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In this series we began in part 1 to discuss the meaning of the word 'laity' you can click here to read that post. In part 2 we briefly described what the role of the pastor is from within the laity/people of God, click here to read that post.
Now we will turn to discussing what the role of everyone else among 'the people of God/laity' is or at least ideally should be. Here I also one to state a few caveats. First as I've mentioned in the previous post's what I'm stating is not necessarily knew but certainly something worth being reminded of. Secondly I'm limited here, this being a blog post and not a paper on the subject. Much more could be said. Nonetheless here goes...
In the same way that the bible speaks of the role of the pastor/elder so there are several places in the New Testament in which the bible mentions the different gifts (though not a complete list) of the Spirit, given to the church (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:28-30; Eph. 4:11-13; 1Pt. 4:10-11). In essence the bible is telling us that God has given 'the people of God' gifts in order to use for His glory. Paul says this, "For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another." (Rom. 12:4,5 NASB)
We all as the body of Jesus have a function/role in which God has gifted us, blessed us with, in order to strengthen the body as a whole. The apostle Peter says it this way, "As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." (1 Pet. 4:10 NASB) It sounds simple enough: A. we are God's people B. God gives us gifts C. We use those gifts (read the texts above to find out some of those gifts) for His glory, building up the church, His body.
Yet we know that though it seems simple, it's not. Why? Many are not using there gifts that God has given them. Now at this point some will say, 'well what about those gift inventories?' I say the following to them. Honestly I'm not a big fan. In the New Testament no one took a gift inventory of any kind that I know of. They were passionate in whom they believed! Jesus! There passion to serve God to some degree led them to serve God within their gift! NOW with that said, if people feel that they need a 'gift inventory/assessment' in order to better understand or even perhaps find out where they are most 'gifted' by all means do it, BUT then go and serve!
God had an incredibly plan. He would not only send His son Jesus to save people, but then He would empower them with different capacities to grow His kingdom. The devils plan while Jesus was on earth? Keep Jesus away from the cross. Praise God He failed! Next the devil's plan was to keep people from seeing and understanding what Jesus did for them on the cross. This battle is still on going. Then there's the devil's plan for those who believe in Jesus...keep them from using the gifts that God has given them so that His kingdom doesn't grow and neither does the believer mature. Here's where it seems that the enemy of souls is winning.
Jesus said these famous words in Matthew 6:33, "...seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you." Could it be that sadly many have relied on self in order to grow their own kingdom? Even maybe using the gifts that God has given us first and foremost to grow His kingdom, we end up using it to grow our own?
God has gifted all of you who are reading this post. During this Christmas season why not make sure that you have unwrapped it and are using for His kingdom...because hey...everything else 'shall be added to you.'
Now that's a gift worth opening before Christmas, don't you think?
NOTE: Several have commented on the 1yr celebration going on here at BATHOS and this Friday I will give away a $10 gift card from Borders. You still have until Friday itself to leave a comment on that post. Click HERE for all the info. Now listen I know it's just a little gift but I would really love to hear from you all and most of all pray for you so go ahead and click HERE :-)!