There is an expert in anyone you meet. This perspective has allowed me to be open and curious about those around me. It’s easy to think of ourselves as the experts; and for many of us, we are, in fact, experts in particular areas. But everyone around us knows more about something than we do. Your mechanic, while not as versed in your area of expertise, is a highly sought after “titan of transmissions”, ready to diagnose the clunk in your Buick. My doctor is incredibly knowledgeable, but she probably can’t name the entire starting lineup of the 1996 Atlanta Braves like I can.
Peter today draws us to our intrinsic value as it relates to the subsequent roles we get to play in community. We ALL have value to add to our community. God has given us all an integral role within our own context. In our spiritual community, we are only complete if EVERYONE participates in their gifting and callings. One of my favorite roles as a Pastor is to act as an encourager who gets to call out gifts and talents of Jesus Followers. I’ve sat at the table with MANY people who were searching for their niche in Christian Community, wondering if they mattered. I’ve also very often been able to point those same people in a direction of the Holy Spirit’s leading and witness the fruit that followed.
Years ago I had the privilege of working with Kevin and Judy. This couple was looking to serve in Children’s Ministry and had their eyes set on working with a K-1st grade class. Both nurses, they were great with younger kids, approaching them with gentle care and love. But Kevin and Judy also had quite a knack for encouragement as well as calming temperaments that I thought would be GREAT with our “tweeners” (4-5th grade). This age group can present challenges in finding the right teachers, but they were a perfect fit. . After the first 6 months of their teaching, I had to redo an entire new classroom for them as they had outgrown their room! Parents would actually change their preferred service time, because their kids specifically requested to be with Kevin and Judy. Their value in our church body as they loved the tweeners well was tremendous!
EVERYONE has a role to play in the Kingdom of God. There is no first team or second team. There is no JV squad just keeping the starters warm. We are all frontline for the advancing Kingdom of God. While not everyone is called to be on the platform preaching or to lead worship, everyone has the opportunity to be a person of love who calls and equips others to be people of love. Peter’s admonishment today is — whatever you do, do it with gusto! Whatever your role to play, do it as if God were calling, watching and empowering you to do it to the best of your ability, and he most certainly is!
Jesus Followers are not people who are called to just “go through the motions”. We are people of integrity, of passion, and of courage. Every moment has the potential to advance the Kingdom of God. No matter your role, it is to “serve others”. Your gifting and position are always an invitation to use your influence to empower and encourage others. There are no unimportant tasks or unimportant people. Today as you read and journal, what role do you play in the Kingdom of God? Are you a parent? A receptionist? A nurse? How will you allow the Holy Spirit to empower you to fulfill your calling with courage and tenacity and as a person of love?
As a reminder, here are our steps for S.O.A.P.:
- Find a quiet place and read the SCRIPTURE of the day. Read it again. Read it slowly. Read it out loud!
- What OBSERVATIONS did you make? What does this passage teach you about God or yourself? Are there any calls to action? Do you have any questions?
- How will you make APPLICATION of this scripture and live your life differently today in light of what you just read? Be specific!
- Let it marinate. Take some time for PRAYER – thank God, confess any shortcomings, and ask to be empowered. Sit for a few moments and see if God has anything else for you.
Here is our passage for the day:
10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.1 Peter 4:10–11 (NLT)
We will see you next week!