|From a Father's Heart||| Print ||
|Written by drk|
|Tuesday, 19 August 2008 17:13|
This article is written by Dr. Stan DeKoven, President of Vision College and Board Member of Jubilee Alliance with Dr. Kluane Spake
Introduction: Sharing the Load
Most Bible students study so they can become all God has created and called them to be. Through 1-7 years of study, reading, prayer and service, students are changed by the encounter they have with the Word, Holy Spirit and dynamic teachers, plus adversity, time and troubles. For certain, most of us were not the same, perhaps naïve person we started out as when we signed on to the journey of the cross. God changes us; thank God.
Though most graduates have a similar ambition, to become something in God, sadly many have a rather limited or grandiose appraisal of themselves. Some, no doubt due to superior intellect, graces and charm, assume great leadership is in there future (certainly better than the Pastor), others of lesser ego wonder if they will ever have opportunity to minister with the knowledge, understanding and wisdom God has provided to them.
Paul the Apostle was no doubt concerned about the overall development of the men and women of God in Rome. God had birthed a dynamic church, filled with a multi culture mix of the great and small, male and female, slave and free, who like our graduates today had a desire to be God’s man or woman. But, wasn’t the ability to serve the Lord and his people only for the gifted, clever, anointed, and strong? Did God really intend to use the equipped, regardless of the outside package, for his purposes or glory? Well, the answer was a resounding yes.
“For by the grace given to me I ask every one of you not to think of yourself more highly than you should think, rather to think of yourself with sober judgment on the measure of faith that God has assigned each of you. For we have many parts in one body, but these parts do not all have the same function. In the same way, even though we are many people, we are one body in Christ and individual parts connected to each other. We have different gifts based on the grace that was given to us. So if your gift is prophecy, use your gift in proportion to your faith. If your gift is serving, devote yourself to serving others. If it is teaching, devote yourself to teaching others. If it is encouraging, devote yourself to encouraging others. If it is sharing, share generously. If it is leading, lead enthusiastically. If it is helping, help cheerfully.
The Message Bible puts it this way:
I'm speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you.
The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him. In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we're talking about is Christ's body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn't amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ's body, let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren't.
If you preach, just preach God's Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don't take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don't get bossy; if you're put in charge, don't manipulate; if you're called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don't let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face. From this brief passage of scripture, I want ot focus our attention on 4 items. They are:
If you preach, just preach God's Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don't take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don't get bossy; if you're put in charge, don't manipulate; if you're called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don't let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.
From this brief passage of scripture, I want ot focus our attention on 4 items. They are:
To Think and Not to Think
Paul, according to the grace given to him (he knew who he was, a key to our success in ministry) as an apostle or sent one with authority, wanted the people who were disciples in Rome to get their thinking in proper perspective. As the great theologian Clint Eastwood once said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” Well, Paul was concerned that some of the Romans, perhaps due to citizenship (a rare privilege of the day), circumstance of birth or gender felt that they were better than others. He wanted them to be sober (they were not drunk, just not thinking clearly), since everyone had a measure of faith (enough for the job God had called them to), remembering that we owe one another. We are all a part of the great family of God, functioning in a dysfunctional world sometimes in a dysfunctional manner, but nonetheless the family of God; we are part of each other. Along with that, we were to remember that though in the same family, we were all uniquely made, with different functions and gifts. We are all gifted, and all are needed to fulfill God’s plan.
My hope is that each who read this message will in fact acknowledge that we are unique, anointed, and dependent on each other to accomplish the mission of Christ. It is His mission, not ours that matters. We are to be servant leaders, not overlords of the flock of God.
Of course, along with knowing who you are in Christ, your calling, your gifting and place of service, we also need to do....
The thing to do is to do the thing you do
Thus, since we are in this thing called the Kingdom of God together, with gifts (Charis) and callings from the Lord, we must do the thing. That is, as graduates, we have been equipped to serve, to teach, to function. To do so of course takes courage. I have heard many state that they cannot exercise their gifts for a variety of reasons, such as “pastor does not recognize me” (serve and trust the Lord for open doors, but serve!), “I’m afraid”, (well, we all start out that way). Whatever the reason or excuse, Paul is admonishing the Roman’s to get with it...get on with it. There is work to be done, and servant leaders are desperately needed to take courage in the face of difficulty, and get on doing the thing God has entrusted you to do.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 12 February 2012 12:54|