Last week on Message Mondays, we delved into the themes present in Tenth Avenue North’s new song “No Man Is An Island”, and how God created us for community with him and also with other believers, that we are meant to live life in communion, relationship and fellowship with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ so that we can build each other up and live a live to the fullest and pleasing to God. This week on Message Mondays, we are talking about something I was reminded of in church yesterday, of a concept that I think we all need to understand and realise so that we can live in true freedom in God’s presence and love!
On Sunday, my parents, brother and I attended a different church to the one we normally attend. Reasons for this would be in a special post in a few weeks’ time (the long and short of it is that it has to do with a lifestyle and career change), but let me say now that I was unsure about attending this church for various reasons. Thankfully my apprehensions and trepidations were eased the moment I walked into the church, where I was met with vibrant and refreshing worship, and familiarity in almost every song. There was passion, enjoyment and a big heart for Jesus, but what stuck with me was the sermon/message from the pastor. Though only around 25 minutes, it was very impacting and probably more powerful than any other sermon I have heard in a while. So let me tell you a bit about what the message was about, and unpack what I gained from it, and what I think you will gain too!
The main topic of the sermon on Sunday was about the joy of serving others, and the truths we need to believe before we can start to live out our faith in the reality of serving people with joy in our hearts as we draw people closer to God. One of the first things I found interesting was that everything we want and can share with others is simplified in an acronym called SHAPE, where we can share with others our spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality and experience. But before we dive in and tell the person next to us our testimony (because we are all bustling to share our story, right?), we need to remember a few key things, according to what the pastor highlighted and relayed.
Firstly, we are all called to ministry and service, and 1 Peter 8-11 backs this point up quite well, stating that we should use whatever gift that we have been given by God, to serve others and the glorify God’s name. For some people though, they may not believe or think that they have or belong in a particular ministry, however I was encouraged yesterday as I was reminded that every believer has a ministry, there are no insignificant ministries. We should never underestimate what we do for God, and we are all part of one body, dependent on each other, like a jigsaw puzzle. The verses in 1 Corinthians about Christians being compared to the body parts of a person, is proof enough that we all need each other, and that everything we do to draw people to Christ shouldn’t be compared to what others do or don’t do, as God has made us unique- we shouldn’t try to be a square peg in a round hole.
Though we may think that sometimes serving others with joy isn’t what it’s cracked up to be sometimes, as recipients of our joy and our service can sometimes seem ungrateful; we must remember however, that God reminds us, our gifts and talents should not be hidden and kept inside, like the person who dug a hole in the ground where he kept his treasure in the parable of the talents; but rather should be expressed and shown to the world. The world can know that we are Christians by our fruits of the spirit that we highlight and show through our actions, and though works are not required to be saved- only faith is; as Christians we cannot help but to serve others and to joyfully remind each other of God’s blessings and providence on our lives, as an outpouring of all He has done for us. The works is an overflow of our faith, and so is serving others. And because we have Jesus’ love inside of us, serving others can and should be joyful.
With the main point of the message being that helping others can and should be a very pleasant thing, because of the unique talents and gifts God has placed in us, I left church feeling very inspired and refreshed. And I had to write about it. So here I am. Hoping that my random and jumbled thoughts inspire you to live for Christ. So while you are wondering whether what you do in this world makes a different, know that it does. Every little bit counts, and that is what the next inspiration- Matthew West’s new single “Do Something” reminds us, that God created us uniquely to help the world through our gifts, so everything we can and should do is a reflection of God’s directive to us. So watch the videos below, and dwell on the summary of the sermon that I just talked about. What is the song/video and the sermon summary speaking to you about serving those around us with joy in our hearts?
How have you used your skills, talents and gifts to further the kingdom of God? Have you helped others with a joyful heart? Let us know in the comments!
Til next time!