10.28.2018

Let's USE our gifts!

This morning's sermon was wonderful! The entire series (Total Grace) has been a blessing, and today's portion, "Serving Grace" was no exception. As always, my notes are a mixture of the actual words preached by our pastor and my thoughts/responses to those words. I hope you find them as encouraging as I did!

Our text:

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:1-8

Grace is not just amazing - it is ABUNDANT!
- For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. John 1:16
- And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. II Corinthians 9:8


➣ The Argument
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Before you can serve the body OF Christ - you must surrender yourself TO Christ.

The believer should be a living sacrifice engaged in relentless service.

Why do we sacrifice everything for Christ? Because of His mercy!
We deserve nothing, yet He gives us eternal life through His Son. Therefore, He deserves our ALL.
And better still, His mercies are NEW - EVERY morning - for His faithfulness is great!

It is reasonable/logical to give yourself to the One who gave Himself for you.
Surrender to God is the only thing that makes sense based on what God has done for us.

The Assessment
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

Soberly judge your abilities and strengths so you know how to serve others.
It is not wrong/sinful to admit the strengths God has given you as long as ALL glory goes to HIM.
It is not wrong to know your gifting!
But it is wrong to overestimate or underestimate your giftedness. (pride and false humility)

The question is not, "How gifted are you?" The question is, "HOW are you gifted?"

Embrace how God has made YOU - including your weaknesses and lack of abilities - and use your strengths to bless others and bring glory to God!

Caution: Admire the beautiful strengths and gifts in others, but do not make them idols!
You are you - they are they. Be content with who God made you - how He made you - and how He chooses to use you. As the bumper sticker reads, "Be Yourself. Everyone else is taken!"

The Assignment
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Unity - believers are many members of one body
Diversity - the body is made up of many members with different purposes and gifts
Mutuality - we belong to one another and are dependent on one another because each of us possesses gifts that benefit the others

EVERY believer has gifts given to them by God, and they were given to be EMPLOYED for the benefit of the body.
Christianity is not a spectator sport!!! No one sits on the bench. Everyone plays!!!
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:
I Peter 4:10

Thank You, Lord, for the truth of this message! And thank You for creating the beautiful body of Christ, for we all need each other and we ALL have something to offer! Not one part is indispensable!

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