Sunday, January 10, 2016

1Peter 4:11 comments: respect in the church

11  If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

I want to say something additional about verse 11. ...If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth…

God has given us each different gifts and abilities which it is incumbent upon the rest of us to respect, as they came from God.

Romans 12:1 ¶  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7  Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

Ephesians 4:7  But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

If someone in the church wants to exercise their gifts from God; whether it be gifts of hospitality, service, ministry, teaching, exhortation, or whatever it is important that we honor and respect that gift given by God. We should not interfere with it or take it over unless help is asked or make the person feel as if they are inadequate in any way. A church is not a business, it is a voluntary association, the body of Christ on earth. No one, after a long week of frustration and perhaps emotional abuse at work and in their family, has to come to a church meeting or work and be made to feel as if they or what they have to offer is inferior or inadequate to someone else in the church, in any way, shape, or form.

Presumed social class, gender, appearance, education, or ethnic background have nothing to do with the value of a Christian or their service, to God. If Miss Camelia bakes cupcakes for the church social and we assume she did the best she could with what resources she had we give glory to God for what He provided through Miss Camelia. We do not whisper about, “how anyone could eat those pathetic cupcakes,” or tell her that we’ll help her out by throwing out her cupcakes and making them ourselves. No one will know.

The same goes for Brother Hiram who is offered a chance to preach a sermon. Maybe Hiram isn’t comfortable speaking publicly but he’s willing to do it for his Lord. We should give the glory to God and look for even one truth in his sermon we can hang on to and thank him for his effort, giving him a chance to get better at it.

God has given each of us something, some ability, some interest, some knowledge that can help others whether it be knowing how to fix a car or knowing how to manage conflict between children. We need, and I say, need, again, to give glory to God for their ability and praise them for their effort, helping them to grow in knowledge of the Lord and exercise the gift He gave them. We do not need to interfere, be callous, thoughtless, or act like there is some standard of excellence every person must meet to qualify to do something for God. No one can match God’s priceless gifts to us and we need to be more thankful for people willing to do some small thing in the body of Christ, as God has given to each of us an ability.

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