10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which
God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
Earlier this summer, I was following the Olympics very closely...I have always been drawn to those events that pit one country against another!
As a child, it was the Canada Cup, which had Canada playing hockey against all of the great hockey nations of the world...it only happened once every four years, and it seemed like all of Canada stopped its daily routine to follow this great spectacle of hockey!
It is the same kind of drama that draws me to follow the Olympics...I even put the Olympic web site on my favorites list.
This year though, I was blown away by the dominance of China over the rest of the world...it seems to me like they have suddenly awakened into this unstoppable force.
It is not just in sports though...they are now one of the greatest, if the not the greatest industrial nation on earth.
Their army is by far, the largest in the world! Their economic growth is now stronger than even the United States of America.
Napoleon once pointed to a map of China and said, "There lies a sleeping giant. If it ever wakes up, it will be unstoppable."
We are seeing that come to pass right before our eyes!
My point tonight is this...I believe that the church of the living God is a sleeping giant, and if she ever wakes up, she will be an unstoppable force in the world in these last days!
As your pastor, I intend to awaken you all to your potential and your calling in the Lord!
It is not God's will for us to just come to church two times a week, pay our tithes, and say a few prayers. God has far greater expectations for each of us than that!
God expects each of us to use our gifts and talents in the ministry! And I believe that if we ever awaken and unleash the massive amounts of talent, creativity, and enthusiasm that is laying dormant right now, this church would explode at an unbelievable rate of growth, the likes of which have never been seen!
Does anyone in the house believe that tonight?
Life Church is not going to be a church where you will be able to come and hide in the crowd, or fall in between the cracks! That is not biblical in any aspect...I intend to plug you into the plan of God for your life!
In the coming weeks, I want to equip you to have a clear and precise understanding of your ministry!
Yes, that is right...I said, "Your ministry!"
Every believer is not a pastor, every believer is not a preacher, but every believer is called into the ministry!
I want to read my text again right now...
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
God has created us for the purpose of good works, and we are instructed to walk in them...that is how we are to live our lives!
12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
As a leader, I am instructed to prepare people for works of service so that the Church of God can be built up!
Service in the body of Christ is not an option, it is not voluntary...but we have all been drafted or called into His service!
Jesus said in....
26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Jesus came into this world not to be served, but to serve....Since Jesus was a servant...then we must also be servants....service is the defining characteristic of our Christian walk!
We Apostolics have a wonderful heritage of truth and holiness that we must never forsake...yet at the same time, we can never reduce our Christianity to a set of beliefs and rules...there is a great danger in doing that!
When we start living according to a set of rules and judging according to
those rules, we are not ministering to anybody, nor will we win anybody to Christ...in fact, Jesus called this Pharisaical practice just a bunch of filthy rags!
We experience our salvation by believing and obeying the Gospel; we experience our life and ministry in Jesus Christ by serving Him...service is the defining characteristic!
23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
Notice that it says any man...
Each and every one of us has different talents, abilities and gifts...yet, we are all
called to follow the Lord and serve Him.
Our responsibility to the Lord is to be faithful to our calling and gifts...
1 Corinthians 4:2
2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
One of the things we are facing today is that we don't have a clear understanding
of our calling and gifts as individuals!
As we go through this series, I will be helping each and every one of you to find
your ministry...and your calling!
The Bible says...
2 Timothy 1:9
9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our
works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, The message translation puts it this way...
2 Tim 1:9
9 who first saved us and then called us to this holy work. We had nothing to do with it. It was all his idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus long before we knew anything about it.
God has had a higher purpose for your life, long before you knew anything about it...in fact, before this world even began, God had a calling on your life!
How many of you want to know what that calling is?
And God wants you to know!
Whatever area you are called to minister in is important!
There are no big I's and little u's in the body of Christ! There are no insignificant ministries...every ministry is important!
The Bible says in...
1 Corinthians 12:18-22
18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
1 Corinthians 12:27
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
God places us where it pleases Him...we are not all the same, God knows that, He
- The eye doesn't do the same thing as the toe.
- The hand doesn't do the same thing as the foot.
...but each is necessary for the body to function properly!
6 Then it says those members which seem to be more feeble...the parts that don't seem all that great are really more necessary than what you can imagine...just try doing without them for a while!
Sunday night, Davis was running around the basement and stubbed his big
toe into the bottom step of the stairway. He screamed and howled like
nothing I have heard in a long time...it was just a stubbed toe!
I tried to console him, and then I warned him to be careful not to stub it
again because it would be much worse the next time! As he was walking out of my office, sure enough he stubbed the same toe on my desk!
He cried the rest of the night...it was painful...we thought it would be fine
the next morning.
Monday morning came and the toe was swollen up and discolored, he was
limping around on the toe like it was broken...so that night we took him to
urgent care for x-rays, sure enough he had broken his toe!
The doctor informed him that he would not be able to do any sports or
prolonged activity on that foot for two weeks!
Davis was devastated by the news...his reply was, but mom it is only my
We don't understand how important some of these smaller parts are until we have to go without!
In the church, we need every member of the body to do their part so that the
whole body functions as God intended it to!
Each one of you is important as the next person!
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about lights...I have been dealing with an
electrician who installs lights, I have been working in a basement where there is no light, and it seems like every light in my house has gone out for one reason or another.
So lighting has been on my mind a little more than usual lately!
I want and need a lot of light in my life!
Light is a necessary thing...
- Can you imagine how life would be without light?
- My boys would cease to exist without light...they are terrified of the dark.
- They don't need a lot of light...just one little light to put them to sleep...but it makes all the difference in the world.
- The lights on my trailer are not working properly right now.
- The interior light is broken, and I can't see all of the tools! It is just a small light, but if it is not working I have to wait till daylight to get the right tool for the job.
Just a couple of weeks ago, one of the smallest, most insignificant lights in
our house burnt out...it was the refrigerator light.
I don't know if you have ever tried to get a midnight snack without turning
on the house lights...it is impossible without that little light inside the
fridge. I have noticed some things in our fridge lately that are scaring me all
because that little light bulb is burnt out!
There are things accumulating in our fridge that ought not to be
The milk I was pouring last night was a week and a half past the
Some yogurt that should have been thrown out weeks ago reached
out and grabbed hold of my arm the other night.
We badly need the fridge light bulb replaced, but it is one of those
bulbs that is special order and we just don't have one around!
It is just a small thing that is becoming a huge deal.
...I'm talking about little things that make a big difference in life!
8 Don't ever think that your ministry is too small or insignificant to be meaningful to the church...your ministry is important, and without it the whole body would suffer!
Can I get a witness of that tonight!
Not only is every ministry important, but each ministry is interdependent upon another!
I preached a sermon about this a few months ago...we need each other!
It is for your sake as well as mine...
- Elijah needed the widow woman to bring him food...and the widow woman needed Elijah to bring her family hope!
- We are in this together!
I want each of you to know that beyond the importance of you knowing your
ministry, beyond the importance of you knowing your calling....you need to know that your ministry involves others...if is for your sake as well as theirs!
- No ministry is independent of the others.
- There is no single ministry in God's church that can accomplish everything that God has called the church to do...so we must depend and cooperate with one another.
- That is why we have just spent ten weeks talking about relationships.
- The church is like a jigsaw puzzle, each piece is intertwined with the
next, and we need each piece to complete the picture.
- And so our ministries and callings have to be fulfilled with the right attitudes and spirits.
Peter let us know what the spirit was...
1 Peter 2:9
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar
people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
9 ....it all has to point to Christ, it all has to give God glory!
It all has to work in a greater fashion for the purpose of the Kingdom!
Let's be open minded to what God has in store for each of us in this hour...like Bro. Smith said on Sunday...let's take the blinders off...there is a higher purpose for each of us!
And God wants you to know what that purpose is!
When God created animals, he gave each of them a specific area of expertise.
- Birds fly.
- Fish swim.
- Deer run.
- Kangaroo's hop.
- Snakes slither.
- Moles burrow under the ground.
Some animal's are designed to hunt and kill, others are designed to gather and store!
Each and every animal has a distinctive role to play based on the way they were created by God.
I believe the same is true with humans...each of us was uniquely designed and shaped by God to accomplish certain things for the kingdom!
18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
God has a specific plan for you and has designed you just the way you are so that
you can fulfill that plan!
- You may think that you are not good enough.
- You may think that you are not talented enough.
- You may think that your personality doesn't fit the work of the ministry
But I believe that God designed you just the way you are so that you can fulfill a specific role in His kingdom!
In the coming weeks, we are going to be sharing some things with you that will help you to better understand how God is going to use each of you in a specific fashion. Next week in particular, Bro Smith will be providing us with access to an internet site that he has designed to help churches and their members discover their areas of ministry!
- He will be asking you to log on to the internet and take about fifteen to twenty minutes to fill out a questionnaire.
- If you don't have access to the internet...then he will provide access at church next Wed night.