Eternal Perspective that Leads to Abundant Service - 2

Bible Book: Ephesians  2 : 10
Subject: Service, Adundant; Perspective in Christian Living
Introduction

"The 2 most important days of our life is the day we were born and the day we realize why.” Mark Twain

It was said that one day Napoleon printed out a map of China and said, “There lies a sleeping giant. If it ever wakes up it will shake the world.”

Here, at First Baptist Church Woodstock, there is a sleeping giant. If everyone who comes here served here, what kind of enormous, spiritual nuclear reaction would we see in our community, Metro Atlanta, and the nations (world)?

I. ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE CHALLENGES ME

1 Corinthians 3:9-11: “For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

A. In My Service

Romans 12:6a: “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them.”

Disposal for use

B. In My Sacrifices

The act of offering to a deity something precious. The act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone.

Randy Alcorn, “He who lays up treasures on earth spends his life backing away from his treasures. To him, death is loss. He who lays up treasures in heaven looks forward to eternity; he’s moving daily toward his treasures. To him, death is gain.”

II. ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE CLARIFIES THINGS

1 Corinthians 3:12-15: “Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

“becomes clear”

“of what sort it is”

The Lord has given believers “MOTIVATIONAL GIFTS” which are expressions of God’s grace working within each believer. God’s grace gives each believer the desire and the power (enablement) to concentrate on a particular aspect of spiritual concern. As a result, every believer views other believers and circumstances through his or her motivational gift.

Through our motivational gift we view people and circumstances. Each one will see needs which will not be seen by those with different gifts. The tendency is to assume that everyone else sees the things that you see. This will result in being irritated with others for not being sensitive to needs or not being concerned about them.

Give Clarity on 3.

A. Gift of Giving

Romans 12:8, “he who gives, with liberality.”

One who loves to give time, talent, energy and means to benefit others and advance the gospel. A contributor, entrusts assets, maximizes results.

Characteristics:

1. A keen ability to discern wise investments in order to have more money available to give away.

Matthew 6:19-20: "’Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.’”

2. A desire to give quietly without public notice.

Matthew 6:1-2: "’Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.’”

3. A motivation to give as unto the Lord at His prompting, not at men’s appeal.

Matthew notes that when we give to the needs of fellow Christians which God reveals, we give to Christ.

Matthew 25:45: “Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'”

4. A desire to give gifts which are of high quality. Their gifts are well-thought through gifts.

5. An ability to test faithfulness and wisdom by how people handle funds.

Matthew reveals the foolishness and rebellion of those who misused what they were given.

6. An alertness to see what other people do with their money.

Example: Special offering days are a killer to givers. They can’t understand their lack of response.

7. An ability to see financial needs which others tend to overlook.

The Misuse of the Gift of Giving:

1. Giving too sparingly to their own family.

Givers are very aware of the potential of money to corrupt people. They understand the need for those in their own family to work for money and to appreciate its value. In attempting to achieve these balances, givers may be too frugal with their own families.

2. Controlling people or ministries by giving too much.

3. Corrupting people by giving too much.

B. Gift of Serving

Romans 12:7, “or ministry, let us use it in our ministering.”

One who loves to serve others; a doer, meets needs, free others.

1. An ability to see practical needs and a desire to meet them.

A server can spot a need a mile away.

TIMOTHY

Philippians 2:20: “For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state.”

2. A joy in serving when it frees others to do more important things, not just to keep busy.

3.A tendency to disregard personal health and comfort in serving others.

4. More interested in meeting the needs of others than own needs.

5. Enjoys showing hospitality.

6. A tendency to feel inadequate and unqualified for spiritual leadership.

7. An enjoyment of short range projects and a tendency to become frustrated with long range responsibilities.

8. A strong desire to be with others, thus providing more serving opportunities.

The Misuse Of The Gift Of Serving:

1. Neglecting home responsibilities to help others.

Inability to say no to others, and the need for sincere gratefulness from those whom they help which they may not get at home.

2. Accepting too many jobs at one time.

3. Wearing themselves out physically.

4. Being too persistent in giving unrequested help to others.

5. Excluding others from helping on a job.

6. Becoming hurt by the ungratefulness of those who were helped.

Servers do not usually desire public recognition. However, they deeply desire sincere appreciation from the ones whom they serve.

C. THE GIFT OF EXHORTATION

Romans 12:8, “he who exhorts, in exhortation.”

Characteristics Of The Gift Of Exhortation

1. A motivation to urge people to their full

spiritual maturity in Christ.

Paul’s goal was to “present every man mature in Jesus Christ.” (Col. 1:28)

2. An ability to discern where a person is in spiritual growth and to speak on that level.

3. A desire to give precise steps of action in

urging people toward spiritual maturity.

4. A drive to explain truth with logical reasoning in order to gain acceptance for it.

5. An ability to visualize spiritual achievement for people and to use this to motivate them to action.

6. An ability to identify with people of different types and backgrounds in order to gain a wider hearing.

7. A motivation to bring harmony between diverse groups of Christians, and an awareness that harmony is basic to spiritual maturity.

8. An ability to welcome personal tribulations as a chief motivator of spiritual growth.

Misuse Of Gift Of Exhortation:

A. Raising The Expectations of Others Prematurely

Exhorters can visualize long-range projects and goals for people. These are often explained without reference to the amount of time that will be required to work them out. The people involved are led to assume that these projects and goals will be reached much sooner than they can be.

B. Taking “Family Time” to Counsel Others

The delight of exhorters is helping people with problems. Exhorters are willing to give whatever time is required to achieve results. All too often, this time cuts into family responsibilities. Exhorter assumes that their families will understand-until they learn differently.

C. Treating Family and Friends as “Projects” Rather Than As Persons.

Because exhorters put confidence in steps of action which have proven effective, they are usually ready to share these steps to others, including family and friends. Rather than making them feel like special people, the exhorter may give the impression that friends and family are just more “counseling projects.”

D. Sharing Private Illustrations Without Permission.

The importance and effectiveness of personal illustrations is well known to exhorters. Illustrations explain how to apply steps of action and also how to motivate the listener to take them. Exhorters tend to use recent illustrations which are either premature or used without permission.

E. Jumping Into New Projects Without Finishing Existing Ones.

Projects are often used by exhorters to reach ultimate goals. Exhorters tend to motivate others to get involved in a project and then they abandon it for a “better” project. This often disillusions those who were involved in the first project.

F. Encouraging Others to Depend On Them Rather Than On God and Their Authorities.

People who receive help by following counsel that is given by exhorters tend to rely on those who give it. Exhorters tend to encourage this because of their joy in being around those who are growing spiritually.

G. Trusting Visible Results Rather Than A

True Change Of Heart.

Exhorters tend to communicate acceptance and approval when those they are trying to help respond to the steps of action which are given. This can encourage outward conformity without an actual change of heart within.

H. Neglecting Proper Emphasis On Basic Bible Doctrines.

Any teaching which neglects practical application tends to be minimized by exhorters. Because doctrinal teaching has been wrongly separated from its moral applications, exhorters have neglected it in favor of “life-related” teachings.

I. Giving Counsel Before Discerning The Type Of Person Or Problem.

Exhorters tend to categorize the problem in their mind before hearing all the important facts. This results in the shame of answering a matter before fully hearing it. Exhorters also tend to have more confidence in their own counsel than in God’s warnings on whom not to counsel.

CONCLUSION

Giver-Motivation: To give to a tangible need.

Servant- Motivation: To fulfill a need.

Exhorter-Motivation: To connect the future; give a solution.