Introduction: St. Francis of Assisi said, “It is in the giving that we receive.” I would add, “It is in the hoarding and holding on to that we are robbed.” The question for today is, “Are you using your God-given gift to serve others?” What a sad thing, to live your whole life and never use your giftings to bless others.
1. God created you to serve, not to be served.
“You were made by God to do good works not to accumulate good things.” John Ortberg
2. God gifted you to serve.
Sometimes we receive a gift that is so special, so sentimental, that we can’t think about sharing it. But all of God’s gifts in you are meant to be shared.
Serving is not optional.
· There is no plan B based on ordinations, ministerial credentials, or human-made traditions.
3. God changes you when you serve.
Humility is one of those qualities and virtues of the Spirit that you cannot acquire by the application of willpower. Humility comes as a byproduct of surrender and servanthood.
When you serve, God changes you, and the qualities of love, humility, compassion, and other-centeredness grows in you.
4. God uses you when you serve.
“…it is a good idea for all members to receive a definite task to perform for the community so that they may know in times of doubt that they, too, are not useless and incapable of doing anything. Every Christian community must know that not only do the weak need the strong, but also the strong cannot exist without the weak. The elimination of the weak is the death of the community.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
5. God will reward your serving.
There is nothing you do that God does not see.
· There is no service you offer that God does not prize; no love you give that doesn’t get built into the person you’re becoming and the world that God is redeeming.
Conclusion: Don’t live your life with your greatest gift unopened, unused. God made you to serve, God’s family needs you to serve, and you need you to serve. For in the serving you will receive, you will grow, and you will bless others.
1. What spiritual gifts has God given you and how are you using them?
2. In what ways can you more fully use your spiritual gifts?