Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Gifts for Serving

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 1 Cor 12:4-6

Who is the most important worker in the restaurant? The owner: the one who plans what the restaurant will serve? The master chef: cooking everything to perfection? I'll give a vote for the waiter. Without her or him you'd never enjoy what the owner planned, never eat what the chef prepared. Never discount the value of good service!

Who is the most important worker in God’s kingdom? The preacher that everyone notices? The leader who gets the applause? I’ll vote for the unnoticed servant. Without him or her 90% of what gets done in God’s kingdom would go lacking. We’d have teachers teaching to empty auditoriums, leaders with no one to lead. Never discount the value of a good servant!

One of the great joys of heaven will be in seeing, really seeing, the great impact and value of servants who have gone without fanfare in this world. Great servants like those who volunteer in the office to bring you bulletins each week and clean up the sanctuary so everything is in place. Or like our Sunday School teachers who devote themselves to helping our children grow in their life in Christ. Hundreds of volunteer servants make St Matthew's the great Church community that it is.

The greatness of service is only released as we choose to use whatever gifts God has given us for His glory. The greatest tragedy in God’s kingdom is a gift that is undiscovered or unused or underutilised.

Someone told me a story recently. There was a man who had gone to Heaven and was in awe of all the magnificent scenery and happiness of all who were present. Pearled gates, streets of pure gold, walls adorned with precious stones, no sadness, no sickness. (Revelation 21:9-21) An angel approached him and they began to walk and talk for a while. The angel then said “Just getting here to heaven is only half of it, let me show you something”. The angel then took the man to a large room filled with gifts all the way up to the ceiling. The man replied “Wow, what is this?” “Where did all of these gifts come from?”. The angel replied, “These are all the gifts that God had promised His people that have been left unclaimed.” “This is where we store all of the unopened gifts”. “Since God does not take gifts away (the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable – Romans 11:29) we store them all here and when the saints get to Heaven we let them have their pick”, the angel said.

Lord, help us to open our gifts while we're here on earth--as you intended for us. Amen.

Family Discussion Questions: Do you know any ‘unnoticed servants?’ Recognise the gifts that God has given to those in your family. Beginning withthe youngest, focus on one person at a time. Have each person in your family affirm their gifts by saying, “You are really good at...” or “God has given you a gift for...”

Listen! Make Me Over

[Natalie Grant]

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