To Each for All - All in #4

Here's the fourth "All In" sermon by Joseph Barkley:

It's based on Romans 12:3-8:
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
There's a lot of good stuff in here, so I'd encourage you to read the notes below, because it's too much for me to comment on. I will say that, in speaking of spiritual gifts, this sermon is a bit of a wake up call...

I think it's the tendency of my generation to put a lot of effort into finding what we're supposed to do, or what God wants us to do. I count myself in this number, as I still find myself questioning my career path even six years after graduating college, asking what I'm good at and what I might enjoy doing. I think the important thing to remember here is found below: what we do is not who we are. My identity is found through knowing Christ, not in a job. That's a tough pill to swallow when most of our lives are designed to set us up for a career, but all over scripture you'll find that God is more concerned with who we are than what we do.

So think about investing more in your character than your career, and see where that takes you. I'll try to do the same.

Here are some notes:
  •  We are stronger when all of us contribute
    • We aren't complete in and of ourselves, but we do add value to the whole
    • "Each of us has one body with many members...we each form one body..."
  • The family of God will outlive governments and societies
    • We are part of an eternal, unstoppable movement and initiative of God
  • There is something God wants to do only through you
    • You have a gift from God, for everyone
    • God wants to give through you
  • The more God gives us, the more we have to give up
    • God is a giver
  • This all begins with Jesus
    • He unites us
  • Every follower of Jesus has the Spirit of God within us, desiring to move through us
  • "God has given EACH ONE of you a gift..." (1 Peter 4:10 - emphasis added)
    • Your spiritual gift is a God-given ability to make a God-sized difference
  • A partial list of spiritual gifts:
    • Prophesy: truth-telling
      • Notice things that others don't see
      • Innovators, creatives, artists -- reporting from life outside of the box because that's where they live
      • Exercise this "in accordance with your faith"
        • Needs to be in line with scripture
        • Needs to be according to your measure of maturity
    • Serving: those who run to meet the material needs of others
    • Teaching: those who are anchored in learning and can explain what God has done
    • Encouraging
      • Encouragement should be specific and timely
      • Exhortation: suggesting next steps and assisting in progress
    • Giving
    • Leading
      • Most leaders use this for their competitive advantage, God calls leaders to serve
      • Strategists who help other people succeed at their gifts
      • Godly leaders will help the group through the tough times
    • Merciful: the word here means "caring for impairments"
  • Some need to find their gifts
    • Online tests can actually be helpful
    • Paul writes to the Romans, who he doesn't know, with a general list - as if they are supposed to figure it out as they go.
      • Figuring this out is a process
    • Questions to ask yourself
      • In what ways have I been productive in influencing others' lives?
      • What gives you joy?
      • What do other believers reflect back at you?
      • What do you think your knack is?
    • You need to give your gifts back to God, trusting that He will remake you so that God can have a supernatural impact with your life.
      • Giving God what you're good at
  • Some have found their gifts, but aren't using them.
    • Gifts need to be developed
      • This happens in community
    • God isn't just growing our capacity, but our character
  • Three ways we misuse God's gifts
    • Letting gifts define yourself
      • "Don't think of yourself more highly than you ought."
      • You are not defined by what you do, but who God has told you you are
      • Do not mistake your gifts for your identity
      • Do not mistake your gifts as your job or your calling
        • Your calling is to serve
        • "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." - Matthew 20:28
        •  Jesus' spiritual gift was not to hang on the cross
        • There are 1000 people willing to do great things for every one willing to do something small
        • God got fishermen to preach to thousands
    • Use your gifts to serve yourself
      • You're not succeeding unless those around you are benefiting from your work
      • Some people create need so they feel useful
      • Community around us helps block us from being proud and selfish
      • The leading motivator of your spiritual gift is the glory of God
    • Keeping your gift to yourself
      • If you withhold your gift, it either becomes destructive or you lose purpose
  • As God matures your faith, you will become less attached to your gift
  • Our capacity to contribute is way more with God