"Radical Us" - the DNA of CLJ - January 26, 2014

remember that last week we started

talking about a different elements that

make us who we are as people in

congregation line of Judah we're calling

it the DNA of clj right what are those

distinctives now some of them you will

find written in our mission statement on

the as you come in now it's in Spanish

but God will give us the gift of

interpretation so you can understand

that and so last week we talked about

how we are called our mission is to

promote the formation of disciples who

are radically committed to the kingdom

of God so that radical kingdom mentality

is something we started talking about

now as the months come on I'm going to

be talking where the week's go by I

should say I think we'll get through

this pretty quickly I'll be talking

about different elements of who we are

as a church some of the things I going

to talk about are not written up there

and will not get written down anywhere

but I believe their core to who we are

and their unspoken much of the time

we're going to talk about that but I

want to follow up on what we talked

about last week and also talks um what

about how God is calling us to be a

community and to be together so Romans

chapter 12 or actually I will start in

Romans chapter 11 right near the end

here now the book of Romans if you've

read through it you know that it's the

Apostle Paul with the anointing of the

Holy Spirit explaining what the gospel

means what does it mean to be a

Christian why did Jesus have to die how

are we saved it's a it's a thoroughly

logical explanation of what it's all

about it's one of the most brilliant

anointed documents ever written in the

history of humanity I don't think that's

an overstatement to say that that it

explains what we believe as Christians

what God did for us by sending Jesus on

the cross and at the very end of it in

Romans chapter 11 he bursts forth into a

song I don't know if you ever been so

happy that you can't stay still so touch

so moved that you just have to sing

that's what worship is about and so good

theology should lead to good doxology to

use a fancy

G word good thinking about what God did

for us should lead us to worship God and

that's what the Apostle Paul does here

in Romans 11 verse 33 so we'll start

back a bit Romans 11 33 it says oh the

depth of the riches of the wisdom and

knowledge of God how unsearchable his

judgments and his paths beyond tracing

out who has known the mind of the Lord

or who has been his counselor who has

ever given to God that God should repay

him for from him and through him and to

him are all things to him be the glory

forever and forever amen so he ends with

that worship and I hope by the way that

we take a lot of time at the altar

worshiping in the coming weeks we really

need that as a group as a community to

come into God's presence together there

are some things that can only happen on

the altar all the counseling all the

teaching all the therapy which I believe

in all those things but there are some

things that can only happen on the altar

in the presence of God God just does

surgery he has a scalpel that he uses to

open up our spirit and do things in a

profound way so worship is that intimacy

with God so the Apostle Paul ends the

this section of the book of Romans with

worship and then he presents some verses

about the radical kingdom mentality that

we talked about last week Romans 12

verse 1 and 2 therefore I urge you

brothers in view of God's mercy to offer

your bodies as living sacrifices holy

and pleasing to God this is your

spiritual act of worship do not conform

any longer to the pattern of this world

but be transformed by the renewing of

your mind then you will be able to test

and approve what God's will is his good

pleasing and perfect will father I pray

in Jesus name that is we remember what

we were talking about last week the call

to have a radical Kingdom mentality in

our lives to belong fully to you God

that you would take that and you would

take that message and you would join us

also with a calling to be committed to

your kingdom in your community and the

people of God Holy Spirit I pray that

you would speak through us right now

that you would open our hearts to hear

the voice of the good shepherd in Jesus

name Amen so last week we talked about

being radical for God remember we talked

about being all in I showed you that

book that has that title all in fully

jumping in fully putting myself on the

altar of God and it says that this is in

view of God's mercy God loves us so much

that it's logical it makes sense to give

yourself fully to God and say God you

love me so much why would I want to

serve anyone or anything else it just

makes sense God is the one who loves you

God is the one who understands you God

who knows what's best for you it makes

sense to say God I give everything to

you not part of my life but all of my

life the verse says to offer our bodies

as a living sacrifice I think that means

I'm supposed to give everything about me

very often in Christian circles we try

to put a delineation between my spirit

and my body what I do with my spirit we

say well I come to church i worshiped by

read the Bible but what do I do with my

body the rest of the week how do I talk

how do I live how do I Drive how do I

work does that also reflect an offering

of worship to God goddess this verse is

saying don't just worship God with your

spirit worship God with your body to let

everything belong to him put yourself on

that altar as a living sacrifice and as

you do you'll be transformed by the

renewing of your mind you start to see

things differently you start to

understand what God wants the more you

serve Him reality starts to look

different you have a new lucidity I

don't know if you've had this experience

but as you give yourself more to God you

open the Bible and you read it and it

makes more sense to you you're like oh I

get this now oh okay

that's what no one explained it to you

something inside you understands it

better I don't know if you've had this

experience that when you're really

living for God suddenly you see things

differently I remember 16 years old I

was just giving my heart to God and I

remember growing and I don't know why

this example occurs to me but maybe

there's a purpose I wasn't planning on

sharing it but i remember a kid came up

to me out of the blue and offered me a

little cigarette that was homemade that

had a certain substance that you

couldn't buy in a drugstore back then

maybe you can now I don't know and said

you want some and I never forget I'm 16

years old or 15 years old I'm just

seeking spiritual things I'm just

putting myself on the altar and

something hidden me just said no no and

I was like where'd that come from and I

asked my cousin who was sharing the

gospel with me why I said no to that but

I don't even know why I said no why did

I say no he's like it was God inside you

just showing you you see the world

differently when we're upon the altar we

understand God's will and suddenly and

if you notice it says his good pleasing

and perfect will suddenly God's will

looks it looks good you understand wow

that's actually good for me actually

want that now you start to want

different things you start to want to go

in different directions because you're

all in your on the alter radically

committed to Jesus Christ now here's

what I want to go with this today very

often we think of being radical for

christ as being that superhero you know

alone serving God doing God's will but

you know what being radical for God

never was meant to be done alone it's

not an individual thing look at where

this text goes and this is where we're

going to go together in this reflection

in verse 3 it says for but a Romans

chapter 12 verse 3 says for by the grace

given me I say to every one of you do

not think of yourself more highly than

you ought we'll come back to that but

rather think of yourself with

BRR judgment in accordance with the

measure of faith God has given you 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

who are many form one body and each

member belongs to all the others we have

different gifts according to the grace

given us if a man's gift is prophesying

let him use it in proportion to his fate

if it is serving let him serve if it is

teaching let him teach if it is

encouraging let him encourage if it is

contributing to the needs of others let

him give generously if it is leadership

let him govern diligently if it is

showing mercy let him do it cheerfully

in verse 9 it says love must be sincere

and then it goes on to talk more about

that what I'm saying here is that being

radical for God is never an individual

affair if I have really radically given

myself to God God will take me and push

me into the Christian community he'll

push me into the body in the book of

first Corinthians chapter 12 we were

talking about this that we were all

baptized by one spirit into one body was

anyone baptized in water here we talked

about this a couple weeks ago you know

when you're immersed in that water and

you come up how do you feel when you

come up out of that water the the main

thing you feel is wet okay nah now often

there's an emotion too but you're wet

you're soaking wet that you're coming up

you've been immersed you've been plunged

into the water well the Bible says the

Holy Spirit takes us and baptizes us

immerses us into the body of Christ that

if you're really a Christian there is no

alternative you must be part of the

Christian community the Holy Spirit will

push you into the body of Christ

part of being radical is being radical

with my brothers and sisters in Christ

Jim be a Christian alone any more than

you can be married alone right it must

be done together as a community Apostle

Paul in this section he speaks with real

authority listen to what he says in

verse 3 he says for by the grace given

me I say to every one of you saying by

the grace given to me he's pulling the

Apostle card out he's an guys I'm

talking to you as an apostle God has

called me to teach you and I got

something to tell you and I'm saying it

and then the Greek it's very emphatic to

every single one of you nobody is exempt

you can be a child you can be very

elderly we talked about this last week

everybody is part of this exhortation of

this calling to be part of the Christian

community so says I to every one of you

and then it begins with a mentality that

is necessary if we're really going to be

part of the family of God we need to

begin with a very important realization

and it is written in verse 3 do not

think of yourself more highly than you

ought but rather think of yourself with

sober judgment in accordance with the

measure of faith God has given you

there's a saying in spanish no eres el

ultimo coca-cola en el Desierto you are

not the last coca-cola in the desert

there's another saying I'm not sure if

it's really used or if I am the only one

who uses it but alone legal del universo

is that even as saying I don't know

where I got it I got it somewhere you're

not the belly button of the universe ok

true community begins with a proper

self-assessment not thinking of yourself

more highly than you ought realizing now

that means and you know in our society

we're encouraged to be rugged

individualists right encouraged to be

self-sufficient the Bible doesn't

encourage that really the Bible

encourages us to realize that

can't do it alone do I need to have the

attitude when i am with any member of

the body of Christ I need you now that

sounds strange to say it doesn't it it

wouldn't be weird you know I i I've been

debating do I have you guys say this to

each other I hate it when preachers do

that to people I look that won't make

you do it but think it you need the

person next to you I but do you know

that now if you're sitting next to your

spouse I hope you really know that that

is not a sign of immaturity it's a sign

of maturity i'll never forget one wife

in this church who's a real go-getter a

real survivalist a real i can do all

things through Christ who strengthens me

and at one point said this beautiful

thing a no puedo vivir a team is also i

can't live without my husband and it was

a sign of maturity now course she knows

obviously if that would ever happen she

would survive and God is with us but

knowing that we need each other is not

immature it's getting in touch with

reality I cannot do it alone I need my

brothers and sisters in Christ if I am

going to live a radical life for him I

need you now to really think that and

and this is something that I i think

this on a regular basis when I interact

with Christians on a Sunday morning when

I bump into people here when they're

here early doing that there's that

profound awareness I we cannot do this

alone we need each other to do this I

need you this person's important people

who are new who are just coming in

people who may seem like they have

nothing to contribute have something to

give to you and something to give to us

they have something to say to us if we

will let God use people in our lives

that's why I think it's so important

that a church value especially members

who have different types of handicaps or

special needs they have something to

give to us they have something to say to

us I believe that people even with

severe mental disabilities who have

think profound to share with the body of

Christ as prophetic members of a

community and we are lesser without them

we need them we need people God has

brought them their part of the community

valuable important perhaps the most

important among us people with severe

physical handicaps we need them God

brings them for a purpose whether it be

someone with much education or little

education everybody is needed and I come

with that awareness that I need you

unless without you we we are in this

together to not think of oneself more

highly than we ought it's interesting

Emmanuel gospel Center does an

interesting exercise and we did this in

the training with people who do the

street ministry where they have you

think of the different support systems

in your life especially different people

who are important and then imagine

losing them and think of what life would

be like right which is not a pleasant

exercise I'll guarantee you that the

goal of it is to get us in touch with

our own fragility and I realize that

without certain people in certain

situations Wow I am very weak as a human

being and that that's actually a good

thing if it leads me to appreciate the

people that God has put in my life do

not think of your itself more highly

than you want but think of yourself with

sober judgment now I don't think this

means that were to be overly dependent

either right and expect people to take

care of us in ways that are

inappropriate obviously that goes

without saying but what it's saying is

we have that healthy awareness now part

of this appropriate mindset means that I

realize I'm connected to my brothers and

sisters because it says in verse 3 in

verse 4 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 whore many form one body and

each member belongs to all the others

where each is a member of the others in

the literal brief the body of Christ is

an organic image it's important for us

to see that the church is not

a club it's not an organization right

now there are organizational components

hopefully will grow in those components

but we are an organism before we are an

organization we talked about this a

couple weeks ago if a body loses one

member of that body if you lose a hand

the body is crippled the whole body

suffers but that hand that is separated

does not survive the member needs the

body more than the body needs the member

although there is mutual interdependence

do you see where I'm going with this if

you disconnect from the Christian

community the church will suffer the

body will limp there are things that you

would have done that simply won't get

done because the body needs you but even

more serious than that if you were I

separate ourselves from the Christian

community we will be separate from the

flow of blood that we need to survive we

will wither up and die can't do it alone

can't do it alone we have to be

connected so that awareness of

interdependence of connectedness to the

others in the body you ever thought

about this when you think of situations

when you're really in God's presence

when you now of course God is everywhere

right he's omnipresent but there are

some situations where God's presence is

more manifest and felt than others where

you know God is right there right like

here at the altar when we were

worshiping right God was right here

moving it there's an electric charge

it's it's it's a very real thing I'll

never forget when I was new here I still

feel it when I would just even come up

here I feel like whoa I just stepped

into something up here it's like there's

some air it's weird this is you know

there's there's some air there's some

electrified hair I don't understand

exactly how

works God is everywhere but how about in

your own life are there certain places

and situations where you really feel

God's presence maybe it's being out in

nature right you're seeing a beautiful

sunset or you're at the ocean if you

like wow I feel God's presence why

because you're looking at something God

made and you're seeing his creation you

feel God's present maybe when you're

reading the Bible and you're reading the

words of the Bible and they just come

alive to you and sometimes the tears are

there and you just feel God is speaking

to why is that because the Bible isn't a

normal book it's an inspired book the

holy spirit flows together with the

human authors and it's there's an

electric charge to it I believe that

when I exposed myself to this word it

affects me in a good way but have you

ever thought of this perhaps the most

palpable bearer of the presence of God

that you will ever encounter on this

earth is the person next to you the

Bible says that as Christians we become

our body becomes what the Temple of the

Holy Spirit so in a very special way

Christians bear the presence of God in a

distinct palpable way it's it's like

we're batteries of the Holy Spirit right

there's there's an energy there's God's

presence that goes along with us so that

when I come near to a fellow believer

there's a contagion that happens a

transference the Bible would say God

said to Moses I'm going to take the

spirit that is on you and I'm going to

put it on Joshua there's a

contagiousness about it and so when we

come near to believers I want to catch

what they have I think like that a lot I

really do when I'm around believers and

and and this includes not just you know

not leaders but sometimes especially the

newest believers people were brand new I

come near them and I'm like I want to be

just like them because they've got the

joy of salvation that they've got that

first love I want to catch the

I led for many years together with

pastor Sam a recovery group for men who

were trying to get free of addictions

and they would come together every

saturday morning and study the word and

they would come not to study the Bible

as an interesting thing so they could

say what they think they're studying the

Bible for them because they need the

teaching to be free and I come near and

in those groups I'd be like I want to be

like them I want this spirituality that

they have I want to catch it and so I'm

kind of greedy that way trying to smooch

that anointing off of them and it works

I feel the people you come near in

Spanish there's a saying and saying

llame con quien andas show me who you

walk with and I will tell you who you

are no so we come nearer to people and

they rub off on us so there's that

organic connection there's that

spirituality now part of it of that

unity this being radical in community so

again what we're talking about is not

being radical me but radical us ok

radical kingdom mentality us as a

community part of it is knowing I need

you but part of it is also knowing you

need me isn't that weird isn't it now

that can be like we said we had to say

the other stuff first because there are

some people who know you need me you

know there's something who who don't

need this teaching there they're pretty

cocky they got the day they're pretty

full of themselves and but there's many

of us that don't really believe that and

you don't really believe it because

sometimes you feel like well if I'm not

there who's going to notice well what

difference will it make but the Bible

says as part of the body we are

interdependent I need you but you need

me to that there are a variety of Graces

or gifts of the Holy Spirit that God has

given every Christian a spiritual

anointing that is distinctive that is

unique that is special to you and that

you receive it not to keep it but to do

what with it to give the gifts of the

Spirit are given in order to be given

away right if you I talked about this in

the basement a month ago if you have the

gift of healing

that means you pray for people and sick

people get healed if you have the gift

of healing and I'm sick and you pray for

me and I get healed well who received

the gift really that gift is more for me

than for you and conversely if you have

the gift of healing and I'm sick and

you're not there to pray for me i'm

going to stay sick and i really believe

it works that way that sometimes there

are certain things that don't happen

because if people do not move in what

they're called to do their distinctive

graces that you have something to give

now the Apostle Paul goes on to talk

about some of them I want to look at

those here it says here that there's a

variety of gifts it says we have

different gifts according to the grace

given us and then he lists a few of them

I'd like to talk about some of the gifts

that he mentions here it says if a

person's gift a man's gift a person's

gift is prophesying let him use it in

proportion to his faith and then it goes

on to say if it is serving serve if it

is teaching teach if it's encouraging or

exhorting exhort encourage saying do

what you were made to do find out what

you were made to do and then do it just

do it and even if that sounds pretty

simple doesn't it but it's important

prophesied the gift of prophecy now this

is not an exhaustive list of the gifts

of the Holy Spirit but there's some some

big E's here so we'll talk about them

the gift of prophecy anyone know what

that is I believe we believe in this

church that God reveals things to people

sometimes that he gives them messages to

give to others maybe they'll have a

dream where God is revealing something

to them now maybe not all their dreams

are messages from God but some of them

might be maybe they'll just send things

to share with another person may be

certain information God will just reveal

it to them and they'll give a prophecy a

message we see that in the book of Acts

with a

Minister named agra bus you know the

story he stood up in the middle of a

worship service and prophesied there's

going to be a famine in a particular

place we need to take it offering and

said food to the church there because

they're going to need it that's a

prophecy and then it happened that same

gentleman had a prophecy about the

Apostle Paul I don't know if you

remember that one during a worship

service God revealed to him the Apostle

Paul is going to go to Rome if he goes

he's going to get killed there so he

actually did something weird he he took

his belt and he had himself tied up with

his belt and he said in the st. with the

Apostle Paul's belt they said in the

same way the owner of this belt will be

bound in Rome sometimes prophetically

gifted people can be a little bit

eccentric but they give messages that

are vivid that you're not going to

forget now the Apostle the Prophet argue

bus and all the people then said Paul

don't go to Rome you're gonna get killed

there the Apostle Paul says just because

you got a message for me doesn't mean

you know God's will for me why are you

breaking my heart he says Paul knew that

the message was meant to strengthen his

will and prepare him for what came so

it's very important that people who have

the gift of prophecy use it in

accordance with their faith that they

don't try to play God with people and

say God has told me what you need to do

single ladies in the church a guy will

try this at some point he will try a

prophetic message on you and you will

answer and say well God can speak to me

too amen okay so prophetic but we

believe in prophecy and we believe that

a prophetic gift it blesses the people

around you I want to share a story and I

ask permission from the people involved

but I'm going to still change all kinds

of things that you don't have any idea

who I'm talking about but there was a

prophetic Lee gifted person who had a

dream and it was and and this is a

person he would come and he would share

dreams with me and and every time he did

I would know wow how did they know how

did he know know so I knew from my own

experience this person's really got it a

lot of people have dreams we all have

dreams they're not all

prophecies okay so he came to me and he

said I had a dream about this person and

she was uh she was talking to a couple

people and two people in particular and

she said something without meaning to

that provoked a violent reaction and the

people got very angry and those two men

that she was talking to in my dream

became violent and they attacked her and

killed her and it was a very vivid dream

okay and she's like what do I do with

this I so so the the guy who was sharing

this with me says what do I do with this

dream do I tell him to tell her about

this and I said let me take care of this

okay I know the person let me deliver

cuz i usually the way i'll do it is say

take this for what it's worth it could

be symbolic it could be nothing I don't

want to freak you out you know I don't

usually do this okay but it's a case

where it's someone who's so reliable

that I knew I've got to share it so I

called the person in the dream and I

told her you know you know take this for

what it's worth but they had this dream

it was kind of scary and I want to scare

you but are there any you know it could

be symbolic I don't know the meaning of

it but does this mean anything to you

and she answered and said oh my gosh I

was planning on going to my home country

and there were two individuals two men

who are involved in criminal activity

who are violent men who are from my past

and I was going to confront them about

some ways they had hurt me in the past

and and I was just praying about whether

or not to talk to those two men

specifically and I said well I'm not god

I don't know God's will for you but if I

were you I would not do that is it but

you make your own decision but I praise

God praise God now again I don't want to

scare you all you know I don't want you

to get paranoid about things but God

speaks for a reason and I have learned a

long time ago

that if I feel if God's if I feel

worried about someone for no reason I

should just pray for him I should just

call him say hey how's everything going

because maybe there's something behind

it they don't call and say God told me

there's a problem and that's why I'm

calling you I don't do that I just hey I

was just thinking of you today praying

how you doing oh wow how'd you know you

know God speaks pry if your gift is

prophesying prophesied now do so in

accordance with your faith realizing

that this is a growing process you're

going to need people around you to help

you discern how to handle what God chose

you but those gifts we need to use them

if you have that gift we need you to use

it and then it says and then there's a

list and I was wondering why would the

Apostle Paul write it like this why

would he say if your gift is serving

serve if your gives this teaching teach

if it isn't it just feels redundant as

like what why did he write I think he's

just saying it's not so complicated if

you have a gift focus on it go with it

develop it the gift of service there are

some people who are gifted anointed to

serve and help others in the kingdom of

God I tell you when when I this morning

about eight o'clock all the techies were

doing because there's a lot of work that

goes into setting this space up right

there were techie guys and Trish was

here and people were setting stuff up

and lights and things and they're

rushing around and I see people and I

just feel this joy I'm like they're

using their gift they're serving their

they're doing what they're called to do

and behind the scenes you ever seen the

show mash radar O'Reilly I'm really

dating myself it's an ancient show from

American history that very old people

used to watch yeah that's sorry I'm

including myself at

everyone okay just imagine a show about

army people in Korea and they had a

medical place right and there's a

character in that called radar O'Reilly

right they called him radar because he

was the the company clerk because he

always knew when something was needed

and he would give it to you before you

asked him for it he always knew how to

help you before you knew how you needed

to be helped when helicopters would come

with sick people he would be the first

to hear it he'd say choppers and

everyone's like I don't hear anything

and then a minute later the helicopter

stuff there are people in the body of

Christ who have a gift of service like

that they just know how to help they

know how to serve they know how to be

there I'm grateful for people like that

I've so I need them I really need them I

can't do it making sure one little story

there's so many they happen every day

with people have this gift but I'm going

to share one more little story about

someone with a gift of service this is a

particular brother in the church who has

the gift of being in the right place at

the right time when I need them okay if

I'm in a mess it somehow he's there to

help me get out of it it's weird there

was one mess this was a several years

ago must have been five or six years ago

I'm in my office and it was kind of

after-hours there was no one around it

was kind of most of the lights were out

hardly anyone was here the offices were

pretty empty and someone came in from

the streets who was who had been

drinking and he wanted to talk and so I

was like okay great you know come on in

let's talk so we're talking in my office

up there and about midway through our

conversation we're talking about the

Lord and he's really open he pulls out a

little flasks of alcohol and he says you

don't mind if I have a sip do you I die

I said sure go ahead

thank you my pic how have I survived all

these years so he does he's he so he

takes a few sips that I let him take

there in my office and and it was you

know there's a reason why alcohol is

called spirits right in the old one

suddenly he was transformed before me

and he became like violent like this

monster like dr. Jekyll and mr. Hyde he

suddenly became kind of violence started

saying angry violent things to me and he

started standing and I was like what

have I gotten myself into here I'm alone

no interior phone days you know and I'm

like what am I gonna do and then right

around then it was that guy that friend

of mine hey Greg what he was going on

you know what's good he just happened to

be there after hours no one here and it

happened so often that I know it's not

an accident anymore it's a spiritual

gift the gift a gift of service a gift

of helps you may have that gift and if

you don't do it well maybe I'm gonna be

alone in the office of it I need you we

need each other if your gift is serving

serve if your gift is teaching teach if

your gift is yet use it exhortation now

part of using your gifts though is

realizing that every gifting of the Holy

Spirit comes with pitfalls comes with

sometimes your greatest strength is your

greatest weakness right for instance i

talked about prophetic gifting earlier

very often prophetically gifted people

are extremely sensitive because they're

sensitive to hear things from god so

sometimes with that sensitivity it can

be a lot like a sensitive artist

sometimes they're so sensitive that they

can have emotional ups and downs and

struggles sometimes even mental mental

health issues because they're so

sensitive they're wiring is so exposed

that things can affect them more there's

a reason why some of the prophets in the

Old Testament needed a special school

called the school of the

fits right I was talking to a prophetic

Lee gifted person just just a couple

days ago and I was asking her to mentor

another younger person who has that gift

and I said yeah profits are sometimes

special people did you know it's like

thank you like it is a compliment you

know but so we need to be aware of that

the prophet Elijah right you know had

his ups and downs so every prophet every

gift has its pitfalls and the Apostle

Paul seems to mention that he says if

your gift is contributing to the needs

of other or giving let him give

generously and then it says if it is

leadership let him govern diligently if

it's showing mercy let him do it

cheerfully I believe with each gift he's

mentioning the particular area that you

could struggle with if you have that

gift if your gift is giving well don't

hold back then give give some some

people have a gift of giving giving

financially to the things of God he's

saying don't hold back but you know

there's another meaning of that word in

the Greek it's used two ways in the New

Testament generously it could also mean

with simplicity simplicity of heart can

you see how a person who gives lots of

money to the church would need to be

very careful that they don't do it with

complicated motives you know that they

need to do so with simplicity of heart

and not for other purposes or issues of

control or whatever like that if your

gift is leadership let him govern

diligently very often a leader doesn't

have a supervisor no one's going to tell

you what to do so you're it's going to

be up to you to be diligent because no

one's going to give you your schedule no

one's going to give you your to-do list

you've got to make your own to-do list

in your own schedule and diligence

there's that conscientiousness mercy if

your gift is showing mercy do it

cheerfully have you ever met somebody

who has the gift of being with those who

are suffering you know they go when

people are sick in the hospital they

want to go visit when there's a funeral

and people are grieving they're there

people who have gifts of mercy and

that's a beautiful gift but you know

what it's very easy for people with that

gift to lose their joy as they do it it

happens all the time because there's a

constant exposure to trauma and sadness

and grief and it kind of can stick to

you if you're not careful also you could

compromise your boundaries and be tumors

and be there all the time say yes yes

yes and never take care of yourself and

eventually become embittered and think

why am I the only one doing this why

doesn't anyone else care Aquino I amor

know you can get into that kind of thing

this is sort of bitter angry that

happens that can happen if someone as a

gift of mercy it's very important that

they cultivate cheerfulness now they say

the word there is the same word where

the Apostle Paul says God loves a

cheerful Giver gotta cultivate joy

whatever your gift is you're gonna have

something that you've got to watch out

for again that's why I can't use my gift

alone I need people around me not just

to complement what I do but to help me

do what I do well and teach me to do it

better and help support me where I'm

weak we cannot do it alone we need one

another now what if you don't know how

you fit yet what if you're saying okay

okay I believe you about what do i do I

don't know what to do what's my gift

this is a process of discovery that what

God has called you to do and be is

something that is a lifelong process of

figuring it out and discovering it and

it's a beautiful process but I'll start

here we'll talk more about this in the

future but I'll start here with two

fundamental principles Romans 12 1 and 2

it says to offer our bodies as living

sacrifices that's where it starts if I

come before God and say God I will do

whatever you want me to do whenever you

want me to do it wherever God I belong

to you that's the beginning and then

revelation starts to come and show you

what you're called to do and be now

there's another part of it

and it comes in the next verse in Romans

12 verse 9 it says love must be sincere

when there is genuine love when you love

a person there's like an open channel

through which the power of the holy

spirit flows if you're going to teach

teach with love if you're going to serve

serve with love if you're going to show

mercy show mercy with love if you're

going to build with a hammer God's

called you do it with love it's possible

do it let love in form and motivate what

you do now as I bring this to a close I

want to close with some verses in first

Corinthians 13 and we're going to be

bouncing back and forth between more

that's in Romans 12 and stuff that's in

first Corinthians 13 but if you would go

with me to first Corinthians 13 and

we're going to close with reflecting on

these these verses it says and now I

will show you the most excellent way if

I speak in the tongues of men and of

angels but have not love I am only a

resounding gong or a clanging cymbal if

I have the gift of prophecy and can

fathom all mysteries and all knowledge

and if I have a faith that can move

mountains but have not love I am nothing

if I give all I possess to the poor and

surrender my body to the flames but have

not love I gain nothing it is possible

this is sobering it is possible to do

loving things without love it's possible

even to move in the miraculous power of

the Holy Spirit and still not be

motivated by love now I don't understand

how that can work but apparently it's

possible and we're warned about it here

and look what it says the most and these

verses talk about the most fundamental

thing of who i am where i find value as

a person and what makes me successful

how do you answer that question what

makes you a success in

life what makes you a valuable important

person it says here I can speak in

tongues of men and even of angels but if

I don't have love it becomes a noisy

resounding ridiculous babbling something

speaking in miraculous languages and yet

it just becomes meaningless babble if

there's no law the Corinthians would

speak in tongues to show off the Apostle

Paul says you're not becoming someone

special and important you're becoming

nothing and even ridiculous as you do it

that's pretty sobering it goes on to say

if I can have the gift of prophecy can

you see how a person with a gift of

prophecy could easily fall into pride if

they're not careful God speaks to them

I'm giving you a message from God you

better listen can you can you see how

that could happen God speaks to me I got

the direct channel now you've all got

the Bible and that's good you got but

I'm I'm the Prophet here if I have not

love I am nothing if I have a faith that

moves mountains there are some people in

the kingdom of God who have faith to do

great things for God can you see how

pride could come in different types of

motivations if I have not love I am

nothing my significance doesn't come

from what I do but from the love that

motivates what I do and it also applies

to being successful in life how do you

define a successful life is it certain

achievements or financial accumulations

or the good opinion of others or do you

define success based on that final

evaluation when you stand before the

throne of God and God says well done

good and faithful servant enter into

your rest and there are rewards from God

that's the goal that's what I live for

is for God saying you've done what

you're supposed to do and it says here

now that Jesus specifically promised if

you give you will have treasure in

heaven and then he even promised people

who are persecuted and killed for the

gospel and saying if you do that you

will also have

treasure in heaven and he's saying that

if I give though all that I have to the

poor and give up my body to the flames

but have not love I gain nothing there's

no reward if i give more for the

reputation of it or even for the feeling

of doing it saying that you know i need

to be needed some how well you've got

your reward you gain nothing so what

makes us significant what makes us

important what helps us use our gifts in

a way that is valuable it all comes down

to love hla amor and lo que haces put

love and what you do now I want to end

with this because thank God the reverse

is true in the same way if I do anything

for God without love it's meaningless

and empty the reverse is true even the

smallest thing that I do for God out of

love becomes something of eternal

significance something of eternal value

the song of the drummer boy right I'll

play my drum for him I'll do what I can

out and that's why the way to go is not

wait God give me the gift of prophecy

give me the gift of leadership the goal

is to find something to do for another

person now do it in love and God will

take you from there because you're

starting the ball rolling and that love

is flowing through and it becomes

eternally important what you do i do

believe counts an eternity I don't

understand how but the love we show the

people here will somehow be celebrated

and present in the new heaven and the

new earth it's going to it's going to

have eternal significance if it's done

with love if it's built on the

foundation of Jesus Christ that's what I

want us to be as a community a community

where each one of us knows i am not the

last coca-cola in the desert i need you

to be who I'm called to be but you also

need me and I'm going to give you what I

to give in a with God's love and I know

it will have eternal significance and as

we do that the presence of God is

manifested jesus said where two or three

are gathered in my name there am I among

them Jesus becomes present in a special

way that's not figurative language

there's a manifestation of his presence

that is special and more powerful

because of that so let's stand together

and as we as we bring this to a close I

think of the words of a poem by John

Donne they said no man is an island

entire of itself right that sense that I

am NOT an island I am connected if I'm

going to be a radical christian it needs

to be radical us and I need to be

willing to connect to God's people so

let's pray together and close with with

a final expression of worship father in

Jesus name I thank you Father that you

did not call us alone or individually I

thank you that you called us together

Lord that you called us to one another

and I pray in the name of Jesus Lord for

a new radicalism among your people a new

radical fierce devotion to the kingdom

of God and to the members of that

kingdom father I pray for a fierce

loyalty to one another for a jointed

devotion to one another God that as that

decision to love the person before us is

there in our heart God that you would

open up new dimensions of spiritual

gifting father that in that attitude of

love God we would feel your spirit

through flow through us in individual

ways god I pray for people with a

variety of giftings on

leashed in the english-speaking

component of Lion of Judah father people

with gifts of service and of leadership

and of prophecy in a revelation people

with gifts of teaching and compassion

people with gifts of giving father that

as there is love God that your power

would flow through us in a special way

we're upon your altar God we're

worshipping you we're saying our body is

a living sacrifice use me God use me in

your kingdom for eternal purposes I pray

in Jesus name Amen