Christians: Built to Build

Hi everyone –

As we begin this week’s 2nd Look I want to direct you to click here and watch a story of a young man who lived in my hall when I worked at Biola.

This is a perfect example of what I was talking about on Sunday. We have been given skills and talents and special gifts for the common good – the trick is figuring out how to use our gifts for the benefit of the kingdom! Zach lived in my hall when I supervised a dormitory at Biola. I remember him always being a quieter guy – very respectful and creative. It’s so awesome to see him using his talents to give Jesus glory.

On Sunday we looked at Bezalel and Oholiab – two guys who were appointed and empowered by God to build His tabernacle. This was a place that would become central to the nation of Israel’s life with God. It would be God’s house among His people. This was a big task – a huge job that most would find intimidating. It’s interesting how God allows us to join Him on even His biggest tasks out there.

The point I was making on Sunday was that God does this over and over again. He has a big task that needs to get done – He brings us along – empowers us and gets the task done! Each of us is wired to join God on some task He is undertaking. Each of us is specifically constructed to make a unique contribution to what God is doing here on earth. I have two great examples for you.

If you missed either of the things I’m about to talk about – you really missed out. But do not worry – we will do these things again:

1) The worship and prayer night: At the worship and prayer night we saw a group of people using their passion and talents for music and prayer to lift up God’s praise. As a congregation we joined together and praised Jesus! Such a powerful night and while God could just put a huge flaming cloud over our church and draw us there – then have a choir of Angels erupt the heavens in song – this is not what He did. He chose to use humans to do His work.

2) The prayer day – was another great example of people in our church using their God given creativity – passion – and effort to make a really cool innovative experience here at church. I was so proud of our prayer team for the fact that they would put something so simple and yet helpful together. What a great experience for me to pray. Next time I’m bringing my kids with me.

I see examples of people using their God given gifts to serve every day. One of the biggest challenges however is that there are still many who haven’t really discovered the ways God is calling them to make a difference. Let me give some thoughts that might help you if you’re someone trying to figure out how to get involved:

1) Passion – This is a great question to start with. When you think of working at the church, are there things you get excited about? Is there something out there that gets you mad – or motivates you to get going? This might be a great indicator of an area God stirs your heart to ministry, service and action. When I think of people and ministering to them – the thing I get most excited about is when I see people grow and lives changed. I have found I want to devote myself to helping others grow especially in their relationship with Jesus. If you want a good indicator of what some of your passions might be – look at your bookshelf. If you’re a reader – you may find your bookshelf tells the story of what you are passionate about. Or look at the things you are often drawn to learn more about; the things you get animated about when you talk about them – or the things you think often about. These are all indicators of passion that God has placed within you.

2) Natural fit –  Are there things that seem to come naturally to you? Certain jobs you excel in? Are there certain environments where you feel more at home than others? What would people tell someone in need to call you about? For example – if someone needed help fixing their car – people would not tell this person to call me. But if someone was having marital problems – I might be someone this person would be pointed to. Natural fit can often be an indicator of wiring. Certain people are a great fit for children’s ministry. They love kids – have a great disposition around them and a huge reservoir of patience. Others feel – from the minute a child walks in the room, that their energy and vitality is draining away. They feel uncomfortable. This is a good indicator that children’s ministry is not a good fit for them. Sometimes we think the things we do naturally or that we receive joy from doing are things God would not want us to do. After all – doesn’t He want us to suffer as His servants? Sometimes our path leads us down a road of suffering and trials even when we are where we are supposed to be – but that doesn’t mean we aren’t wired for it. Jeremiah – a prophet for God – suffered greatly in His service to God and yet there was no doubt he was passionate and wired to do what he was doing. I read the book of Jeremiah in the Bible and I cannot see him as a guy who would remain silent and uninvolved if he didn’t have this ministry calling. He was naturally wired to be a man with a voice.

These are two indicators of God’s wiring. There are many others we can look at if we had the space. My hope for you is that you find God’s wiring for you; or you take joy in how he has wired you and use this to serve the kingdom of God. There is no better thing to do because what you are doing has eternal significance. Think about it – if God is eternal and He is building a kingdom that is eternal; then it stands to reason that the contribution you make has eternal significance as well.  Is there any other endeavor we can be part of that has that kind of distinction to it?

Have a great week everybody!

Pastor Ryan