God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
~I Peter 4:10, NLT
We find who we are in Christ, and we live out that identity through our interaction with other believers.
I was reading Matthew 4 yesterday and Jesus response to the third temptation jumped out at me…“Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’ ” This verse reminded me of the one above which came from our LCBS lesson last Sunday. Worship and service are connected: those who worship God serve Him. Paul backs this up in Romans 12:1… “Therefore I urge you, brethren…to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” We even use the term “Worship Service” to refer to our congregational worship. Service is a huge part of worship. If we fail to serve Him, our worship will not be genuine.
There is also a vital connection between GIFTS and service. People get excited about GIFTS, the study of gifts, reading books on gifts, taking test that reveal gifts but all of this is useless if we do not serve. As our teacher pointed out Sunday, the purpose of the bible study class is not just to talk about gifts but to go out and serve. There is something very hypocritical about bible study groups that meet and talk but never act. Beware of folks who are wrapped up in spiritual gifts. Our focus is not to be on the Gift but the Giver of the gift and the needs around us. As Joe David said Sunday, “If your neighbor’s yard is knee high and his lawn mower is broke, you cut his yard.” We don’t need a spiritual gift to cut a lawn. Our first call is to serve Christ and we do that by serving others. Always put service before gifts. In the process of time, you may discover that you are better at some things than others but that is no excuse when it comes to helping others. If you pass someone on the road who has a flat tire you stop and see if you can help. You don’t drive on thinking, flat tires are not my spiritual gift. When help is needed: you help.
Let me give you one example of the right attitude. When the church at Antioch called Barnabas, he did the best he could to lead the church but he realized quickly that they needed a more gifted teacher than himself and he brought in Paul. Barnabas served until he found a more gifted replacement. If you are teaching a LCBS class and you notice a certain individual who has a greater giftedness, you make them your assistant, then promote them to teacher and you assist them. Never use the gifted or lack thereof as an excuse not to serve.
Ruth Livingston is getting weaker by the day. I got her to open her eyes briefly yesterday but it wasn’t easy. She talks just above a whisper and I can’t understand what she is saying. Joyce Chaney got another infection which set her back but she is getting better. It was in the lungs just like the last one and you can tell she has been sick. Nancy and Janie or rotating on keeping her. She wants to go home but she is not able in my opinion.
I am looking forward to SENIOR ADULT DAY Sunday. Some of our Seniors reminded me last Saturday that this is FRIENDSHIP’S Decoration Day. I hate there is a conflict for some but I am excited about the day. Looking forward to seeing John and Joye and anxious to hear the SENIOR ADULT choir.
I think every College and University in Alabama is having graduation Saturday. Lord willing, June and I are going to Eva’s. She will be graduating from the University of South Alabama in Mobile. We plan to leave Friday evening and return Saturday evening.