Friday, January 15, 2010

Spiritual Gifts - Serving

This is a series put together to examine the spiritual gifts discussed in Romans 12:3-8. The focus passage is as follows:

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 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 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.

Definition: The gifts of service belong to those real worker bees. They are the ones who do the hard labor for God. Joy comes from doing and not watching or talking. They like to have their hands dirty. If they are humble in their service, as they should be, they do not like recognition for what they have done, but prefer doing for the sake of doing. They often have the stage set so that people with other gifts have the setting or tools readily available to perform works with their gifts.

Jesus Models This Gift: Jesus lived the life of a servant even as the King of Kings. He was found washing the feet of his disciples. He spoke of His coming to serve.

Other Biblical examples of this Gift: Because these are typically “behind the scenes” people, it is hard to find their names in the Bible. However, you can see some of them, as well as evidence of many of their work throughout scripture. Phoebe, Priscilla, Aquila, Tryphena, Tryphosa (Romans 16:1-4,12)and John Mark (Acts 13:5). Martha definitely had a servant’s heart although she was reprimanded by Jesus in its focus.

Strengths: These are typically hard working and very practical people. These people love the everyday things that make a well-oiled machine run. They often do not want accolades for their works and are always easy to find when volunteers are needed.

Pitfalls: Pride can be a killer to their ministry if it ever gets a hold of them. While they get their biggest reward from serving, they often can get overwhelmed with service and neglect to rest and enjoy the grace of God.

Ideas of How to Work for God using this Gift: There are so many opportunities for these people, churches and communities would beg that everyone had this gift. It can be anything from setting up chairs and tables to making copies of bulletins to fixing a broken doorknob to setting up a projector. These people are found in kitchens and cleaning up after dinners, vacuuming hallways, cutting out craft items for the preschool department, and working as stage hands for the drama department. The possibilities are almost endless.

Do You Have This Gift? (ref The Resurgence - Spiritual Gifts)
  • Do you enjoy helping others become more effective in their work?
  • Do you prefer to labor behind the scenes?
  • When someone is doing a job poorly is your first instinct to help them instead of criticize?
  • Do you prefer to work in a supportive rather than a leadership capacity?
  • When you hear of someone with needs, do you offer your services if possible?
  • When someone asks for your help, do you have difficulty saying no?

Summary: This is a gift that we all should work on developing even if it is not our primary gift. There is nothing more fulfilling than grasping what it feels like to have a servant’s heart. When those of us who are not servants feel the joy in the mundane, we understand why there is always such a smile on the face of the servant.

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