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Church Talk: Glorify God in serving others

Friday 10 May 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Church Talk, Features

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Church Talk: Glorify God in serving others
President of CICC Reverend Tuaine Moutaiki Ngametua cuts the rauti ribbon for the Titikaveka Betela CICC last year. According to the writer, some people are granted the ability to serve so they can serve with the pure love of Christ. MELINA ETCHES/23063021

God has graced us with spiritual gifts so we may use these to edify each other for humble service in the Body of Christ, writes Tangata Vainerere, historian at CICC Heritage Centre.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Our Daily Reading for Friday, May 10, 2024, is Romans 12:1-8. The Apostle Paul in this passage re-emphasises that our faith should result in holy lives. He calls on each of us to be a living sacrifice as we are divinely placed for the good of the body of Christ.  

1.“Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. 2.Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.”

Paul addresses his message to “every man among you”. This effectively means that everyone is included in this exhortation and not only those who hold leadership positions in the church.

All are blessed but in different ways as highlighted in verses 6-8, and Paul counsels that God has graced us with spiritual gifts so we may use these to edify each other for humble service in the Body of Christ. So we need to let God shine through in our service to Him and his people. In this passage, Paul highlights specific spiritual gifts:

Prophesy – Some people are gifted the ability to prophesy so they can prophesy by applying the Word of God to every situation in our lives. Prophecy is a gift for strengthening, encouraging and comforting and those who prophesy must exercise this gift in accordance with their faith and not venture beyond God-revealed truth as manifested in His Word.

Service – Some people are granted the ability to serve so they can serve with the pure love of Christ. We can say that we serve God by serving others. Some people discover their gifts in the process of serving others so let’s all serve with the strength that God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Christ. So, let’s strive to make service a twenty-four-hour proposition and not as a Sunday-only enterprise.  

Teaching – Some people are gifted the ability to teach so they can do so with wisdom. This is an important gift that fosters growth in discipleship. It is not solely for use within the church. It enables those who are gifted to be able to instruct on the doctrines of Christianity and communicate the truths of the Bible to others. Jesus Himself was the Great Teacher, and Jesus commanded His disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19–20).  

Exhortation – Some people are gifted with exhortation skills so they can encourage with passion. Such people are our spiritual coaches. The gift of exhortation is a person’s unique ability to encourage and edify others. This person delights in finding Scriptures that apply to a situation and teaching others how to apply them. People with this gift are often involved in teaching, counselling, and discipleship training ministries. They serve to encourage those who are floundering in their faith and model victorious living in Christ.

Giving – Some people are empowered to give so they can give generously by contributing to the needs of others. They may not have millions of dollars at their disposal but their generosity does great service to those who are blessed by their giving. Some examples for generous giving are found in Luke 8:1-3; 2 Corinthians 11:9 and Philippians 4:15-18.

Leadership – Some people are gifted in leadership so they can lead diligently. Everything rises and falls with leadership. We know the difference that visionary leaders can make in guiding our pursuit of our spiritual goals. Such leaders can also demonstrate diligence by training others to become diligent leaders themselves. The apostle Paul recognised this position, referring to himself as a “servant of Christ Jesus” (Romans 1:1). Like Paul, the gifted leader recognises that God has called him to his position; he has not called himself (1 Corinthians 1:1). Following Jesus’ example, the gifted leader also lives to serve those he leads, and not to be served by them or lord it over them (Matthew 20:25–28).  

Showing Mercy – Some people are blessed with compassion so they can show mercy cheerfully and provide support and assistance for those who are vulnerable in some way. In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, one of the beatitudes is “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7). Mercy is what we express when we are led by God to be compassionate in our attitudes, words, and actions. It is more than feeling sympathy toward someone; it is love enacted. Mercy desires to answer the immediate needs of others and alleviate suffering, loneliness, and grief. Mercy addresses physical, emotional, financial, or spiritual crises with generous, self-sacrificial service. Mercy is a champion of the lowly, poor, exploited, and forgotten and often acts on their behalf.

In summation, the spiritual gifts each of us possess are granted to us so we can exercise them with humility – not seek for ourselves seats of honour for selfish purposes. It is not to draw attention to ourselves or to put on a showy display. So if we serve out of love for Christ, we can expect that we will be blessed in our service and we therefore will also become a blessing to those we serve. Remembering that the greatest gift of all is love, let us serve with love and glorify God in serving others (1 Corinthians 13:1-13).

Have a blessed weekend and may you continue to serve with a smile, Amen!

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