galatians 6:4 is translated this way in the Message version: “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others.”

While these are challenging messages each week, don’t forget to incorporate the small group experience. This is where we can talk about the concept and have a better chance of putting the topic into action. It’s like taking the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class, this message is only 20% head knowledge, the 80% is bring about real life change and that happens only in the context of a small group.

So, as we begin, I have to ask a penetrating question: Who do you really think you are?

When you peel away all the layers of things like your job or success or the hurts or the pain or the abuse, and you look into the mirror of your soul – What do you see? Who are you? We go to the extreme to try and present ourselves in a way that’s a little bit different than who we are. We want to look good for other people, to find acceptance and value and significance.

This question is not an easy one to answer because there are many factors involved and many people who try to tell us who we are. To complicate matters, our desperate longing for approval drives us to seek and to look and to act and be what we think others want, rather than discover who we really are.

I’d like to tell you that older people don’t have to deal with this, but you will grapple with this all the days of your life. Who are you, really? What you discover will determine the quality of your relationships and the contentment of your life. An awful lot of people are doing a lot of stuff in lots of areas, looking for peace and contentment, because down deep they don’t know who they are. And if the truth is known, they really don’t like who they are.

It raises another question: What are the factors that cause me to develop this kind of invisible picture, this MRI of who I really am? How did I get that way? It could be our family background, our environment, our personalities, the significant others, role models from our childhood, the values and belief systems we were taught all play a critical role in the formation of our identity.

We’re going to jump into the book of Exodus, take a look at Moses, and try to get some answers. Moses had quite a journey trying to figure out who he was. At one point he thought way too highly of himself and he almost blew it. At another point he thought way too lowly of himself and almost blew it again.

Here’s one thing you need to understand. If you don’t get a sober self-assessment and understand who you really are, you will never fulfill the divine calling God has for you. It’s not about who you want to be nor who you think you are, God made each of us in a certain way. It’s because, you’re made for a purpose. Ephesians 2:10 says “You are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do good work – a good work that he has for you. So he made you in a certain way to fulfill that purpose. But if you don’t know who you are, you’ll miss it.

Moses almost missed it. To begin with, we must realize that we are on a journey. That’s point #1 on your outline, “Moses’ Journey reveals how to come to grips with the real you.” This isn’t a one-time experience where you walk away and got it all down. Moses’ parents, childhood, education, and experiences were God’s preparation so that he could fulfill his divine assignment.

As you look in Exodus Chapter 2, the children of Israel were in bondage in Egypt for about 400 years. But during these 400 years, the number of Israelites increases dramatically. The Pharaoh becomes a little nervous because there are so many Hebrew slaves. And he becomes afraid that these Hebrew slaves are going to revolt and take over Egypt. So he decides that the Israelite baby boys have to die.

Moses parents trusted God and have a baby anyway. They hid him for three months, but when she could no longer hide him, she put a little basket and waterproofed it. Then she put the baby in a basket and laid it among the reeds along the edge of the Nile River, where eventually the Pharaoh’s daughter would raise him as her own child in the palace.

A lot went into Moses life, but the point is: he had parents that were godly. They were willing to risk their lives rather than have him killed. They had faith. Perhaps his parents were whispering in his ear who God was. They taught him about Yahweh, the promises, the deliverance. And then he had parents that were willing to say, “You know what? If this is God’s will for you to live in Pharaoh’s house, then so be it.” Now, that’s surrender.

The second bullet in your outline, Moses had a warped view of himself. He thought too highly of himself, which hindered him from fulfilling God’s purpose for his life. Look at Exodus 2:11-12, “Moses had grown up, and he went out to visit his people, the Israelites. And he saw how they were doing forced labor. During his visit, he saw an Egyptian beating one of the Hebrew slaves. After looking around to make sure no one was watching, Moses killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand. Remember that He’s a Hebrew even though he grew up in Pharaoh’s palace. He’s got these roots; he’s got these concerns for his fellow Hebrews. But he is the prince of Egypt, the next guy for the throne.

The next day, Moses sees these two Hebrews arguing and said to the one started the fight, “What are you doing, hitting your neighbor like that?” And then get this line in Exodus 2:14 (in the Message): “Who do you think you are?” It’s an interesting question. “Do you plan to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?” Moses gets scared and takes off, and Pharaoh gave orders to have Moses arrested and killed. So Moses ends up in the Land of Midian.

Moses thought too highly of himself. Now, here’s what’s interesting. Sometimes we get our assignment right: “This is what I’m supposed to do.” But we try and do it in our own energy. Moses basically thought, “I’m capable. I’m able. I’m educated. And guess what? I’m the prince. You know what? I call the shots here.”

He had confidence in himself. His warped view was that he had power, prestige; and he believed his abilities, his education, and his background gave him the right to call the shots. And he tried to do God’s will his own way, in his own energy and his own power. And because he had this over-inflated view of who he was – he almost missed it.

That’s true of us. You think, “I have this education. A job. I moved up. Then I did this. I’ve spent all these years working hard. I have this on my heart; I think my motives are right.” Then we move forward. I think Moses’ motives were right (delivering the people), but his methodology was wrong. And God had to teach him something.

But sometimes we don’t just have a too high view of ourselves that prevent us from fulfilling our divine calling. Sometimes it’s too low. Moses’ low view of himself almost prevented him from fulfilling God’s purpose for his life. Let’s walk through this part of Moses’ life as well. He meets God for the first time and basically has four excuses why he could not do the task God called him to do.

I’m going to skip some of the juicy parts and a lot of great parts, but in chapter 3, we find Moses in the back side of the desert tending his flocks. He’d been out with these sheep. He’s got a new world. He’s got a new wife. He thinks his life is over; ready for retirement and an easy life. He’s also hiding out.

As he’s out on this rocky terrain, he sees this bush. And the bush is on fire, but it’s not burning up. Moses comes near and God speaks to him in Exodus 3:9-10: “I’ve heard the cry of my people. And guess what? Your instincts to rescue them were right. And I’m going to use you to rescue them. I want you to go be my deliverer.”

A few years ago Moses would have been thinking, “It’s a snap, man. I’ve got it covered.” Now listen to him, here is excuse number one: “Moses says, ‘But who am I?’ “ Interesting question, isn’t it? Before, they asked him, “Who do you think you are?” Now it’s like, “Well, who am I?” “I’m a nobody. No one could ever use me. I’m a failure. I blew it. I’m nothing. How can you expect me to lead the Israelites out of Egypt?”

How many times has a too-low view of yourself kept you from doing what God has asked you to do? God might say, “I want you to do this. I have a task for you, just volunteer to be a servant or teacher at church.” And your response is “Well, who am I?”

Then God told him, “I will be with you.” Understand that we can’t serve in our own strength. Apart from Him we can do nothing. It’s like God says, “What’s really important is – who I am. And that I’m going to be with you.”

Now we get excuse number two. Moses is not convinced and he protested, “If I go to the people tell them, ‘God has sent me,’ they won’t believe me. They will ask, ‘Which god are you talking about? What’s his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” Excuse number one was, “I’m a nobody.” And excuse number two is that “I’m not smart enough.”

Let’s get back to you, and let’s say God lays it on your heart to teach children or students or adults in Sunday School. You start thinking “They’re going to ask me questions I don’t know. I’m no good at talking about the Lord or teaching a lesson. If I take this step of faith, I’m going to blow it. I’m just not smart enough. I didn’t go to seminary.”

So how does God answer that? With his name. God replied, “I am the one who always is,” or literally, “I am that I am.” “Just tell them that I AM sent you.”

Skip down to 3:18. God reassures Moses again. “Hey, you don’t have to be smart enough. The leaders of the people of Israel are going to accept your message.” And then he says in 3:21, “I promise even the Egyptians will treat you well. When you leave, you will not leave empty-handed.”

Now we move into chapter 4, and we get excuse number three. So God reassures him, “I’ll be with you. I’ll take care of it.” In Exodus 4:1 we read: “But Moses protested again, ‘Look, they won’t believe me. They won’t do what I tell them. They’ll just say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you.'” First, Moses says, “I’m a nobody, so God can never use me.” The second excuse is “I’m not smart enough.” Now it’s, “I’m not credible, they’re not going to listen to me, I don’t have the credentials. I don’t have the platform. They’ll never listen to me.”

Here comes the whole “turning a shepherd’s staff into a snake episode;” God tells him to perform this miracle and it will prove I sent you.

We are still not finished with the excuses, here comes number four. Moses seems to be a very slow learner. He’s had 40 years to get stuck in his ways. 40 years earlier he thought he was such hot stuff, but now he thinks he’s nothing. So as we pick up the story in Exodus 4:10, the Bible says – “Moses pleaded with the Lord.” So here’s a guy who’s really learning to pray. He’s pleading, ” Oh, God, oh, God, oh, God, no. No. No. No, not me.” So he’s pleading with the Lord. He says, “You know what? All your answers have been pretty good, but I’m just not a very good speaker. This is really going to take some oratory skill. I’m just not gifted. I don’t have the ability. You’ve got the wrong guy.”

God’s answer is, “Who makes man’s mouth?” God tells him he is created just as he wanted. And listen to this, after being convinced by the God of the universe that he is made exactly right for the job he’s being called to do, Moses says, “Lord, could you just send someone else?” Now, I think this is one of the most amazing passages in Scripture. You talk about mercy and grace. You talk about a guy backing into God’s will. He is as reluctant as he can be. And yet, God’s got his hand on his life.

And so God says, “Tell you what, Moses. I’m going to accommodate you, so Aaron, your brother – he’s a good speaker. You know what? I’m going to have him help you. And he can do some of the speaking. And I’ll talk to you, and you tell him what to do. And he’ll do a good job up front. He’s a good PR guy. But boy, he’s going to cause you problems later. He’s also an artist; he builds golden calves, and leads small rebellions.”

Sometimes we think too highly of ourselves and we miss God’s calling. Sometimes we think too lowly of ourselves and we miss God’s will. Moses’ trust in God’s promises and God’s character was reluctant, but it was there. He was taking baby steps toward a sober self-assessment.

Take a look in your outline for the answers to each excuse. We give God all these excuses and fail to realize we have inside of us all the power we need to do all God wants us to do.

Moses’ life reveals that a sober self-assessment is a prerequisite to fulfill your divine assignment. You can’t do what God made you to do unless you figure out who you are. Our key passage in the r12 study is Romans 12:3. It says, “For by the grace given to me, I say to every one of you, ‘Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment in accordance with the measure of the faith that God has given you.’ “

You know what he’s saying? “Look, you’re surrendered to God. You’ve offered your body as a living sacrifice. You’re saying ‘no’ to the world. You’re not going to let it conform you. You’re saying ‘yes’ to God. You’re renewing your mind.”

The first place to renew your mind is, don’t think too highly of yourself. Don’t think too lowly of yourself. Look into the mirror of your soul and realize this is who God made you to be. Do you know what this means? You have strengths and you have weaknesses. You have things in your past and perhaps you have terrible suffering. Some of you carry unbelievable hurts, and some have even been abused. You are more than the sum of your life experiences. Those experiences have produced scars that make it hard to trust people and have compassion. It is essential for you to have an accurate view of yourself, from God’s perspective.

Part of this sober self-assessment is: God’s going to bring other people’s strengths to help you. You’re going to find there are no lone rangers in the Christian life. You need others, and they need you.

Next Steps:

I want you to take out your outline and focus on the bottom where it says, “Top three strengths,” and “Top three weaknesses.” I’m asking you to do some thinking and fill that out. Most of us could quickly fill out the bottom part. “I’m not good at this; I’m not good at that.” You probably have a too-low self-assessment. And there’s probably a handful who could say, “I’m good at this or that,” but when you think about your weaknesses, you have a hard time coming up with anything.

So, what are your top three strengths? Jot them down. What are your top three weaknesses? Who are the people that you need in your life? While others can help us see ourselves clearly, no one can give you a totally accurate view of your life but God. Remember, You’re his workmanship. Literally, you’re his “poem.” His tapestry. His work of art.

At the bottom of your notes, let me get you started on some very specific application. Number one is “Ask God to help you recognize the warped mirrors of the world that have shaped your life.” Like a fun house mirror distorts or warps the image. If your child was struggling with life, and they came to you for help, you’d do everything you could to help them, wouldn’t you?

So don’t you think our heavenly Father will be even more receptive. You might say, “I’m a workaholic, or alcoholic. I’m pleasing people all the time. I say ‘yes’ to everything. I get overextended. I don’t like my body. I struggle with depression,” and on and on. And by the way, I’m just describing all of us in this room, at various levels, at various times.

This week, take that outline and share it with someone that you trust, and say, “I was in the service this weekend and we did this little exercise about our strengths and weaknesses. I think these are my top three strengths and these are my top three weaknesses. What do you think? Give me your honest feedback.”

Second, realize you are on a journey and begin it today. I’ve listed a couple items that can help you on that journey.

Final thing I would encourage you is: celebrate daily that you are unique, loved, accepted, capable, and being prepared to fulfill your divine assignment. Ask the Father that he would help you launch into the journey of a sober self-assessment, being able to see yourself the way God see you, in order to fulfill the divine assignment he have for you.

I challenge you to commit to these next steps, and to begin this week. May God bless you and more importantly, may you be a blessing to God this week.

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The Superhero Within You

Couple of weeks ago Skip talked about transformation, metamorphosis, and mentioned the Incredible Hulk. It got me thinking about the awesome power that God has placed inside of every believer. So, I’ll just come right out and ask you point blank…if you could have any superpower, what would it be?

You know you’ve thought about it, because science has proven that everybody has thought about it. I think. And this just might reveal what is really going on in that head of yours! The superpower you choose will probably be an extension of your deepest fears or feelings of insecurity. But then again, mind reading is not my superpower, so what answers come to your mind?

For me? I’ve gone through a whole series of potential choices, starting with the less impressive, to the “whoa, that would be so cool!” Sort of like the X-men world. You know, like, a guy who can actually fly a paper airplane at will, to a girl who might shred the known universe because she’s having a bad hair day.

You’ve see the X-men movies? Cyclops has laser beam vision. Storm could bring on about any sort of weather. Jean Gray could move things with her mind. Rouge could take the life out of you with just a touch. Wolverine had these three metal blades that came out of his hands and could heal his wounds… Magneto could use the power of magnets and steel to bring about the downfall of the known world. That’s right; there are a few X-men that could use their power for evil rather than good.

Anyway, for me, I started with something very simple – Perhaps it was only the power of cheese, but I thought through the usual choices like flying, freezing time, invisibility, flying through frozen time while invisible, but finally ended up with the best choice for me:

My superpower would be the ability to get more superpowers. I thought this was a unique gift until I noticed that the TV program Heroes had a guy who could do just that… and he turned out to be the villain. I think it’s sort of like Aladdin wishing for more wishes in the Genie scenario, only this time it’s allowed. That way I’d never run out of choices!

But we all know, this conversation is sort of like Nacho Libre’s habit of wearing stretchy pants in his room – it’s for fun. In the real world we don’t have superpowers…or do we?

According to the Bible, you don’t have a superpower – but you do have a supernatural ability. It’s not what you think – you won’t be able to see through walls or shoot spider webs from your palms, but you will be able to do things that are beyond your natural abilities that effect things beyond this natural world.

Sound interesting? It should, because it’s one of the coolest parts of being a Christian. When you trusted Christ as your personal Savior, God sent His Holy Spirit to live inside you – and when He ‘moved in’, He brought a unique ability that’s custom designed to be used in great and powerful ways.

Here’s the way the Bible describes what I’m talking about:

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. (I Peter 4:10-11)

Wow! That’s a lot of amazing information in a short time – so let’s take a closer look.

  1. First, notice that God has given each of us a spiritual gift – not just pastors and ‘super-spiritual’ saints. Every Christian on the planet is sitting on a powder keg of spiritual power just waiting to blow apart the gates of hell.
  2. Second, Peter tells us that when we use our spiritual gifts or abilities, God’s power flows through us to do amazing things. Peter wants you and every Christian to discover that we all have a supernatural ability that can literally change the world for an eternity. When Spirit filled Christians use their Spirit given gifts to the glory of God, lives are changed, souls are saved, and the world is a better place because of your willingness.

We’ve just gone through an evaluation process involving our mission and vision here at King’s Grant. The only way for God to move through this congregation is for all of His children to use the gift He’s given to them, to serve and reach out to others.

We are called to be the stewards of the lives God has given to us. The Bible has a lot to say about stewardship. We are to be good stewards of everything the Owner has given us. If we are truly His hands and feet, then the task of “Bringing all the peoples of the earth to saving faith in Jesus Christ” is to be taken literally, and personally. That is what the Great Commission is all about. God has called many to be obedient goers (missionaries), but He calls all of us to be faithful witnesses, servants and stewards.

Luke records a marvelous story about stewardship, although that’s not what this story is known for. I believe every person here will focus upon one person in this story, a person in whom you can identify. The story is the Good Samaritan, and the story begins with an ordinary guy.

I. The Certain Man – What’s mine is mine, if I can keep it.

Most people might fit into this category, especially in America, as compared to the rest of the world.

  1. People’s possessions – their stuff, upgrades
  2. People’s plans – life goals and dreams, your future, career plans, college (missionary, ministry)
  3. People’s possibilities – their giftedness, talents

II. The Corrupt Men – What’s yours is mine, if I can take it.

Many of us know people with this attitude, maybe not criminals and muggers personally, but with other things like selfish ambition and jealousy. Many people don’t want to work for their own successes, but would rather take things from others, to build themselves up, and their careers.

  1. How often are people out to get something from you?
  2. Your time or money, (people want to use your time and money, rather than their own).
  3. Your homework, information on a test (cheating, stealing, plagiarism)
  4. Your support, commitment, or endorsement…
  5. A lot of things can easily keep you from doing the important things of life.

There is a story that I read many years ago, a short booklet called, “The Tyranny of the Urgent.”

There are a lot of urgent things (perhaps even worthwhile things) that come into our lives each and every day, and then the important things can sometimes get put to the side. Think of all the important things in your live that if you do not do them, they literally will not get done:

  1. Supporting my family and raising my children
  2. Sustaining my quiet time with God.
  3. Setting up my Sunday school lesson
  4. Securing my financial future.

Now think about your giftedness and the work to be done here. Could it be that if you don’t join God in what He is doing, it will not get done? We are the hands and feet of God in this world. God has given us the ministry of reconciliation. If we don’t do it, who will? Is our service to God something that is urgent or is it something that is important?

III. The Clergy Men – What’s yours is yours, and you can keep it.

Many people don’t like getting involved in the lives of other people. At the very least, we feel that we can throw some money at the problem, but not get personally involved. The trick is learning how to discern between the “robbers” and the “religious men.” Perhaps it is not an easy task in these days of scandal. People say, “I just don’t have time to get involved, so I don’t, and expect someone else to do it.”

  1. Perhaps I won’t go work in that downtown mission, with those kinds of people.
  2. Perhaps I won’t befriend that girl in my class because she’s just not cool like me and my friends.
  3. Perhaps I won’t stand up for or help the boy that is bullied by the rest of the guys on my team.
  4. Perhaps I won’t invite my classmate or co-worker to my church because they might think I’m some Bible toting Jesus freak.

But there are some people who want to do more, to get personally involved. They schedule their time for the important things, and can’t wait to see how God can use them for the work of His kingdom.

IV. The Committed Man – What’s mine is yours, if you’ll have it.

Christians all over this city and county desire God’s name to be lifted up, lives touched, families changed forever, men praying openly without fear and leading their families toward commit to Christ and obedience to His Word.

You are here at church. You are the faithful who come to church to learn how to be a better minister of the gospel, to learn something new. I remember hearing Rick Warren of the Saddleback Community Church tell about a time when he was at this conference several years ago, with the pastors of the top 25 largest churches in America. The pastors were all together, and he was invited to speak about the miracle growth at Saddleback. As he spoke, he saw W.A. Criswell, the then pastor of First Dallas, taking notes. It really spoke to him that someone as influential as Criswell would was still interested in learning something new and taking notes! He said it was a humbling experience.

So, it will be an insult to your faith and the God we serve if after hearing a message like this, that we do not ask ourselves the question, “What can I do?”

Look for the superhero deep within you. Find your superhero ability and use it for the service of others. What does your Spidey sense tell you? What can you do for the kingdom of God? Sort of beats shooting spider webs – ya think?

Speaking of Spidey – God is challenging us to be good stewards of the gift he has given to us. At the end of the first Spider-Man movie that should be one of the first things you think about each day: ” Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words: ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ ”

By the time Peter Parker is in the second movie, something changed. He is more interested in a relationship with MJ, and he knows being Spider-Man will forever put her in danger. He figures that if he was no longer Spider-Man, he could follow his personal dream. Let’s look at this brief video that is a perfect picture of God calling us to be good stewards of what He has given to us.

The great part is that discovering and using the superhero inside you, it’s not difficult.

  1. Start with reading what the Bible says about spiritual gifts and praying.
  2. Ask Him to give you a passion for your gift and to open doors where you can use it.
  3. Also, ask your Christian friends, family, pastor, youth leader, etc. what they think your spiritual gift is and how they see you using it.

Your spiritual gifts represent great power – and you have a great responsibility to find out what they are and use them. God is sitting with you right now, with his hand extended, “Take my hand Peter” and those haunting words of Peter Parker fill our thought, and we say to the God of the universe, “No, I’m Spider-Man no more.” How can we casually walk away, and break our Father’s heart and dash His plans for our lives?

So I’ll come right out and ask you point blank again…you definitely have a spiritual gift, so how are you going to use it? The Bible says… “Many gifts, One Spirit.”

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