Second Sunday of Easter
|Acts 4:32-35||Sharing within the body of Christ||557: Blest Be the Tie That Binds
561: Jesus, United by Thy Grace
562: Jesus, Lord, We Look to Thee
|Psalm 133||The Lord's blessing on His people living in unity||445: Happy the Home When God Is
566: Blest Be the Dear Uniting Love
|John 20:19-31||The Risen Lord appears to the Disciples||398: Jesus Calls Us
415: Take Up Thy Cross
|1 John 1:1-2:2||Fellowship in the Light||467: Trust and Obey
554: All Praise to Our Redeeming Lord
568: Christ for the World We Sing
This week we are discussing gifts that enable us to fulfill God's will for us in service to others. Here is some of the introductory text:
So far, we have studied gifts of perception and gifts of expression and dedication. We discussed gifts of perception as our spiritual "senses" which allow us to hear, see, and understand God's will for us and His creation. We compared gifts of perception and dedication to the psalmist who expressed himself from the mountain tops of joy to the deep valleys of sorrow.
This week we will study gifts of service. These gifts allow us to reach out and fill the needs of others. By serving others, we become instruments of God's grace. We do not simply hear or declare God's will anymore. Instead, we fulfill God's will and become active participants in the continuing story of God's creation.
From the beginning, God has given us tasks to perform; service to do at the direction of our Lord. We have not been asked to do anything that is impossible. God has given us gifts and abilities to complete all of our tasks. Some of these gifts involve abilities to do wondrous things. Others do not seem so spectacular. But all of them are important because all of them involve doing God's will. If we use gifts to do wondrous things, the wonders are from God and not ourselves. Similarly, if we use gifts to serve in other ways, our service is from God and not ourselves. By serving others in God's name, we are servants of God. We are humbled, and God is exalted.
Paul talked about using spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12, pointing out that different people have different gifts. All of the gifts are important. No gift is more important than any other. All gifts are necessary for the body of Christ to be complete. In chapter 13 Paul follows this discussion with some clear guidance about the value of using gifts. 1 Corinthians 13 is often called the "love chapter." Take time to read completely and carefully. Read it regularly. Many gifts are mentioned in this chapter, and Paul demonstrates that none of them have any value unless they are used in an attitude of love.
Gifts of service are manifested perfectly and completely in Christ Himself. From the miracle of changing water to wine in Cana to the signs that He performed in the presence of the disciples after the resurrection, Christ lived an example of serving God with His gifts, caring for "the least of these." The gifts of service that we will study this week are healing, helping, hospitality, mercy, miracles, prayer or intercession, and serving.
I hope you will join us at http://www.HymnSite.com/giftsurvey. May we all be good stewards of the gifts we have received from God.
God bless you--
|Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.|
|Materials on Ministry Gifts Copyright © 2000 by CARadke. All rights reserved. Individual, personal use online is authorized and encouraged. For information about other uses or signing up a group for the course write to GiftSurvey@HymnSite.com.|