The Bible is very clear on one of our primary responsibilities as followers of Jesus: proclaim the Word of God. Making disciples is usually a little more relational in nature than preaching the Word to an audience, but still the responsibility remains. One cannot teach another to follow the commands that Jesus has laid out for us if that person does not, at some level, proclaim to the other the Living Word of God.
Quick pause. In all of the preparation that was done in advance, and in the quick conversations that I had with people Sunday following the service and later this week as well, my only desire was to honor Christ and make much of Him. I appreciated several words of encouragement from many of you after preaching my first sermon this past week as we continued our study of Philippians, but in the end it is nothing to do with me and everything to do with Him. I love the words that John the Baptist spoke as he pointed all of his forerunning work to the Lord: “He must increase, and I must decrease.” (John 3:30)
We all (we being believers in this context) are given different gifts—different ways in which we are equipped to serve the Lord. Sometimes—hopefully more often than not—these allow us to enjoy the manner in which we serve Him. There are times too when our manner of service isn’t quite as desirable an undertaking for us, but we persevere because we know we must. We might share differing opinions of the idea of getting up in front of dozens of people to preach and teach the Bible, and I have to tell you, probably 5 or 6 years ago I NEVER saw myself doing so one day. I also have to tell you (and I still want Him to increase here, okay?) but Sunday morning was just an amazing thing to get to experience for me. I love getting in the Word with our students at Journey. I love to teach my boys about the Bible and to introduce them to it at this early age in a way that they kinda sorta understand. And I absolutely loved having the opportunity to get into and preach the Word with you all, my church family, this past week.
Here’s what I’m hoping you’ll take from this. If you remember some of the words that both Scott and I have spoken to you the past couple of weeks regarding service in the church, you’ll recall that a major component of that is the opportunity to experience something for yourself in your walk with Christ. Most, even in the church, view service as this daunting thing that is just one more thing for them to have to “do” (and forgive me if I don’t sympathize when I mention the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross means that service is the LEAST we can do). To the main point though, finding ways that you can serve the Lord’s people and then getting involved in doing so takes you so much deeper in your faith than you might otherwise think! It may not be teaching or preaching (for now anyways… I didn’t think it ever would be either!), but consider a challenge as we head into the fall. Ask yourself two questions: one, how has the Lord gifted me now that I have confessed that He has Lordship over my life? And two, what opportunities are in front of me that would allow me to put those gifts to use? And the real challenge comes into play here—take action on the answers you came up with.
What role could you be playing in the Body that you might not already be doing?