You may have noticed that the last two Sunday messages have a lot to do with each other. In God’s providence, Pastor Babij preached from 1 Corinthians 12 about using spiritual gifts, and then I preached last week from Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 about taking wise but bold action while you still can. Truly, one of the important applications of Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 is actually to try using your spiritual gifts to build up Christ’s church.
One of the reasons why Christians don’t use their spiritual gifts is because Christians are not totally sure what their spiritual gifts are. Even when Christians have some ideas or desires regarding ministry, they often get caught up like the men Solomon describes in Ecclesiastes 11:4 do,
He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap.
We Christians can easily become stuck in the “paralysis of analysis” when it comes to serving. We look for the perfect place to serve or the perfect time to serve and either spend so much time gathering information or waiting for the right opportunity that we never actually serve. But like I said in the sermon: the one sure way to fail in Christian ministry is never to try! And you’ll be surprised at how often you will succeed if you simply work hard and try in wisdom. Furthermore, clarity regarding your gifts often comes in the serving as you and others can observe both the experience and the results.
Our brothers and sisters have spiritual needs, and the Lord has given us a serious commission to use our gifts (Eph 4:7-16). Therefore, we cannot afford just to wait around and do nothing. Life is a vapor; if we dawdle, we will squander all our God-given opportunities. So let’s resolve together to try using our gifts for the Lord’s sake now and then let the Lord direct us from there.
Questions to Consider:
1. Are you actively serving the Lord in building up your brethren right now? Why or why not?
2. Why is there no such thing as a perfect ministry or perfect time for ministry?
3. What needs and opportunities do your brethren have right now that you might be able to fulfill if you try?