Monday, April 7, 2014

Just Do Something!

By Diane H.

Amy Temple spoke to the ladies at the Mission Conference Luncheon. While she was addressing the subject of sacrificially serving the body of Christ, she included a wonderful description and plea for discipleship. Below is a portion of her talk transcribed for those who weren’t able to make it to the luncheon (and for those who would like to go over it again):

Ask yourself, “What’s the best way for you to live sacrificially for the body of Christ?”

If you have your Bibles, open up to Romans 12:1-8. I’m just going to read it for you quickly.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not think more highly of himself than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

In verse 1 it says this is “your spiritual worship.” Some other versions say it’s your reasonable service; it’s your true and proper worship. Giving your body as a living sacrifice is part of your mandate as a believer because it is your spiritual worship; it’s your spiritual service. Something you’ve probably heard Todd say is, “If the Bible commands us to do something, there’s probably a tendency to do the opposite.” So if the Bible is telling us to be a living sacrifice, we’re probably prone to being selfish, not living sacrificially. So this is God challenging you to do what’s not natural, to do what doesn’t come easy.

In verse 1 it says, “present your bodies as a living sacrifice.” Normally when we hear this, we think of it as meaning sexually, keep yourself pure. What it really means is use your whole self - your body, your mind, your talents - use your whole self sacrificially for the Lord. So, what’s the best way for you to sacrifice for the body of Christ?

In Romans 12:4-8 it talks about different gifts. Each believer is given different gifts. There’s one body; there are many members; each member has a different function. Serve according to your gifting. It talks about the one who teaches, the one who gives, the one who serves.

When I was getting this ready I asked Dave, “Could I say, if you serve in the nursery, serve with patience; if you serve in Awana serve with this…” His answer was, “You could say that, but that’s not really the main point of the passage.” (I haven’t been to seminary, so I trust my husband.) He says the emphasis is on being a living sacrifice. There’s not necessarily a title you can put on it. “I’m the nursery worker.” “I’m the Awana leader.” “I’m the music person.” It’s, “I’m living sacrificially for the body of Christ.” So be a living sacrifice by using and employing the gifts you’ve been given.

If you say, “I don’t know what gifts I’ve been given,” here’s what you can do… Find a need; find a hole that needs to be filled. If they need people in the nursery, go serve in the nursery. If they need people to wash dishes, go wash dishes. If they need people to disciple younger women, disciple younger women! I know that’s really hard. Brian said it last night… find somebody who knows less than you and come alongside them and disciple them. It’s not a fancy, “you have to teach them all the points of exposition.” Find somebody who knows less than you and tell them what you know.

I encourage you, even as I’m talking, to think of somebody’s name and write it down on your paper, somebody who you can pursue, that you can disciple, that you can mentor, that you can come alongside and encourage. Also, think of someone who is a step ahead of you, who you would like to learn from, and approach that person and say, “Will you tell me what you’ve learned? Will you tell me how to handle my 3 year old child? Will you tell me how to send my child to college? Will you tell me what you’ve learned about…this?” You are an amazing resource for each other and in one another’s lives. Don’t ignore, don’t forget the trials each of you have gone through, because some of you have gone through things that the women right behind you are going through now. Don’t wait for you guys to approach each other. Go find each other and say, “Hey, I did that, and I see you’re in it now. Let me help you.”

So find a hole that needs to be filled. Find a need that’s not being met, and meet it!
And, if that is your gift, people will say, “Hey, I see you’re doing that and you’re doing a great job. Will you also come do this and this and this?” And they’ll be giving you more responsibility and more opportunities to serve. If that’s not your gift, people will probably say, “Hey, I see you’re serving and you’re willing. Will you come do this thing instead?” And they’ll help direct you to where you’re most gifted. You probably won’t be able to figure it out until you get out and start doing something. Just do something!