From Sitting to Service
The Journey to Deep – Part 5
1 Corinthians 12

We continue our series, “The Journey to Deep,” today as we walk through Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth.  This week we are going to dig into chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians, so grab your Bible or electronic device and turn to chapter 12.

The opening verse of this passage in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 actually puts us on a pathway which leads us to this “Journey to Deep.”  Look at 1 Corinthians 12:1: “Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant.”  

Paul is trying to put this church on solid footing and point them in the right direction, so in this section he announces how each of them have been spiritually gifted by God and how they need to be using their God-given gift in order to build up the body of Christ, which is what we refer to as the church.  Paul wants to make it very clear that the church understands the importance of moving from sitting to service.

Now there are three different chapters in the New Testament which deal primarily with the topic of spiritual gifts and service.  There is Romans chapter 12; there is Ephesians chapter 4; and then here in our text for today, 1 Corinthians chapter 12.  And there is a very common pattern in each of those chapters.  So on your note page, if you’ll fill this in, here are the three words that pop up in every single one of those chapters.  The first is unity.  That is a main theme that emerges.  The second word is that of diversity.  Then the third word would be maturityas we grow in our faith and as we continue to deepen in our spiritual service.  Any time spiritual gifts are talked about in all those chapters, there is a similar list, and it gives us an opportunity to see just how we can discover and use our God-given gifting that He has blessed us with.

Paul is addressing this tendency within the church of Corinth that still exists today—whether it is a large church or whether it’s a small church— and that is that it is easier for us to sit than it is for us to serve.  If you work in the business world then, no doubt, you have heard of the Pareto principle.  It basically says this: 20% of the people do 80% of the workload.  And that is true not just in organizations or companies, but it is also true within the church.  And in time, if we’re not careful, we can become complacent in our faith.  We can become comfortable.  And if we’re not careful, we will begin to see the Christian life as merely sitting in a sanctuary rather than serving in a body of believers.  So, in our minds we must realize this: Service must move from being a noun…like we think of, of coming to the service…it’s got to move from being a noun to being a verb.

Peter talked about this in 1 Peter 4:10: “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

Now there are a number of different excuses that we tend to come up with for not serving.  What we’re going to do is identify some of the excuses that we make and then address that from 1 Corinthians 12.

I. THE EXCUSE OF INADEQUACY.

I think a very common excuse would be the excuse of inadequacy…the excuse of inadequacy. 

The excuse of inadequacy is the excuse that says, “I’ve got nothing to offer.  I want to serve; I want to make a difference, but I just don’t have anything to offer.”  

But here is what Paul says in verse 4.  He says, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in…” and catch this: “…in all men.  Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” (vv. 4-7).

So Paul says, “There are different kinds of gifts; there are different kinds of service, but they’re given to each one.”  Nobody is left out of this.  Everyone is included.  We all have something to offer.

Now that may be true, but it doesn’t always feel like reality, does it.  Satan loves to discourage us.  He loves for us to just sit on the sidelines and feel like we’ve got nothing to bring to the table.

The excuse of inadequacy was a very common excuse in Scripture.  When God called Moses to free the people from Egypt, Moses said, “But, God, I’m not a good speaker.  I’m not adequate.”  When God called Gideon to lead His people against the Midianites, Gideon said to God, “Who am I?  I am the least of my family.  My clan is the least in Manasseh.”  And we sometimes have the same response today.  When God calls us to serve, we say, “Well, God, I want to serve.  It’s not that I’m unwilling to serve.  I just don’t have anything to offer.”

Where does this come from—this excuse of inadequacy?  

I think for many of us it’s these feelings of failure that we sometimes have.  

I am sure this had to be true for the church in Corinth.  They came from such a pagan background.  In chapter 6 Paul says, “Before you were Christians, many of you were adulterers, prostitutes, homosexual offenders, idolaters, thieves, drunkards and liars.”  And I’m sure they had to feel like they just…they just didn’t deserve to be used by God.  Maybe some of the words in that list describe you, or maybe he would have to make his list a little bit longer if he were writing to us today.  So we say, “You know, God, it’s too late for me.  I don’t have anything to offer.  You don’t want to use me—not after what I’ve done.”

Really?  I mean, if you’ve committed adultery, God can still use you.  He used King David. Maybe you’ve been guilty of deceiving and lying.  Well, God can still use you.  He used Abraham and Isaac.  Even if you’ve been involved with prostitution or blatant sexual immorality, God can still use you.  He used Rahab.  Maybe you’ve had this temper and a lack of self-control.  God can still use you.  He used James and John.  Maybe you’ve been inconsistent in your Christian life.  You started off committed and on fire, but you kind of fell away.  And now you’re starting to come back but you wonder if it’s too late.  It’s not too late.  God can still use you.  He used John Mark.  Maybe you were divorced, maybe you were living with someone that you weren’t married to, God can still use you.  He used the woman at the well.  Even Paul, the one who writes these words, before he became a Christian he was involved with murdering Christians.  And God still used him in a powerful way.

So Paul says to this church in Corinth, “Maybe this was your past, but it’s not who you are now.”  And in 1 Corinthians 6 he says (paraphrased), “Even though you have done these things, even though this was a part of who you were, when you repent of your sins, when you make Jesus the Savior of your life, then you’re justified, you’re sanctified, you’re washed of your sins.”  So, the message to the church in Corinth and the message to us is God…not only can e H He still use you, but He wants to still use you.

We all feel, at times, as ordinary and inadequate.  I think when we look in the mirror we say, “God, how could You use me?”  But God specializes in taking that which is ordinary and somehow turning it into something that is extraordinary.  When people ask me, “What’s your favorite Scripture verse?”  I’ll often say, “Acts 4:13.”  And I get the same look from everybody when I say that because it’s not a really common passage, and everybody is like, “Oh, yeah…” and they don’t know whether to act like they know it… “Oh, yes, I love that verse.”  You know? And I’ll say, “Do you know what that is?”  And it’s such a cool passage because, at the time when the disciples are in the midst of this intense persecution and they are boldly preaching about Jesus Christ being resurrected, this is the observation that the Jewish people had as they looked at the disciples.  

Look at Acts 4:13. It says, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men…”  (They might as well say inadequate.) …they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

In those moments when you feel inadequate and ordinary, just remember that Christ is extraordinary, that Christ is all-sufficient, that He can use your service to impact others.

You know, one of the biggest encouragements we have from this church in Corinth is that you don’t have to be very spiritual to be spiritually gifted.  These Christians were immature; they had a lot of problems, but God still empowered them to serve.  And the very failure that you think disqualifies you to be used by God—and I’ve seen this many times—is often that very thing that God uses for His glory and to advance His kingdom.  

That’s why Paul says in chapter 1, verse 27, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; and He chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong” (1 Corinthians). 

That’s who God uses.  He uses ordinary people.  He uses the outcasts, the overlooked, the unlovely.  He uses people like you and me.

I think another reason we feel inadequate is that we oftentimes just forget our source of strength.  

Paul says in verse 6, “…the same God works all of them in all men.”  It’s God who works.  In verse 7 he says these gifts are a manifestation of the Spirit.  So, God is the one who empowers us.  

The picture that we see here is almost that of a puppeteer where we just surrender ourselves to God.  We give ourselves to Him, and then He, through His power, uses us to accomplish His purpose.  There is a lot of danger when we start to see ourselves as the source of strength, where we start to look and give ourselves credit for our own gifts.  That is why when Moses said to God, “God, I’m not a good speaker,” God didn’t say to Moses, “Yes, you are!  You’re a really good speaker.”  He didn’t say that.  God said, “I made your tongue.” And when Gideon said, “God, I’ve got…  Who am I?  I’ve got nothing to offer.”  God said, “I will be with you.”  So their confidence was not meant to be in their adequacy, but it was to be in God’s adequacy.  It’s not about you.  It’s not about saying, “What do I have to offer?”  It’s about surrendering yourself to God and recognizing how big He is that He can use people like you and me.

A.W. Tozer put it this way.  He said, “Christianity, at any given time, is strong or weak depending upon her concept of God.”  He said, “And I insist upon this and have said it many times, that the basic trouble with the church today is her unworthy concept of God.”

II. THE EXCUSE OF INDECISION.

Well, here is the second excuse.  Jot this down.  And that is the excuse of indecision

We might reword this to say, “I just don’t know where to serve.”  

And for a short while you may be able to truthfully use that as an excuse, but not over the long haul.  You see, Satan would love for you to be a sponge and just to soak everything in, to absorb everything; but if a sponge never releases what it has soaked up, in time it will become brittle and it will rot.

I had a concept introduced to me in a book I read several years ago.  It was by Richard Foster, and it really changed my thinking on servanthood.  Richard Foster says, “There is a difference between choosing to serve and choosing to be a servant.  When I choose to serve I retain control about who I serve and when I serve.  But when I choose to be a servant I have given up all rights and all control.”

What he is saying is that, if you choose to serve, then you might be signing up and saying, “Well sure, I’ll be at the church work day on such and such Saturday morning, and I’ll be there at 8:00 o’clock.”  Okay?  But when you choose to be a servant, it means whatever pops up you are available.  When you see trash somewhere, you pick it up.  When you see a need, when you see someone who needs to be encouraged, you go out of your way.  Do you see the difference?  One is a lifestyle while the other is just checking off items on a to-do list.  God wants us to be servants 24/7—not just when we’re at church.  And I really… I want you to see service as a gift and a calling, as a process, not as a task.

Look back at our text, at 1 Corinthians chapter 12.  We’ll pick it up with verse 8:

“To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines” (vv. 8-11).

So, he lists nine different gifts.  If we look at all three of those chapters I mentioned in the New Testament, we could come up with anywhere from 18 to 21 different gifts that the Bible talks about that Christians can have.  

After Christ’s resurrection and Christ’s ascension, the Holy Spirit (back in the 1st Century) gave out some miraculous gifts, and it was primarily so that those who were preaching about Christ would have credibility.  They had the ability to heal diseases or to speak in different languages or tongues.  That was commonplace in that setting.  But now we have the New Testament.  They didn’t have that.  Our credibility comes by taking people back to the Scriptures.  And so, the miraculous gifts are not as necessary now as they were early on in the spread of the Gospel.  Now in a couple of weeks, when we are in chapter 14, we will be able to take an in depth look at some of those supernatural gifts and try to understand and see what their purpose is.

But serving within the church does not require theological training.  It doesn’t mean you have to have an impressive financial portfolio.  It doesn’t mean you have some list of academic degrees.  Service is something that you do regardless of your age because you love Christ.  And the real strength of this church, in my opinion, will become more and more evident as more and more of her people begin to put Christ first and they forget about themselves, and they put the focus on others.

I had the privilege of growing up in a Christian home and having parents who kind of paved the way for me to want to become a servant.  You know, early on I just remember it being part of life.  When I first learned to ride a bike, for example, I was given the job of riding my bike a few houses down to check on Mrs. Rolwagon.  She was an elderly widow in our neighborhood, and it was my job to get her mail and then just go check on her to see if she needed anything.  When I turned sixteen and got my driver’s license, my parents immediately volunteered me at church to take communion to people in the hospital.  So many Sundays I would drive to the hospital with a communion kit, and I would serve the patients there who were members of our church.  But it was just kind of a natural part of life.

And I think the example that my parents set is a great example for all of us as parents or as grandparents, to even look for those opportunities.  When we have that time with the kids to just say, you know, “Okay, here’s something that you could be doing,” and to start them on that path.

When it comes to service we are only limited by our lack of creativity.  And Paul’s goal at Corinth wasn’t uniformity; his goal was unity.  That’s why if you look at that list, he goes through all these different gifts.  He says, “You don’t have the same gift.  Everybody’s got different gifts.  But we are united in one purpose, and that is that the Spirit…the Spirit of God bestowed each one of those gifts.”

And when God calls you to service it isn’t because He needs your help.  So don’t misunderstand this message and think that God is up there wringing His hands saying, “Oh, man!  What am I going to do if I don’t get somebody to work in the nursery at First Church of Christ?”  All right?  He’s not wrapped up in that.  He’s not sweating, all right?  He wants you to serve not for Him but for you.  He wants you to serve for the body of believers.  He wants you to put the focus on others.  God is all-sufficient.  His desire for you to serve isn’t about you paying off your debt because He’s given you forgiveness and eternal life and salvation.  No, it’s because we do that as a form of worship to Him.

You see, in God’s economy of things, everything is reversed.  It’s an upside-down kingdom.  The first shall be last; the last shall be first.  The way to the top is to get to the bottom.  You don’t ascend the ladder of greatness; you descend the ladder of greatness.  And in the body of Christ there are no presidents.  The highest position in this church, the highest position in the kingdom of God is the position of a servant.

That’s what we need to understand: It’s a lifestyle; it’s not a task.  When Jesus Christ came in the form of a servant, He was not disguising who God is; He was revealing for us who God is.

III.  THE EXCUSE OF INDIFFERENCE.

Another common excuse that we sometimes make is the excuse of indifference.

This is where we basically say, “I don’t feel like serving.”  

Now we don’t say that out loud.  We keep that inside.  And…it’s not the most noble of excuses, but I certainly think it may be the most common.  I mean, really, why don’t we serve?  Because we don’t feel like serving.  We don’t think serving will make us happy.  We think being served will make us happy.  When we think of happiness, we think of someone waiting on us and meeting our needs.  We think of…you know…a week at the beach or a day at the spa.  That is what will make us happy.

But Paul, in verse 12, gives us a picture…a very powerful picture…of what serving should be, how we should think of it.  

Look at verse 12.  It says, “The body is a unit…” (The human body is a unit.) “…though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.”  Then he says, “So it is with Christ.”  That’s how it is within the church.

So Paul says that each of us in the church is part of the body.  There are many different parts that allow the body to function.  And then look at verse 17.  It says:

“If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be?  If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?  But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.  If they were all one part, where would the body be?  As it is, there are many parts, but one body” (vv. 17-20).

And so, Paul says, “Listen.  We are each a part of the body.”  And it’s not that one part is more important than another part.  You’ll notice, as you read through this passage, that Paul doesn’t make a distinction between the supernatural gifts and the natural talents that we have.  Why?  Because they are all being used to glorify God.  It’s not that one is more important than another.  We’re all part of the same body.  Each part functioning as it should allows the body to fulfill its purpose.

So, what happens when one part of the body, even though it’s a small part, says, “Well, I don’t feel like doing my part.  I don’t feel like it”?  Then all of us are impacted.

A number of years ago, when we lived in Oklahoma, I accidentally stabbed myself in the hand cutting a piece of duct tape.  In the process I clipped a tendon, which a few days later snapped in two.  Just this tiny little tendon that I’d never even thought about being in my body before.  Never even knew it was in my body.  But when that tendon was cut, before I had it surgically repaired, it left my thumb just hanging there in the way, unable to grasp or move in all directions.  It was amazing how that little tendon, or the lack thereof, impacted everything I did for a number of weeks.  I couldn’t type on the computer keyboard like I once did.  I couldn’t catch a ball in a glove.  I couldn’t pull on a pair of pants or even button a shirt without some assistance.  Just a tiny little tendon, but when it stopped functioning the way it should then the whole body was impacted.  And that’s the picture that Paul paints here of the church—that each of us has a part to play and each one depends on the other.  So when you say, “I don’t feel like serving,” all of us are impacted by that.

So how do we overcome that feeling of indifference?  I think there are a few things.

First, we operate in the Spirit.  

We operate in the Spirit.  More than ten times in this chapter the Holy Spirit is mentioned.  So our gifts of service are to flow through our walk with the Spirit.  Instead of trying to change how we feel about serving, we should be focusing on walking with the Spirit, and we allow Him to change our hearts.  And when you are serving, when you’re using your gifts without walking with the Spirit, it doesn’t take long for it to become draining, for it to wear you out.  You don’t look forward to it.  But when you’re walking in the Spirit, when it’s coming from the Spirit within you, it makes all the difference.

And secondly, to start right away.  

Start right away.  Most of us plan on serving at some point.  I mean, we don’t feel like it now, but we’re going to at some point.  So we don’t say, “I don’t feel like serving.”  What we say are things like this.  We say, “Well, when things slow down then I’ll serve.”  “When all my kids are in school, then I’ll serve.”  “When I close the deal, when we can hire someone else at the business, then I’ll serve.”  But instead, we need to start today.

I saw a documentary on a man named Dean.  And on his 30th birthday, Dean decided he just really didn’t like the way his life was going, and he wanted to make some changes.  So, on that very day he strapped on some old tennis shoes that he had and he just went out and started running.  He ran for fifteen miles on that day, although he hadn’t been running or training prior to that, and he started to think, “I wonder how far I could run if I was really intentional with it?”  Well, that was in 2017.  Since then, he has challenged almost every endurance limit.  He covered 350 miles without sleeping.  He did it over a period of three days. Most recently, at the age of 45, he completed fifty marathons in fifty days, ending with the New York City Marathon, which he completed in three hours.  As I watched this documentary, the thing I loved about it is that when he was convicted that something needed to change in his life, he didn’t put it off.  He didn’t say, “Well, I’m going to start eating right, but it’s my birthday today so I can eat whatever I want.”  He didn’t say, “Well, I’m going to go to the store and get some new shoes and get the appropriate gear.”  No, he started on that day.  He strapped on his old tennis shoes and he headed out.

And that really is the test of conviction.  It’s not for all of us to leave here and say, “I believe in the importance of serving.”  That’s not it.  But it’s to actually serve—whether it’s at home or in your neighborhood.  It’s not to say, “I believe it’s important,” but it’s to actually serve.

Having been in ministry for the last thirty-nine years, I have heard so many well-intentioned people say, “Oh, well, David, I would really like to serve in the community,” or, “I really would like to serve in the church, but I just don’t feel led.”  And it sounds so spiritual and holy if they say “led” because they can pass it off on God, that He has not convicted them yet. So they’ll say, “I would like to.  I just don’t feel led.”  And I want to say, “Oh, you feel lead alright.  It’s lead in the seat of your pants!”  That’s where you feel the lead, you know?!  Now I haven’t had the guts to say that yet, but I’m dying to say that sometime.  But why not look for a need in your neighborhood, or look for that opportunity and try to serve in some way?  Not caring who gets the credit but just saying, “You know what?  I’m just going to do it.”

Take a look at this picture.  (Show picture of Mother Teresa.)  Who is this a picture of?

That’s right, it’s the late Mother Teresa.  And anytime you see a picture of Mother Teresa you just can’t help but think of a Christian servant.  In some ways that’s an incredible testament, that you just see her picture and she is immediately synonymous with someone who serves. And she is a great example of what we’re talking about.  She served in a way that nobody would feel like serving.  I mean, no one feels like serving people on the streets of Calcutta.  But in some ways, that’s what makes it service.  And that’s what Jesus did: He closely associated service and sacrifice.  So real service for us as Christians is saying, “If I see a need, I’m going to meet it.  If something needs to be done, I’m going to do it.”  It’s not whether or not I feel like it, but I’m going to be faithful.

One of the things I sometimes do in my home as an act of service is wash the dishes for my wife.  She doesn’t like having to do dishes all the time and I don’t particularly like doing it either.  I remember as a kid growing up, that was one of my jobs at home, to do the dishes, and I remember thinking, “I can’t wait to get out of here so I can stop doing the dishes.”   

But why do I do that?  Well, it’s because love needs to be expressed.  And love is best expressed through sacrifice, and we show sacrificial love when we serve.  

That’s why Jesus said in Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give (to sacrifice) his life as a ransom for many.”

IV. THE EXCUSE OF INSIGNIFICANCE.

Well, here is the final excuse, and that is the excuse of insignificance.  The excuse of insignificance.

“I am not really needed,” is what that communicates.  

For some when they say, “I’m not really needed,” it’s kind of a weak effort to look as if they are a person of humility.  For others it is a sign of a real inferiority complex.  And our problem is that, as imperfect humans, we vacillate between those two extremes.  We think we’re God’s gift to the world or else we feel like, “Oh, God could never use me.”  And the truth is somewhere in the middle.  Because Christ died for each one of us, we are a person of value.  We can be a person of significance because of Him.

Look back at our text at verse 21 in 1 Corinthians 12 and following:

“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’  And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’  On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.  And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment.  But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other” (vv. 21-25).

So Paul points out…using this analogy again…the body of Christ being the church…that all parts of the body, even those that are less visible, are equally important.  We see this constantly in the life of this church—as so many of you who are the behind-the-scenes people are the backbone.  You’ll never be up front.  You’ll never be talked about in the local newspaper.  But you are actively serving, and you are doing it for an audience of One.  You are doing it for the Lord, not for men.

Rick Warren says it like this.  I love this:

God gave me a gift—not for me but for you—and God gave you a gift—not for you but for me.  If I don’t use the gifts that God has entrusted to me then I am robbing you.  And if you don’t use the gifts that God has blessed you with then you are cheating me.

You see, we are the body of Christ, and we work together.  God has compiled this group of people to be His body, to serve others and to glorify Him.

Skip down to verse 26 of our text: “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”  

That is so true.  When someone is hurting in this church, you all do a great job of coming alongside of them and reaching out.  When I call families who have lost a loved one, I hear time and time again, “Oh, so-and-so has been so good to me.”  “Oh, the ladies’ group—they’ve brought food for me that’ll last two or three days.”  Now that’s not only a motivation for you to get involved in some smaller group, but more importantly it’s a sign that the church is functioning as the church should.

Now the tougher task in that passage is when we say, “Okay, I’m going to rejoice with those who rejoice.”  It’s a little tougher to do that when your best girlfriend gets asked out by that guy you were hoping would ask you out; or the person that you took under your wing at work and that you kind of mentored now has been promoted and you have received the pink slip.  It’s tough to rejoice with those who rejoice in those moments.  But please understand this: Assembled in this room is something that is more than a team; it is more than an organization; it is the church.  And we are the body of Christ.  

Paul says in verse 27, “Now you are the body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it.”

Did you hear about the church who had a number of church members who had quite unusual names?  Four of them were very unusual.  It was Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.  Well one day there was an important job that was going to be done in the church. Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.  Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.  When Nobody did it, Everybody got mad because it was Anybody’s job.  Everybody thought that Somebody would do it, but Nobody did it.  So consequently Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

Is there someone in your life; is there some cause in your heart; is there some neighbor in need; is there a coworker in crisis; is there a burden within this body of believers where rather than just choosing to serve, instead you can choose to be a servant?

A few weeks ago, I was here at the church on a Saturday morning, doing some odds and ends things in my office.  And while I was working at my desk, I was streaming a movie on my computer that was released several years ago entitled Fireproof.  It is a Christian film.  It was produced on a very small budget by a church in Georgia, yet it packs a powerful message.  Raise your hand if you have ever seen that movie.  To the surprise of the movie critics, upon its release it attracted surprisingly large crowds with virtually no marketing and no advertising.  But as I re-watched that movie that Saturday morning…and the movie is all about marriage…I came away not so much with a takeaway with marriage alone, but more so with the fact that I need to serve my wife more.  I need to serve my family better.  

So, for me, that meant that I needed to try to get out of my comfort zone and try to do some things that currently didn’t come real naturally for me.  And I’m not…you know…I’m not some super-husband who does the dishes every night yet.  All right?  But a couple of days after I watched the movie, I did bring Angela a cold bottled water when she was rotating the tires and changing the oil in my car!  So, I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but…

Seriously though, have you seen that movie?  It’s a great movie.  And what was really, I think, encouraging to me was the fact that what the husband in the movie couldn’t do on his own he was able to do once he gave his life to Christ.  Because initially he tries to turn his marriage around.  He tries to serve his wife.  He tries to make changes in his life, and he just can’t do it.  But then he turns his life over to Jesus.  He is filled what the Holy Spirit, and suddenly he has the power to do what he could never do on his own.

And maybe that’s where some of you are.  I mean, you know there are some things you need to change in your life.  You know you need to be serving at home.  You know you need to turn some things around.  And you’re trying.  You really are trying, but it’s just not happening. Well, maybe that is because you are trying to do it on your own.  You need the power of the Holy Spirit in your life.  Don’t try and do this by yourself.

So how do we have the power of the Holy Spirit?  By turning our lives over to Christ. Now I talk to some Christians who feel like they don’t really have the Spirit within them, or they question it because they are looking for some supernatural gift.  I mean, they are wanting to speak in a different language, or they are wanting to tell the future or to levitate or something just to see that they have that within them.  But that’s not what the Bible teaches. The Bible says in verse 3 of this same chapter that we know we have the Spirit because we say, “Jesus is Lord.”  Paul says the only way that you say with your life and with your mouth that Jesus is Lord is by the Spirit.

 

David Hall
First Church of Christ
October 17, 2021