Grace For The Journey
As a pastor and communicator of God’s Word, when I preach through the Bible, I sometimes come across language of the athletic world in a particular verse or passage that brings that seeks to apply the truths of the Gospel to life. So in today’s blog I will briefly present two important aspects of the Truth as it applies to being on God’s Team! With high schools and colleges resuming classes after the summer break there will be a lot emphasis on “team sports” and “team spirit.” Let’s see how God’s Word speaks to this important aspect of the Christian life.
The Bible says in Ephesians 4:7, “Grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”
- The Bible Teaches That As A Member of God’s Team You Are Endowed.
Every member of God’s Team is gifted. That is not true in the sports world – not everyone who plays a sport is gifted with speed, agility, coordination, athleticism, etc. I faced this reality in my life – not everyone on the teams I played on were endowed with these qualities. However, the Bible teaches that when God picks a player to be on His team, He equips that person with the ability to play in the game.
The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:10-11, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.”
You are endowed with the ability to do what God has called you to do in the service of others as a faithful steward of God’s grace to you. Peter gave the reason for this service: “So that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”
So . . . how is God being praised through the use of your gifts for the good of others and the glory of God?
- The Bible Teaches That As A Member of God’s Team You Are Equipped.
The Bible says in Ephesians 4:12, “To equip the saints for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ.”
When you are a part of God’s Team, you are endowed and equipped to play your part to further the cause of His kingdom. Every member of God’s team is to go from being a spectator to a servant . . . to change from being a consumer to a contributor.
Over the years I have counseled far too many Christians who feel they have disqualified themselves for service in some way and that God can no longer use them. I tell them this:
YOU CANNOT UNLOCK YOUR DESTINY
IF YOU STAY LOCKED UP IN YOUR HISTORY!
Just a cursory glance through sacred Scripture will show that most of those who did the most for God’s kingdom had checkered pasts . . .
- Abraham lied about Sarah being his wife to save his own skin.
- Moses was a murderer; so was David.
- Jacob was a schemer.
- The great apostle Paul held the coats of those who stoned Stephen, the first Christian martyr, to death and then work to destroy Christianity.
Here is a great little story that makes it clear that everyone is both valuable and needed on Team Truth . . .
One day the Carpenter’s tools held a conference. Brother Hammer presided but several of the other tools suggested that he leave the meeting because he was too noisy. Brother Hammer replied, “If I must go, so too must Brother Screw. You have to apply pressure and turn him around again and again to get him to accomplish anything.”
Brother Screw spoke up, “If you wish, but Sister Plane must go too…all her work is on the surface and has no depth to it at all.” Sister Plane responded, “Then sister Rule will also have to withdraw for she is always measuring folks as though she were the only one who is right.”
Sister Rule then complained against Brother Sandpaper, “You ought to leave too because you’re so rough and always rubbing people the wrong way.” In the midst of this discussion, carpenter came into the room ready to start His day’s work.
He went to His bench to make a pulpit from which to proclaim the Gospel. He employed the hammer, screw, plane, rule, sandpaper, and all the other tools. After the day’s work when the pulpit was finished, Brother Saw arose before all the other tools and remarked, “Brothers and sisters, I observe that all of us are workers together with the Lord.”
What a great illustration of today’s Bible truth.
Allow me to close this blog with an important question –
How many extra Christians did God make?
The answer, of course, is none.
That means you are needed! The good news is that when God saved you He also endowed and equipped you to do what God has called you to do as a vital and valuable member of God’s Team!
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”