“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”- 1 Corinthians 12: 4-6 (NIV)
It’s the beginning of the New Year and many people have already established their resolutions. Many are resolving to lose weight, get more active, find a significant other, etc. However, it is rare to find people resolving to serve more.
As followers of Christ we have been called to serve without question in love for the glory of God. Yet, we have a hard time finding the right place or time to do it. We might step into a local food pantry or mission to help hand out food, but that’s the best expression of service we can participate in with little experience.
However, when it comes to serving within our body, we fail to find a place. Many enter the church doors, find their place to sit, and experience the church service, but leave without discovering how to get plugged in.
Many times we wait to find the place to serve where we most or best gifted. Some of us might be teachers, so we wait for an opportunity to teach. Some of us are musically inclined, so we wait for an opportunity to sing or play music.
But, is it right for us to wait to serve until it fits our preference?
Throughout the scriptures we discover God calling people to move outside of their comfort zone. He calls them to do things they don’t want to do, but they do it regardless because it’s God calling them to do it. Some of them fight it, but sooner or later God has them do His will because His purpose trumps our preferences.
Let’s look at Jonah. Jonah was called to prophecy to the people of Nineveh; and help them discover their God given purpose. Jonah had a problem, he despised the Ninevites. So, he tried to flee and ignore the call to serve a group he didn’t want to serve. Then, God had him swallowed by a giant fish. He was spit out by the fish and was moved to take the steps to Nineveh and fulfill the call of God. He served outside of his preference.
Another person we can look at is Moses. Moses, a murderer, hanging out in the desert taking care of sheep, and God came to him with a call to free His people from Egypt. Throughout the conversation, Moses kept coming up with excuses and reasons why he couldn’t do what God was asking him to do. Well, we all know what happened because Christian Bale and Charlton Heston told us…or we have read the Bible.
Finally, we have Peter, called to be the “Rock” on which Christ would plant His Church, also moved by the Spirit to serve the Gentiles. Peter, a strong Jewish man, asked by God to walk into the lives of those who were unclean in his own eyes, and had to walk out of his comfort zone to do so in order to develop the foundation of the Church.
You see, there are examples in the Scriptures that show God wants us to serve in any way we can. Whether if it’s in our gifted ability or not. Our gift is something we should use to honor God and serve the world, but God calls us beyond that.
We are not limited to our gifts when it comes to serving in the body of Christ.
In this New Year, may you find a place to serve; may you find a place to reveal the glory of God to the world; and may you be willing to step out of your comfort zone to do the very things you are called to do in the name of Jesus.
Then, may God enhance your giftedness to shine through you and move you to continue to do great things in His mighty name.
Happy New Year to you and all you serve!
QUESTION: How will you serve this New Year?