Sunday, November 02, 2008

Use your Gift!

Use Your Gift!! (1 Corinthians 12, 1 Peter 4:10)
Americans spend $80 billion a year on gift cards. Over 8 billion of that goes unused and unredeemed.
We had the most amazing worship service last night. One of our teaching pastors, Lloyd Shadrack was so courageous to start his message on gifts the way he did. There is always an intro video that plays before each sermon to give context to the series or book of the bible that we’re studying. The video played as usual, and then nothing happened. No lloyd. No Lloyd for like a minute. When you have a set schedule and use every second of the service for everything from music, prayer, and preaching to announcements a minute feels like a long time. But not as long as five minutes which was how long it had been when Lloyd who was sitting on the front row, gets up and walks out. A few minutes after that he came back in to sit down, like he had casually been to the bathroom. He made a cell phone call to arrange dinner with a friend after the service. He chatted with the person next to him about what to do, because he did no want to teach. After thirteen minutes of listening to him do nothing, he finally stood up and asked us how this had made us feel. People were eager to say they almost left or they were frustrated or some even confessed to being angry and felt cheated. What ever the spectrum people found themselves on all of us in some way felt unsetteled and incomplete. We were short changed. Then he said…”this is how it feels when someone chooses not to use their gift to benefit others for God’s glory.” His object lesson was brilliant because it taught a very effective lesson in a concentrated amount of time. When you are not using your spiritual gifts regularly, you leave a huge void. People and the church suffer. Lloyd’s gift to teach, unused, threw all of us into a tailspin and his inaction caused a ripple through the body.
We all have spiritual gifts. All to be used in the measure in which we have. When I don’t use mine, you suffer. When you don’t use yours, I suffer. Be who God made you to be and do what God made you to do…I need you!

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