My leadership study continues and I open this week looking at the different gifts God has given and I how can use those gifts to serve. My study verses are 6-8, but I really liked how 3-5 reminded me how to think about what I have been given.
Humble Service in the Body of Christ
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
First, do not think more highly of myself than what I am. And what I am is a sinner. I am nothing without God. Nothing I can say or do will put me in better standing with God. It is simply by His love and my belief in what Jesus did that allows me to approach God and have eternity. God’s love for me is the same no matter what, but I cannot misinterpret that love into thinking I can earn more by what I do here on earth.
We are to use our gifts in the specifics of what they are and verses 7 and 8 really show this. If serving is the gift we’ve been given, then serve, if we have been blessed with the gift to teach, then teach. Encourage, give to other, lead and do so diligently, show mercy in a cheerful way…these are the ways in which we can humble ourselves to serve Christ.
It starts by praying and thanking God for what we have been given. Then listening to God in telling us how we are to use what He has given. For me, I want to use my gifts to only glorify God and never for power of myself. Never to get ahead of another, but rather to make the walk for someone else easier than they thought. As a leader, I must simply lead without wanting a following. I must encourage even if just one is listening, I must give especially when it hurts, and I must teach beyond the frustrations.
I must never use my gifts to take advantage of another, but rather simply to glorify God. It’s also important to realize that we may use our gifts when we least expect to, so we must always be on guard and prepared to serve. God will direct the path in which we are to serve. We just need to be ready…and willing.
Lord, You have given me so many gifts in which I can serve to bring You honor and glory. Please help me to use these gifts to their fullest and in a way that is most pleasing to You. Never let me use any of Your gifts for power or to claim authority in which I do not have. Remind me that I am to follow You and Your lead so that others can find You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.