Devotions, Workforce

Fit for the Task

Read: Ephesians 4:4-16

“All are not apostles, are they?  All are not prophets, are they?  All are not teachers, are they?  All are not workers of miracles, are they?  All do not have gifts of healings, do they?  All do not speak with tongues, do they?  All do not interpret, do they?”

1 Corinthians 12:29-30 NASB

 

“The bathroom is too small,” I announced, rubbing my head as I approached my boss’ desk.

“I’ve never really noticed the size of the bathroom before,” she replied, looking up from her stack of paperwork.

“Well, I did today and it’s too small.”

Her brow furrowed and I could tell she was debating whether it was wise to ask the question, “Why?”

I quickly explained that, on my last encounter with the room, I had managed the unusual feat of smacking my head on the porcelain sink behind the door.  That this was due to the limited maneuvering space was (from my point of view) obvious.  If we gave customers and staff members more than two feet between solid objects, such encounters would be fewer and farther between.

It seemed that from her perspective, the solution was equally obvious.  Laughing, she pointed to me, “The problem isn’t the bathroom, it’s your legs: they’re too long!”  It wasn’t the bathroom’s size that was the problem; it was my size.  I was a bad fit.

Unfortunately, many times in churches we find ourselves in similar situations – badly fit for a specific area of service.  Asked to perform a certain task for the body (helping in the nursery, teaching in a Sunday School class, working as a counselor, or helping in the kitchen), we meet only with failure at every turn.  While we may be tempted to blame elements of the task, i.e., a finicky Christian education board, a poor kitchen layout, or the high demands from the congregation, the reason for our lack of success may not be the job itself, but our own fitness for the task.

As Christians, we must make certain that, while encouraging the exercise of the individual gifts which God has given us, we don’t at the same time box ourselves (or each other) into exercising gifts which we do not possess.  Only when each of us performs our proper function in its proper place will the Church find success!

Challenge:  Prayerfully consider your gifts.  Then, commit to putting them to use in their proper place!

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Evangelism, Technique, The Two Minute Relationship

The Two Minute Relationship: The Life of a Servant

Over the last few weeks, we’ve examined “What’s in a Name”, discussed the importance of taking the time to “Ask, Listen, and Observe”, and looked at the value of taking the time to “Relate” to those around us.  Before we dive into a discussion about how best to use these techniques as a springboard to a Gospel presentation, however, there is one more important element to discuss: the importance of living the life of a servant.

This falls into the silent witness category and, for many Christians, is the number one easiest way to begin a discussion.  While we can’t expect our actions alone to explain that Jesus saves, our actions can spark interest from the people around us.  And they may even cause them to ask us why we live the way we do!  Living the life of a servant isn’t always easy, so here are a few tips to get you headed in the right direction:

Don’t be in a hurry.  It can be easy to get so caught up in finishing our grocery shopping or getting to that hot rock concert that we miss opportunities to be a Biblical servant.  Always be ready and willing to help someone in need, whether it’s the lady with three kids and a cart full of groceries who just can’t quite lift that bag of dog food or the boss who is crunched for a deadline.

Yes, this means that we need to carefully evaluate our own commitments.  It’s wonderful to be regularly involved in the life of your congregation, but it’s also easy to become so involved that we spend more time doing things for God than being available for Him to work through us!  And the same goes for every one of our other commitments.  Whenever something other than God begins to take over our lives, we need to stop and reevaluate.  Keep your schedule free and flexible and see what wonders God will perform!

Don’t wait to be asked.  If you see someone struggling to meet a need and you have the time and means to help, then do!  A single act of unsolicited kindness may be enough to form a relationship with someone who has experienced very little kindness in their life.  And repeated acts of kindness can help soften even the hardest of hearts.

Always be ready.  1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  And Colossians 3:23 commands, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.”  This may, perhaps, be the greatest witness of all.  Everything you do and every interest you have can bring glory to God, even if it does so indirectly.  No hobby, sport, club, association, or after school activity comes without opportunities to live a life of service towards others.

A friend of mine used to play his guitar in a bagel shop every Saturday.  I’m aware that some Christians would not have considered this appropriate since, for the hour that he was there, he never once sang a Gospel song.  The name of Christ never exited his mouth.  He could have been doing dozens of other things, but instead, he was serving others through his music. Afterwards, people would come up to him and ask him why he did what he did.  You can be sure that his answer was all about Jesus!

Not every interest or hobby we have is going to show a direct connection to sharing God’s message, but each one provides us with an opportunity to relate to our fellow human beings. Remember that God created you a unique person and your interests and skills give you an opportunity to reach out in service to those who otherwise might never see the Gospel message in action!

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