Monday, February 16, 2009

40 Days of cHesed—Day 30

Day 30 Shaped for Serving God

God made us with a purpose in mind—remember? We are meant to live with him in authentic community and help him reconcile the rest of the world.

The first step is to accept the privilege of adoption. The second step is to realize privilege is given to accomplish the purpose. If we abandon the purpose, expect the privilege to be taken away! If you jump back into the water, you can’t continue to live on the HESED!

Continuing with our carrier analogy of the covenant community, did you notice the sheer number of activities required for our carrier’s mission to be accomplished? We didn’t even get down to identifying the individual jobs—we’ll let you use your imagination!

When you have that many different jobs, it requires an amazingly diverse work force. And that is just what God created in humanity—an amazingly diverse work force. So diverse, in fact, that each one of us is absolutely unique. There will never be a repeat of any of us! No exact match of desires, abilities, personality or experiences. (We call these gifts of common grace—receive from our parent’s genes, as created by God, reflecting God’s image in us as creative and imaginative.)

Each unique person is a gift from God to the carrier community—to help accomplish the mission. If that gift is not opened, nurtured and encouraged, no other individual will be able to bring that same gift to the mission—the community suffers its loss. Another member of the crew may be called upon to fill the void at the functional level, but it won’t be the same. No one else can do what you can do the way you can do it—no one.

But there’s more! We are a unique gift to the world when we are born, yes. But when we are born again into God’s family, we are born into a spiritual family. And there are spiritual gifts waiting for us to open and use for serving God in ministry.

The first spiritual gift is the gift of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. (See Ephesians 4:7 and 1 Corinthians 12:7.) Everyone receives this gift—it is no different from one person to another. That is how God helps us keep unified—we trust that the truth God reveals through the Holy Spirit will bring harmony.

We’ll look at other gifts of the Holy Spirit tomorrow. Right now, remember that God shapes us all—as the potter shapes the clay into useful pots. Some of our shape depends on the kind of clay we are. The rest of our shape depends on how willing we are to let God mold us!

Today’s Look at 1 John

Read 1 John 4:7-21. While you’re reading, notice the most important attitude necessary for harmony and success on board the HESED—you can’t miss it!

Keep Breathing!

Take a nice, slow stretch—nothing fast. Keep taking every joy or concern we have (for ourselves or for others) to God first, so that he can share the moment, begin to heal the suffering, or encourage steadfastness. Thank him for his amazing love and for the gift of his Holy Spirit living in your heart.

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