MADE for Ministry

MADE for Ministry
Week 5

What matters most to God?
When everything else is stripped away and we are standing before our Lord, what will he say matters most to his heart? Based on Scripture, we already know that the number one thing is that we love God with our heart, soul and mind. Jesus makes that very clear. He says, it’s the defining commandment. It’s the first and greatest commandment. Clearly our response, our love for God, is something that comes with a hefty amount of importance.

But Jesus doesn’t stop with just loving God. I mean that is the number one priority. Jesus says, that loving God with heart, soul and mind is the greatest commandment…BUT, the second… The second is like it.

And that is where we find ourselves tonight, looking at this second great command, Matthew 22:39.

Jesus says, “And the second is like it, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The Church of Doers…
I believe that the church was created to be an organization of doers!
Now what do I mean by that? I mean, that I believe there is clear, Biblical evidence which shows that the church/the people of God, are called to be doers. They were called to get out there and use they’re gifts, talents, abilities, resources; to accomplish the purpose and will of God both within and outside the walls of the church.

I want to revisit a selection of scripture that we looked at briefly a couple of weeks ago. I want to look at it again because these verses give us a clear picture of how the body of Christ is suppose to work.

Let’s turn to 1 Corinthians 12.

It’s easy to see that Paul isn’t giving us an anatomy lesson. But by using the body, Paul compares the human body to the body of the church.

He says, that the body is made up of many parts and that each part has it’s role, job, and part to play. No one part is more important than another. And for the body to function as it is designed to, each part must fulfill it’s role.

Now can a body still function if one part is missing?

Sure. But is it fulfilling it’s total potential, accomplishing all that it was built to do? No.

No Right Arm…
If I lose my right arm; will my body still function? Yes, but not to it’s fullest. To lose my right arm would be a devastating event in my life. You see, I am right handed. My right arm is my dominant arm… I write with it, eat with it, control the computer mouse with it. It’s the arm I most often reach with, grab with and to pick things up with. Getting dressed, tieing my shoes and typing on the keyboard; all things that would have to be relearned. What would it be like to not have my right arm?

Life would be really difficult.

Sure I might not die from the loss, but it’s still a loss. And I would miss out on a lot of opportunities because my body wasn’t working to it’s full potential.

Like wise, because my right arm is my dominant arm, it doesn’t need the rest of my body any less. While it might be the strongest and most used part of my body, it can’t see like the eye can see. Nor can it smell like the nose smells. Neither can it hear as the ear hears.

There is a balance. For the body to function properly, all parts must do their job. No one is greater than another, nor any one more special than another. But all working together, with equal love and respect, so the that the body may be the body.

The Church Body…
Paul says it’s the same way with the church.

The church, like the body is made up of many parts. And like the body, each part has it’s job or role to play.

As a member of his body, each brings with them gifts, talents and abilities that are to be used for the purpose of being the church. If the body is missing a member’s gift or talent, will the body cease being the body? No. Will it lose the ability to accomplish something for God’s purpose? Yes.

Because in order for the body to function properly, all the parts need to be working together. What would the church be if it were missing a leg or a hand, or an ear? It would still be the church, but it would be lacking a part of the body that would allow it to accomplish the work that God has set before it.

You are part of the body of Jesus Christ, a member of his family, and you have the gifts, talents, and abilities needed for the body to function to it’s fullest potential.

MADE for Ministry…
You see, you were MADE for Ministry. You were created and gifted to fulfill a function as a member of the church. God has shaped you for a purpose and a ministry. You are important, you are needed, and you are wanted!

The Great Misconception…
I think that there is a misconception out there when we think about ministry. The misconception is that people don’t think they have anything to offer God or the church. Because of that, they think ministry is something that is for the pastor. When we think about ministry, we think about the programs or work of the minister and/or the staff that the church hires. But the truth of the matter is, ministry is what we as believers are called into.

Every member of God’s family has a gift that God gave to them for the purpose of serving others. And your gift isn’t the same as my gift.

Gifts are to be USED…
Paul gives us another look at the body of Christ.

Read Romans 12:4-8

Paul says that every one God welcomes into his family is given a gift. The gifts are different, but we are all still connected and each is to use their gift accordingly.

If the gift is prophesy, let him prophesy…
If the gift is to serve, let him serve…
If the gift is to teach, let him teach…
If the gift is to encourage, let them encourage…
If the gift is to given out of their resources to bless someone, let the give generously…
If the gift is to lead, let them lead…
If their gift is to show mercy, let him do so cheerfully…

This isn’t just a listing of gifts, this is a call to action; our charge to be doer’s! Paul is saying, use your gifts, your talents, your abilities, and your resources to serve the kingdom of God.

In Matthew 22:39, Jesus is showing us the importance of the church caring for and serving people. We demonstrate the love he speaks about when we do the things that bless those around us.

Harvest is a place for Ministry…
We are MADE for ministry.

What is ministry?

Ministry is using the gifts, talents, and abilities to serve others with the love of Jesus Christ.

What are your gifts? How has God shaped you for ministry? What is He calling you to be/do? What does He want you to do for His purpose and glory?

Oh, He’s calling you. You might think you have nothing to offer. But He knows otherwise.

You know, God once called a young man to do something amazing for Him. But the young man hesitated, doubted, and made excuses as to why he could be used by God.

But God said, “[Jeremiah] Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart, I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

Now God is saying the same thing to you… “Before you were born, I KNEW YOU!

How are you going to respond?

What will you do now that you know that you have been set a part and appointed to the work of Christ’s church?

– jay

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