Tom Scott - 10/03/2013
e-study for March 11, 2013
Some plants are easier to grow than others. Have you ever noticed that at your house or in your garden? I bought another orchid for Dedra and it is in the dining room where it gets plenty of light, but no draft. Hopefully this one will last longer than the last one did. Some people growing spiritually more than other do as well. One of the best ways to grow spiritually is through our service to the Lord. It is when we are teaching children, feeding the homeless, or visiting the sick that we experience those times where our faith seems to be stretched the most. The apostle Paul says that we are to offer our bodies as living sacrifices to God in Romans chapter 12. When we look at verses three through eight, we see Paul explaining how we do that. This week’s message focused on the importance of our using the spiritual gifts that we have received in service to God. Here are five questions to help us reflect upon that message.
1. For many of us, the teenage years were a period of great growth in our physical bodies. Over the past five years, Daniel and Hannah have almost doubled in height. I have to look up to Daniel and Hannah is almost eye level with me now. Do you remember those days when it seemed like your child(ren) shot up almost overnight? How about a niece or nephew that you had not seen in a while?
2. The apostle Paul begins his conversation with his readers in verse three by appealing to them to keep a right attitude about themselves before God. In Philippians 2, Paul will use the example of Jesus to remind Christians to remain humble before God. It is in Ephesians chapter two that he speaks about being God’s workmanship. The challenge that I set before us was to have an honest evaluation of ourselves? What is the one thing that you struggle with the most when it comes to having a right attitude about your worth in God’s eyes?
3. In verses four and five Paul moves on to talk about unity within the body of Christ. Like our physical bodies; the body of Christ is made up of many parts, but we form one body. Frist Corinthians chapter twelve also contains this same language. Jesus prayed that the church would be one even as he and the Father were one. The church is to be one cohesive unit working together to fulfill the great commission that Jesus laid out for us in Matthew chapter 28. If you were asked what part of the body you were today, how would you respond to that question?
4. There are four different occasions in Paul’s writings when he offers a list of spiritual gifts for those who offer their bodies as living sacrifices to God. Here in verses six through eight we read of seven gifts that are given by God. Those who receive these gifts need to use them for the building up of the kingdom of God. We can make an impact on the world around us through these gifts. That is the encouragement that we need from time to time. Do you know what gift(s) you have received from the Holy Spirit and how are you using those gifts for the Lord?
5. At the end of the message I talk about the importance of getting plugged into the church by using those gifts that you have received from the Lord. God has given us a fresh start in life and in doing so, He has a task for us. As we get ready for the Easter season; we have an excellent opportunity to use our gifts to make an impact on the community around us. Are you praying that God would speak to you about the role you can play in making a difference in the lives of others as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
In one of the illustrations I shared there were the words of the small boys who slipped into the church to get warm and take a nap. As the offering plate was passed down his row, he stepped into the plate and said, “Pastor, I have no money because no one bought a newspaper today. But if Jesus would give his life for me, then I can give my life for him.” Hopefully this week God will give you some wonderful opportunities to serve him.