Gifts for the Common Good Part 2

1 Corinthians 12:12-26

Posted by Dan Jarms on January 14, 2024
Gifts for the Common Good Part 2
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Main idea: Come ready to rejoice in the diversity of gifts God has given the church.

  1. Consider the unity and diversity in the church (12:12-13)
  2. Avoid undervaluing your gift (12:14-20)
  3. Resist overvaluing your gift (12:21-24)
  4. Encourage everyone in the use of their gifts (12:25-26)
    • To non-Christians
    • To non-members
    • To those discovering their gifts
    • To All
  • Automated Transcription
  • 0:13
    Well, good morning faith Bible Church. We're in First Corinthians chapter 12. It's our second in a series on Spiritual gifts. And you have to kind of put spiritual gifts in their context. John the Baptist told the crowds. In every gospel, you'll find in every gospel that Jesus was going to come and baptized with the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples that He would make them fishers of men. You heard that this morning. When Jesus ascended to heaven, he did send the Spirit to baptize people into the church, and gift them to accomplish that mission. God has not only given us a mission, Faith Bible Church, be a loving community making disciples but he has gifted the church to do it. He has given them special abilities. And we are turning our attention to that this morning, stand with me for the reading of God's Word. First Corinthians chapter 12. I'm going to read 12, through 2612, through 26. For just as the body is one, and has many members, and all the bodies, all the members of the body, though many are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body, Jews or Greeks, slaves or free. And all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member, but many. If the foot should say, because I'm not a hand, I do not belong to the body, that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the IRS would say, well, because I'm not an I do not belong to the body, that would not make it any less part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be, if the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell, but as it is, God arrange the members in the body, each one of them as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body, the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you. nor again the head to the feet, I have no native view. On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker, are indispensable. And on those parts of the body that we think less honorable, we'd be stowed, the greater honor and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which are more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together, if one member is honored, all rejoice together. This is the word of the Lord. Our God and Father we pray that you would use your Holy Spirit. You have awakened, your regenerated, you have and dwelt us by your Spirit and you have gifted us we need your spirit to illuminate us help us understand this and put it into practice. For contentment and gratitude, for the gifts that you have given. I do pray that You would help us recognize the great grace that is in the manifestation of Christ in the world, which is the church the body of Christ. We are privileged to be part of it. It's in Christ's name we pray, amen. You may be seated. I've never driven a 2010 Suburban. It's made up of hundreds of parts. And I recognize there's a huge difference between the technology of the ignition and the technology of the oil plug. PLUG is metal with threads cut in, it is low tech, the ignition with all its mechanical and electrical parts are high tech and I had to use 2010 because if you get a newer car, it just has a fob that you carry, you don't touch anything you just get in and you you you press a button it's not even a key ignition. Just start it with your fob in the morning. But it's minus four outside. But you know, suburban, you'd jump in it and you would know right where it is. You jump into a suburban you might not know where the oil plug is, but the oil plug is just as essential. Yeah, you can't get the car started without an ignition but you can't keep it running without an oil plug. 10 minutes in, that engine seizes up, it's done. low tech, but essential. I wasn't gonna say something about airplane door plugs. But I thought it might be too soon and I was really expecting like some little plug when they said door plugs I think a plug is something small Oh door. That's a door plug. It's a whole door. Yikes. That's that's a story to truth and a lie matching that guy plan. Tutor is in the life as almost sucked out of an airplane but wasn't. Anyway, you can see how all the parts work together. You see how all the work parts work together. A local church is a unified whole, with each member gifted by God's sovereign grace with abilities that are designed by God to build up the rest. No Christian is insignificant. Every member is essential. As we've started to look at this, look back in chapter 12. There is an overarching theme that showed up their gifts for the common good. It shows up here that we might have the same care that each of us need to come ready to share the gifts God has given us. Whenever we gather with other believers. I might add to that we need to come ready to receive gifts from other people because none of us is every part of the body. This week's big idea focuses a little more, especially on verse 25, and 26. As we encourage we need to come ready to rejoice in the diversity of gifts God gives the church there is a unity and diversity both present in a local church. If you're a follower of Christ, you are blessed by special abilities. And you are blessed by special abilities that God gives to others so that when you gather they bless you, and you are blessed by using your special abilities in the lives of others. So we need to come each week ready to rejoice in the diversity of gifts that God gives to a local church. Corinth was plagued by the pride of self importance on one hand, and the pity party of insignificance on the other. Some of it is related to class and race. You're gonna see it here today, this issue of slaves and free Jews and Greek. Some of it's related to wisdom and knowledge. People have special knowledge not that they were superior. People didn't who did not have the same abilities or knowledge thought of themselves as inferior. Instead of each member building others up, they formed into little cliques and they competed with each other. I want to encourage you again, we are all working together with a common goal to make disciples of Jesus Christ that's we're all doing. We all have a part to play, you have a part to play, I have a part to play. Because knowing God through His Word is essential. Teaching gifts usually get prominent roles. in Corinth, they still had people who were empowered with miracles and sign gifts. They were still getting direct revelation from God. So naturally, those that feed us spiritual food might get a prominent place but the others are equally essential. Some of you here are under utilizing your gifts. You might need to take a step of faith step up to use the abilities God has given you. Some of you are undervaluing the gifts of others, not asking for the help you really need and we could all use a strong, strong dose of gratitude and encouragement to the people who labor whether easily seen or not easily seen.

    So because I take the preaching correction gift from Dave belch, who is my one of my people, he always likes memorable outlines. I've got one for you take care, see ar e. Now I say that because we should have the same care for one another but it's spelled something and we're going to hopefully help that stick in your mind today. We will Want to consider the unity of the church number one we want to avoid, we want to avoid undervaluing a gift or gifts, we want to resist over valuing our gifts. And we want to encourage each other in the use of our gifts care, we want to have a common care for each other. Let's start with number one, considering the unity and diversity in the church this verses 12 and 13, then you'll see more of it in 18, through 20, how God puts it all together. Because the unity and mutual care we should have for one another is based on what the Trinity does the our Triune God has done and is doing through His redeeming work. God is three persons in one being he is united yet has diversity. We looked at that last week, he picks up on it in verse 12. And now applies it to this body metaphor, just as the body is one and has many members. And all the members of the body, though many are one body, so it is with Christ. So where does he get this body idea? Well, it's come to us in 1016. Back there, it was talking about taking the Lord's Supper. And we were told that there is one bread, Jesus is the true food. Therefore there's one body, he's talking about this gathered body, there's a unity there, he picks it up. And it's one of Paul's favorite metaphors for church, the church universal, and manifestations of that in a local church. And it's a brilliant and accessible analogy. We all understand these realities about a body. A healthy body has many parts, slash members, not social club members like fingers, you know, members, things that are attached and important. Don't think in the sense of membership, like a social club, says so it is with Christ meaning, so it is with Christ's body. Now let's just put that sink in for a minute. A Biblical Christian, a true believer is inseparably attached to Christ. And Christ is the head of the church. All Christians belong to Christ, all Christians belong to each other. All Christians belong to each other, like parts of a body belong to a whole. It's an astounding reality. Verse 13, for in one Spirit, we are all baptized into one body, Jews or Greeks, slaves are free. And all were made to drink of one Spirit. Paul uses two water metaphors. The first fits with John the Baptist promise. In every gospel, John 133. John sees Jesus. When John is going to baptize Jesus, he says, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. What happened in the life of Jesus after his death, securing the forgiveness for our sins, making the payment as resurrection, He ascended to the right hand of God, and then he sent his spirit. That spirit caused what we call the baptism of the Holy Spirit on Acts chapter two. And it's an immersion into the church. There the church begins and there's an immersion like the church's water, it's emerged that we are immersed into the waters called the local church.

    Second half of the verse says, We're all made to drink, have one drink, it's the second water analogy. This comes from the Old Testament promises multiple ones, I'll highlight one of the clearest ones. In Joel 228, in which there was a promise that God would pour out His Spirit on his people. This was the direct precedent set for Acts chapter two. This pouring out, filling them up, signifies that Washington indwelling. The New Covenant is we talked about it every time we talk about the Lord's Supper is really Ignagni rated by two events, the death and resurrection resurrection act of Christ, he sheds his blood for us initiating the New Covenant, it's the payment is accepted and proven at resurrection. So that's the first of the new covenant. The second is the giving of the Spirit, because this is what was promised in the Old Covenant. We just read it out of Ezekiel that he would send his spirit

    So this one spirit we're all baptized immersed into one body, this is Spirit baptism. Thinking of all the works, that happen at salvation, they all happen at one time. We are regenerated given new life by the Spirit, we hear the Gospel. When when we are regenerated, we also believe the spirit regenerates the Spirit, then indwells, not just temporarily, but permanently empowering us. The Spirit also seals us keeps us for Christ until we enter heaven, or he returns but we are sealed and protected. This indwelling Spirit He illuminates us. But we are also baptized into the body of Christ and given gifts and all of that happens at once. I was first saved in a in a Pentecostal college fellowship. The characteristic of Pentecostal doctrine is that same gospel, but if you want the next step of service, if you want to be a little more fitted for evangelism, if you want a better relationship with God, you need to get the baptism of the Holy Spirit and they treat it as a second event. That's that's Pentecostal theology. That's not what the Bible shows. at Pentecost, something unique happened, the New Covenant was poured out. But there aren't two separate events. You are baptized into the body of Christ at the moment of your salvation, that Spirit baptism, you are gifted by Jesus, with something that you can use to make a contribution to the church. There's no as two stages here in this verse. There aren't any others. But think about the astounding work. So you're called to make disciples. You're called to make disciples. Jesus says, I'll make you fishers of men, you're called to make disciples, and He gives you His Spirit to empower you. You are given construct a gift to contribute to a local church and you as a local church carry out this mission. We have drunk from the Holy Spirit being flooded with it. That words can be translated as flooded with the Holy Spirit. Remember, Jesus says in John, for those who get the Holy Spirit, from from within, you will overflow with Holy Spirit overflow with joy. So the upshot of this, then, is that everybody is immersed into the local church. Verse 13, for in one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body, Jews or Greeks, slaves are free, everybody here he takes the race distinctions, and the economic distinctions or class distinctions. It says you're all put into the same body, and you're all made to drink of the same spirit. So there are no superior or inferior classes or races. This was a huge deal in Corinth, because Corinth was built on a class structure, and it operated in heavy racial segregation. Jews thought they were superior to Greeks, Greeks thought they were superior to Jews. And here, they're all saved. In one church. There is no superiority. He doesn't say there are no more Jews and no more Greeks just like you can't really say there are no more men and no more women. Galatians uses a similar thought and adds the male and female because the issue was circumcision, which always left an in class or an out class as far as men treating women and he says no, all of the superiority and in fewer inferiority things are gone. But there's still diversity. Remember, a song with one note, sung in unison by a choir isn't very interesting to listen to. A song with melodic variety and acquire singing a four part harmony. That is beautiful. A full symphony orchestra with a good conductor is even more diverse and is still unified each person playing their various parts and it's beautiful. Unity means oneness, not uniformity, which is going to be a major point here. It's the powerful work of the Holy Spirit that makes diversity and unity. Look down at verse 18 through 20 Because you see this is all by the sovereign The pleasure of God. Genuine Christians may really be different than each other because they're given different gifts by God is God the father arranged verse 18. God the Father says, God arranged God the Father composed the body by his own Willie, he's so arranged at so composed that for his, for his by His good pleasure for the common good. Here's what you have to realize. Genuine Christians may be really different than you like you may be a genuine Christian, there'd be other genuine Christians, and they might be really different than you. Sometimes in our culture that's really hard to handle. But they should be really different. Genuine Christians may disagree with you often, it's a benefit to you. genuine, genuine Christians may disappoint you, they might even deeply damage you. But it doesn't make them less a part of the body of Christ. And I know when some of you hear this, you're like, I know but there I have had some experiences with other Christians that seem really hurtful and really disappointing. You know what, as the Brits would say, in heaven, it will all get sorted. It's going to get sorted. When we're resurrected, sinless, deathless, all things will be sorted and will recognize in perfection the full family of God. This is based on God's work. So consider the unity and diversity wrought by the Spirit Himself. Number two, then avoid undervaluing your gift. There's two ways this can go. You can undervalue it, you can overvalue it. Paul starts at the undervaluing, and if you undervalue your gift that you're going to have a tendency to downplay your abilities downplay or disregard your abilities, and you may not use them when other people really need them. People who have less prominent gifts, think that what they have to offer doesn't matter. Paul develops then this this body analogy brilliantly, for the body does not consist of one member, but of many. So it's not one body part. There's not just one ability that matters in the church, the foot should say, because I'm not a hand I do not belong to the body. That would not make it any less part of the body. And there's there's two things going on. One is that either there's a pity party, or there is an insecurity. Or there is, you know, I am just not I just I just can't do it, fingers can do I don't belong. But just because they say it doesn't mean it's true. So one there's an insecurity, or a disregard for what they have to offer. And the second one is just because you say it doesn't mean it's true. If you don't think you have anything to offer, doesn't mean that's true. You're no less part of the body. So then he develops it even further. If the foot should say because I'm not a hand I don't belong the body, that would not make it less part if the ear should say because I have not an eye. I do not belong to the body. That would not make it any less part of the body. Hands can do more delicate work than feet, but feet are essential eyes can do more than ears, but ears are essential. hands and eyes are usually more beautiful than feet and ears. But feet and ears are essential. Ears may get tired of hearing how beautiful the eyes are. But they're still essential. The humor here is intriguing.

    We were shopping. Last fall we're walking in Florence and there's this art studio that specializes in eyes like pupils because pupils are fascinating. Big, beautiful pictures of pupils. Eyes. There are no pictures of noses. They're necessary. But I bet very few people have come up to you and say, oh I really admire your nose

    so you may be timid or insecure. Or you may have a pity party about not being one of the prominent people. You may not have an pressive roll. I use that in quotes, but you need to fight the temptations so the church won't limp along. So the church won't move along. You may actually be gifted and a quote unquote less honorable role to help the church run fast. He amplifies it. So he says, if the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be right? Like, gotta have hearing the whole body we're in here wherever the sense of smell. But as it is, God arranged the members of the body each one of them as he chose, God gives special abilities to serve according to His sovereign choice. If if all were a single member, where would the body be I mean, back to our noses point somebody did point out to me, you know, if we were all a nose that we would still be able to run. Thank you. Frank, it took you five seconds to get that one. As it is, there are many parts yet one body so don't say I don't teach I don't lead. I don't play music. So what I do doesn't matter much. Don't let the pride of a pity party make the local church limp along. Don't let perfectionism make the body limp along. Of course you won't be awesome every time you serve. In fact, we used to hear an old acronym it at Faith Bible Church fat you know every person should be fat faithful, available, teachable. You've probably heard that I got an email a couple of weeks ago from a dear brother who said I basically I have 10 hours and we can give to the church I'll do any mundane the church need thing the church needs toilets need to be washed I'll do it notes to be need to be taken for seminary students. I'll do it I mean, I'll do whatever it is I got this time I mean that's available, available. Faithful, available, teachable, you might need to be trained in your gift. Don't be surprised. Somebody asks you to serve somewhere and you're like, I don't know, I've never done this before. Give it a shot. Don't undervalue your contribution. So first, we need to consider the unity of the church and how vital all the parts are. Second, we need to avoid undervaluing our gifts. And third, just as well. We need to resist over valuing our gifts. We need to resist over valuing them. Resist the pride of thinking that your gift is the one that really matters. First 21 The eye cannot say to the hand I have no need of you nor again the head to the feet I have no need of you. On the contrary, the parts of the body that seemed to be weaker are indispensable, essential. And we played a fun game at Christmas. You might have played it. After we open the presents. We took all the bows and we put them on a table we put an empty bowl there we blindfolded the player we gave him a spatula, and in a minute you had to see how many bows you could scoop up into the bowl. And you instantly get the point of eyes and hands because you can't feel the bows with a spatula and you can't see them blindfold it's a great game. Just trust me. I just can't lift both hands can't see Bo's got to have them both together. You know NFL quarterbacks like like if Brock Bryan is so excited today. The Lions are in the playoffs. You know, if Jeff Jeffrey golf wins the Super Bowl, he'll do what every NFL quarterback does. He buys a steak dinner for his linemen who protected him from getting run over. You know, linemen are not usually a pretty lot. They are not usually beautiful because they need to be gigantic. I used to be a lineman and you're like yeah, I know. You're not beautiful. I know. I know. Sayers should be the quarterback. He's beautiful. He's the pretty boy who was a quarterback who's a pretty boy but you get the you get the whole world gets this concept we need to get it in the church. Where would faith bible church without those who make sure we have power light, heat, heat, Willie, thank you for keeping heat. Thank you for the people who pay the bills. For the sound, I mean, nothing happens without them. He goes on verse 23, and on those parts of the body that we think are less To honourable we bestow the greater honor and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which are more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body giving greater honor to the part that lacked it. The behind the scenes, spiritual gifts that make the church properly function are powerfully used by God to save sinners and see them built up in Christ. Everybody plays a key part. And I do know of to pride problems, people who have upfront roles can easily think they are better than people who don't have upfront roles. And the other pride problem happens when any of us view the church through the grid of our own giftings and passions. If we were in another passage, this, this set of spiritual gifts is primarily revelatory, and miraculous part of those early days of the church. If we were to jump into Romans 1212, six, through eight, for instance, you you hear serving gifts, so people with strong helping gifts, often think that everybody else is sinful, or uncaring, because I can't get enough people to help or serve. Like practical stuff, I can't get enough people to stack chairs. They're built to serve. So they see all the things that are practical. And so they go after all the things that are practical, and they view the whole church and that, that light, and we can get proud about that. You can get passionate about your ministry, which is a reflection of your gifts, and you can say why isn't everybody in this ministry? Well, because God's given a whole body of believers with different gifts to contribute. But I've said this for many years, Faith Bible Church is a servant hearted church. If there's a need, and you all find out about it, there, you're going to jump in and serve. I see it over and over and over again. So first, we consider the unity in diversity of the church. Second, we avoid undervaluing our abilities. Third, we resist over valuing. And then we encourage everyone in the use of our gifts, encourage everyone in the use of their gifts, God's given everybody special ability, and we'll see we should encourage and thank them. And if somebody's specific spiritual gift, doesn't directly bless you, it will indirectly bless you makes a contribution. Verse 24, says, But God has so composed the body giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body. But that the members may have the same care for one another. That is a thing to circle. We pay just as much attention in our gratitude and thanksgiving to the behind the scenes activities as we do to the upfront activities or as the easily seen activities. And so we should set out at each gathering to care for everybody's needs. We should go through a list in our minds of fellow believers and pray for them. I mentioned it last week, I want to mention it again. You know, we we get in the car go to growth group and Linda and I each take a turn to pray for the group and the how God could use us in the group. When needs emerge in groups, we seek to meet them we need to merge we seek to encourage them. And as an aside, little little sidebar here. This is the clearest verse to me about the necessity of joining formal membership in a local church. You need to be in a place where you are caring and cared for in a committed way. And I could walk through the Bible's teaching about the committed community involvement that he should have starting in Acts chapter two, when 5000 people got saved, they knew 5000 people got saved because they counted them or 3000 Sorry, 3000 Because they counted them. They counted them, like each person was important.

    It's part of the care of knowing who's here and who's not here. And the heart of this is that same care. You need to be in a place where you are caring For people and being cared for people and other people can count on it. We're not asking you to get married to the church. So let me make sure we set this properly 12 and 13, verses 12 and 13, you are baptized into the universal church. But Paul applies this to a local church, he applies it to the Corinthian church. And you may, you may, because God moves you to serve in another place, you may go to another church, you may be part of a church plant. Your marriage commitment is to the universal church, so to speak, you're always going to serve the universe, local church, but it should manifest itself in a local church. So there are a lot of reasons some might not remember up today, when they hear you might be new, might be new to the church, you might be figuring out where God wants you to join. I would love to help you figure out where God wants you to join. And it doesn't have to be here. I know lots of good churches, you're saying, you know, I'm in the process of searching for a church and I want to get connected said I'd be happy to give you 10 other churches, where do you live, because I know three that way, three, that way too, that way soon to be three that way, three that I know where you can connect. And I always feel I feel like this because I am a committed member of the universal church. If you're going and remembering up at one of those churches, you're in my church. That's all part of the body of Christ. But you should have a commitment that others could count on. You might be coming from a situation where you're deeply hurt. Number of us would love to help you deal with that. Or your your life might be really messy right now, a marriage problem, a depression problem, a serious health issue, and we understand that process. But I would still tell you if if one of those situations if you're messy, if you're hurting. If you're spiritually sick or physically sick, you're remembering up could be really good for you because there'd be a group of people committed to caring for you.

    I've said it this way before, as a general rule, not the exceptions that I just gave as a general rule. If you're not a member of a local church, you're just a bag of fingers. How useful is a bag of fingers? Not very useful. What's your cannibal? Yikes. Here's Paul's heart. Verse 2025, and 26. Here's Paul's heart. If one member suffers, all suffer together, if one member is honored, all rejoice together. When you stub your toe, what do you do? You yell? Ouch. Right? Why do you yell out I mean, you didn't stub your lips. Because one one part of the body hurts. The other parts of the body hurt when the one part of the body is honored the other party parts of the body saying hey man. And there is nothing more encouraging than a friend who enters your suffering. There's nothing more encouraging and a friend who rejoices with you when God has used you mean those are so encouraging.

    You know what has never been said in the history of local churches. This church is to thankful this church is to content as part of the fallen nature, so we can always keep stepping up to say thank you to the people who do the upfront work and the behind the scenes work. I mean, you just don't know how a rough day serving can turn into a good day serving when someone notices how hard you've been working at what you're doing. Have the same care. Finally, let me talk to four kinds of people. First of all, some of you aren't Christians yet the social world that you belong to memberships and clubs or like the privileged membership at Costco are all negotiated benefits. All do this, if you do that, very often marriage is a negotiated benefit. I'll do this if you do that. Certainly your work is a contracted benefit. Your clubs or teams are activity related benefit as soon as the activities over the benefits done. I always find it interesting that players like to talk about their teams as families. You know, if our families applied that way we'd like you know, we're going to trade you this place is just treats me just like a family till you're traded. We don't we don't get to trade in a local church. I, I did hear a rare time I quote Francis Chan, talking about spiritual gifts. He says As some of you are an appendix, we don't know what you do. But you're gonna blow up and kill us all.

    No, but if you're if you're not a Christian, this is a unique place. Because when you surrender to the Lordship of Christ, when you submit him and you repent of your sins and turn to him, he plunges you into a community, not with a negotiated benefit, but with a selfless benefit. Every Christian seeks to be like Jesus and add his own personal cost gives a benefit to another, not expecting a return, but knowing he needs other people's gifts. It's a selfless benefit. God pours out His Spirit immerses you into a body into a family. So I would urge you to submit to Jesus as King and he's going to include you as younger brother with siblings beyond your count. Second, to those who find difficulty with formality or practical church membership, like I said, you don't need to marry one local church forever. But you should have a formal commitment in a church that is an expression of your love. They can count on you, you can count on them. The elders know who they're caring for, you know who's caring for you. And for real Christ, like love, a covenant type commitment is essential. When you do get married you you make a covenant commitment. You know, good times are bad times. And what we really mean is in bad times, we're going to need this. So commitments are important, and you may not join here, but you should join somewhere. Third, we went to group this week, and there were questions about like, how do I find out what my spiritual gift is? Remember, the list in Corinthians is probably not as helpful because there's a lot of miraculous gifts here. Go to Romans 12. You could find a list there. First Peter four, there's a shortlist there. And one of the questions that comes up is well, what about natural abilities? And what about spiritual abilities as if you know, natural abilities? Well, they're just natural. So they don't really matter. They're just natural abilities, spiritual abilities, like soon as we say the word spiritual, we go, whoo. Like there's something special about that. You know, God's got all of all of them. I had a seminary professor who was a total Cessationist he believed all the spiritual gifts were given during the time of the apostolic writings and they all went off the scene which made life really easy because then you just served as you were able. And as he said, before you stone me or throw me out, in practicality doesn't mean anything different because you may have natural abilities, you may have talents, you may have experiences, and you may have spiritual abilities, which I think you do, you may have those, all of them are gifts of a sovereign God for the good of his people. So if you have a talent use it if you have a if you have an experience, use it if you have a spiritual gift, use it love other people with what God has given you with all of it. Now, what about spiritual gifts and how to know? Somebody asks you to do something and it may If somebody wanted me to say that positively, sort of get you out of your comfort zone, let's say positively, expand your let's expand your comfort zone. Let's make a bigger comfort zone. You know, and you say, I've never done that before. That's okay. You know, it may be your gift, but you're going to need to develop it and work on it improve on it, you know, Tim Hill has perfect pitch. But if he didn't practice the piano, we would never know. Right? So like, you may have a gift, a natural ability or a talent, you may have a spiritual gift, but you're gonna have to use it. So here's what will happen, you'll try something. And if it's a genuine spiritual gift, the tendency is you, you start getting shaped and how to use that, and you like it a little more. And like, you sense God using it a little more, and you sense God using it a little more. And, yeah, you're pushed like I've never, I've never done this thing before. But you tend to start to soar a little bit. And you as you mature, and you grow, you find sweet spots. If I was preaching through First Peter, I would tell you that spiritual gifts are like a palette, on a train that's multi varied, that's varied as multifaceted or multicolored as the word, you'll have a package of several kinds. So somebody asks you or you see a need, and you step into it a spiritual gift, you'll tend to have a little success and that God will use you and you'll like it a little bit more than like a little more non spiritual gift. You'll be frustrated. And you'll be like, Ah, this is super hard. I tried, I tried to improve, I'm willing, I'm willing to try this. And remember, sometimes my local church since not every church has everything that everybody needs. Sometimes you just have to do something you're not built to do, because the church needs it. So you're not going to stop loving it. Well, I'm not built for that. Well, the church still needs it. But when all things work together and they grow, you'll gravitate toward a sweet spot. That's your build. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Finally, for all of us, all of us, all of us can say thank you, and give specific positive feedback for all the behind the scenes service and upfront service. I noticed that you do this. Thank you. Thank you for doing that. When you said this or you did that. It really helped me this way.

    The church has really never too thankful there's many people I went to some of my people and I asked them you know who are the people that you want to say thank you to even though the specific gift exercise isn't a direct benefit to you every week. Well, Lena Danon has cared for children behind the scenes for decades. Those three year olds like every every so often, she takes the gluten free crackers for the littles because we want to now be careful about gluten. And she sorts puts her gloves on and she sorts all the whole crackers into little cups. So the threes fours and fives have whole crackers, no broken crackers. Like I mean that's an attention to detail. She cares for our library and our books and you would use some of your like I've never heard of Elena Daniel. If you don't have littles you might not know her, but you know, she does extraordinary behind the scenes work and has done it for decades. Cheryl Coburn, makes your coffee and doughnuts are set up every Sunday. And and my kids and now my grandkids and your kids. You know, when when we were redecorating the reception room, my kids like can we just call it what it is? It's the doughnut room. And it needs to be the doughnut room. We need to decorate it with Big Donut pictures. And it just like it just gives parents a breather. Thank you Cheryl and all that team. Mike enjoy Sawatzky organize and lead outreach to immigrants and refugees. Everybody knows Jeff Peterson sitting back there. And you're Jeff makes the Sound Transit sound. But you don't all know Mitzi you don't want Mitzi you're at home. He's homesick. She so she can hear this. She serves kids discovery other places. She cooks for camps. So she had a massive ankle blowout, broke her ankle tore a bunch of ligaments and she's been wearing this boot. I bet she feels like it's for four years. But she is down on the ground, playing with those crawlers and toddlers and pops back up and serves them in the middle of doing that. She takes a weekend out and cooks all the food at a kitchen for a youth camp. Like she's She stands and does that. Like that's behind the scenes work that make life a joy. I mean, Joe and Kate Susa, do so much cooking and so much caring, and single handedly make this Memorial Day picnic happen year after year, Memorial Day, Memorial Day, you're gonna do Labor Day to know just just Memorial Day, sir Joe and Kate somewhere. 30 couples act as hosts to groups every week. Thank you, thank you for doing that. I know you're gonna walk away and go. So am I the oil plug. Your essential. Everybody's ever written in a car knows where the ignition in a 2010. Suburban would be. You might not know where the oil plug is. But it doesn't mean it's not essential. God has made you with a special place in a local church. So use your gifts and abilities. Regardless, and we all can thank God for what we do with each other and thank each other for the labors. overflow of the gospel of grace. Let's pray. Father, thank you for what you have given us. Thank you for the work that you have done in and just the few saints that I mentioned. Thank you for them. Now, I pray that you would continue to encourage us there are many laborers who have labored faithfully, help them rejoice at the gift they've been given to serve the church. And we see the fruit of it here and all over the world with people who've been raised up and sent all over the city with churches that have been planted believers that have been built up and are now using their gifts and another church. Thank you for them. And it's all a gift from you. You're the sovereign giver of gifts. We thank you for even being a part of the body. It's in Christ's name we pray, amen.

Dan Jarms

Dr. Dan Jarms is teaching pastor and team leader at Faith Bible Church in Spokane Washington, as well as associate dean at TMS Spokane. He has been married for over 30 years to Linda, and has three adult children. He earned his B.A. in English at the Master’s College, B.Ed. at Eastern Washington University, M.Div and D.Min in Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary. His other interests include NCAA basketball, gardening, brick oven cooking.

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