buildingbodies4christ

building on the foundation of Jesus Christ

Usefulness

I like to play golf. When I was a child, my Dad taught me how to play. When I played with my Dad and his buddies, he would brag on me, and I would beam from ear to ear. My Dad no longer plays, but he still enjoys hearing about my round when I see him. It reminds me how God as our Father loves to see us use our talents. I think it honors Him to use what we are given. I believe He also has a sense of humor when we do something funny, and we can laugh at ourselves. I think He smiles when we have good shots and give Him praise when the ball does a miraculous curl into the cup. God is a good Father and loves His children. He wants to do great things through us with all our talents and gifts.

If you’re like me, it’s hard to believe that God could really use me. I don’t have anything that seems to be useful as I see it. Sure, I write. I serve in my church family. But what is the work that God has designed me to do in this time? I struggle with that concept. I know one of my gifts is helping. I have been a great helper throughout my life. I was my Dad’s helper during those early years. When I was in college, I was the women’s basketball coach’s right hand. I have had many jobs throughout my career where I was the boss’ go to person to get the job done. I have been in training for God’s great task all my life – if it’s a help related kind of thing. But that doesn’t seem like much. It doesn’t take much effort on my part to do something that comes so natural to me – like golf. It’s second nature. Shouldn’t this great task be harder than my own effort?

Maybe it’s not the task itself that will be the greatest challenge, but the effort to be obedient to it when the time comes. It will probably be out of my comfort zone, and I may have to be in a hard place to do what I’m called to do. It will be a willingness to do what God asks me to do. It will cost me something. I will have to make some sort of sacrifice on my part. It will challenge my abilities to stay focused during those hard times. And it will take a humble attitude to do it in a manner worthy of God’s glory. But in the end, it will all be worth it. I want to be useful for God. I have said many times, the answer is yes even before I know the question. But when the time comes, will my answer truly be yes?

The gifting the Holy Spirit gives us is not for our own benefit. Our gifting is to be used for others – for the brothers and sisters in Christ as well as those outside the family of God. God kept giving me the same message over the last couple of days – get busy. God wants His people ready for service. God has given us this hour to live for His glory. It’s all going to come together; the time, the place, and the people coming together to be the hands and feet of Jesus. He has chosen us for His team. We may not get any reward here on earth for what God calls us to. It’s only when we get home to heaven that the rewards will be given. We have to be patient in our works for Jesus.

The works do not save us but give us the opportunity to be like Jesus to someone here on earth. Jesus said He came to serve not to be served. The mentality of the church people has to change. We are not to be consumers of the word without any deeds. James, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote in his letter that faith without works is dead (James 2:26). It’s a dead religion. It serves no purpose. God will use us when we have our hearts surrender to His will and His purpose. With the right heart attitude, all the glory goes to God. And it will truly please Him when He sees us doing the work He calls us to. It’s time to get busy for time is growing short, and the day is almost done.

If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face. Romans 12:6-8 (The Message)

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