On Sabbath, Pastor Joe preached on Romans 12 as part of his series from that chapter. As a side note, it is my absolute favorite chapter in the Bible. I memorized it as a teenager, under duress. I didn't hold that against it though and have come to have a great appreciation for the practical chapter. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his[b]faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. (Romans 12: 6-8)
One of the things that stuck out to me was that we cannot use our gifts as excuses for inaction. We are called to love the Lord through our actions in the body, and each part of the body has a vital function. We should encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ to use their gifts, and always be wise stewards of the resources of the church. This is just the financial resources, but the physical resouces as well. If there is a skilled accountant in the church who is good at managing money, he or she would be a good canidate for managing the church finances. At least more so than the person (like me) who hates to balance my personal checkbook and isn't great at it.
I got to thinking about my gifts. It's not that I think I am not gifted, its just that I see many people who have the same gifts I do, and in a greater amount. I work in the church in many capacities, Christian Ed Committee, VBS Co-director, Social Committee, Nursery committee, help with juniors, calendar/newsletter, congregational secretary...so I am using my gifts. (It is a small church, which like a small town needs everyone to contribute) I just wouldn't say that the things I do couldn't be done by others and maybe better. I would say my gift is willingness. I am willing to be used in whatever capacity is needed. I have energy and a flexible schedule. It is as crowded as anyone else's schedule, it just has few time constraints than working people, at least now when the girls aren't in school.
Monday's episode of 7th Heaven, "Charity Begins at Home", begins with Reverend Camden preaching a sermon encouraging his congregation to use their gifts in service to at least one person, on a personal level. I thought it dovetailed nicely with my musings this week. It is an old episode, rerun on ABC Family each weeknight at 5. It never ceases to amaze me how God puts several hits on the same message before me at the same time. The point of the episode was to show that we should use our gifts in service to others and not just in a global or broad sense but on a personal individual level. My mom would have loved it. She is queen of the personal ministry. Can you take a meal to a lonely person or spend an hour visiting? Can you give a ride to a person who is without transportation. Make a phone call to a person who is having a rough week? Do a load of laundry for someone with a new baby or a broken washer? Take the kids for an afternoon or evening to let some busy parents have a break? Write a short note to someone who has meant something to you? It doesn't have to be a big time committment, it just needs to be something.
Go out and love the Lord through what you do today.