Using Your Gifts

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Numbers 4:1–10 NIV
1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 2 “Take a census of the Kohathite branch of the Levites by their clans and families. 3 Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work at the tent of meeting. 4 “This is the work of the Kohathites at the tent of meeting: the care of the most holy things. 5 When the camp is to move, Aaron and his sons are to go in and take down the shielding curtain and put it over the ark of the covenant law. 6 Then they are to cover the curtain with a durable leather, spread a cloth of solid blue over that and put the poles in place. 7 “Over the table of the Presence they are to spread a blue cloth and put on it the plates, dishes and bowls, and the jars for drink offerings; the bread that is continually there is to remain on it. 8 They are to spread a scarlet cloth over them, cover that with the durable leather and put the poles in place. 9 “They are to take a blue cloth and cover the lampstand that is for light, together with its lamps, its wick trimmers and trays, and all its jars for the olive oil used to supply it. 10 Then they are to wrap it and all its accessories in a covering of the durable leather and put it on a carrying frame.


At the age of eighteen, Billy Nolan ran away from the merchant navy. He was an alcoholic for thirty-five years. For twenty years he sat outside HTB drinking alcohol and begging for money. On 13 May 1990, he looked in the mirror and said, ‘You’re not the Billy Nolan I once knew.’ To use his own expression, he asked the Lord Jesus Christ ­into his life and made a covenant with him that he would never drink alcohol again. From that day on, he didn’t touch a drop. His life was transformed; he radiated the love and joy of Christ. I once said to him, ‘Billy, you look happy.’ He replied, ‘I am happy because I am free. Life is like a maze and at last I have found the way out through Jesus Christ.’
St Augustine wrote that God was the master ‘whom to serve is perfect freedom’. This is a great paradox. Many people think that if they serve God they will lose their freedom. In fact, it is the very opposite. Living for ourselves is, in fact, a form of slavery. Serving God ‘in the new way of the Spirit’ (Romans 7:6) is the way to find perfect freedom – free to have a relationship with him and to be the kind of person that deep down you long to be.

Important Question

I have an important question to ask you
Are you taking your freedom for granted?
Some of you might be asking what freedom you are talking about.
I believe that for many believers today , they are taking their freedom for granted.
Last week Sunday , Danny was asking if anyone of us have ever been in chains and he used a dog as an illustration.
The truth is - every single believer was once in chains .
We all were once in bondage and captivity and we needed somone to set us free.
We can all remember when we were slaves to our addictions - some of you were slaves to rum.
Every day you needed to get that white oak.
Some of you were addicted to Johnny and couldnt do without it.....
You needed the Johnny walker to help you to walk
Some may have been addicted to lust and were always sinning in this particular way
Some of us may have been chain smokers and we needed to be set free from these things
Some of us were always sick - but God delivered us from these things
Some of us just plain and simple were blinded to who God is and he needed to open up our eyes so that we can see who he is
We were in chains, we were in bondage but guess what
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - he set us free
Once like a bird in prison I dwelt No freedom from my sorrow i felt But Jesus came and listened to me And glory to God, He set me free He set me free, yes, He set me free And, He broke the bonds of prison for me I'm glory bound my Jesus to see For glory to God, He set me free
Many of us we begin to forget the price that was paid for our freedom
Our salvation came at a huge cost
It was not free
It cost Jesus his entire life for us to have this freedom
And we take it for granted
We can become ungrateful for what God has done for us
Or we just take it lightly what God has done for us
I think one of the worst sins we can do is to be ungrateful to God for what he has done for us
I am sure all of us can feel hurt when you know you may have done a lot of someone but they not thankful for what you have done
The truth is - just because you and I do a lot of people - that doesn’t mean that they will remember you and all that you did
you see when we are grateful for what God has done for us it will show in how we related to him
When we are thankful to him we won’t mind saying like the Disciples - We have given up all things just to follow you
Peter was saying that they didn’t mind leaving everything to follow Jesus.
It showed in their behavior.
Anyone can say they love Jesus but it will show in their response.
Any fella can say he love a girl - but the truth will be shown in his response to her.
Don’t listen to their talk but their walk.
Action speaks louder than words
When we think clearly about what Jesus did for us we realise that we have been justified
Every First Sunday we hear Pastor Mario saying what it means
The child’s definition of justified is ‘just as if I’d’ never sinned. Jesus died for our sins. When you put your faith in him you were justified. You were acquitted. You are declared righteous in his sight. Sin no longer separates you from God. You can live in a right relationship with him and with others. This is ‘justification’.
Wer were supposed to be sinners heading to hell but because of what Jesus did for us on that cross we are justified.
We have so much to be thankful to him for because of this.
Which leads me back to the question I asked in the beginning.
Are you taking this freedom for granted.
Freedom from fear (v.74b)
Freedom to serve God (v.74b)
Freedom to be holy (v.75)
Freedom to be righteous (v.75)
Freedom from death (v.79b)
Are you ungrateful or behaving in an ungrateful manner to God.
When someone does something nice for you, the automatic response is to want to do something nice for them in return.
Christmas is coming up. If someone buys you a gift you will want to give them something in return.
When you know that Jesus Christ has died for your sins - you ought to feel grateful to him and want to do something for him in return.
We as Christians, we as believers, we weren’t saved by God just to go heaven and live happily ever after.
This life is not a Disney Movie.
I remember hearing some preacher on tv saying If the whole reason for Jesus saving you is so that you can make it to heaven - we should probably kill you and send you straight to heaven 1 time......
But that’s not it....
Jesus saved you so that you can also play a part into bringing people into his Kingdom as well.
When you are saved amd become part of the family of God - just like every family you are - there are some chores to do.
There is work to do.
A believer who is saved should also serve in some way.
And this is what I want to speak to us about today.
The importance of serving others.
Even Jesus set the example
He said I did not come to be served but to serve.
If our Lord and Savior said that about himself - then who is you and me to think otherwise.
But the truth is a lot of Christians today - they only want others to serve them and they have no intention of serving others.


Are you serving in some way in your local church? Are you a contributor or merely a consumer? God has a role and responsibility for you.
We see in this Old Testament passage an anticipation and foreshadowing of the church, with each member having a different part to play (Ephesians 4:7,11–13). As we read of the Kohathites, Gershonites and Merarites, aged between thirty and fifty years old, who came ‘to serve’, we see that God assigned each individual specific tasks (Numbers 4:3–4,24–25,31–32), just as today God has assigned to you specific work to do in the church.
For the Israelites, ministry was centred on the Tent of Meeting – the place of God’s presence. Now, God’s presence is among his people in the body of Christ. The work and ministry to which you are called is to build up the body of Christ. This is one of the ways that you will experience the presence of God today. God’s presence is not confined to a particular place, but rather is experienced wherever his people are.
In this passage, we see that we cannot take our freedom for granted. We are reminded of the holiness of God and the fact that it required something amazing to allow you to have the kind of relationship with God that you are now able to enjoy.
I want you to read the whole of Amos 4 when you go home to see how the different people had different roles to play.
i believe one of the best ways to show your gratitude to God is through being a servant

God is looking for Servants

In the same way how in the book of Numbers the Israelities had different roles - God is looking for us modern day church goers to serve in his church.
You are a part of the Family of God and you have a role to play.
These Kohatities had to care for the most holy of things in the Tent of Meeting
We do not serve in the tent of meeting but we serve in the Local Church
God is looking for workers to work together to bring people into his Kingdom
He's looking for people who are available
to hear His Word, receive His power, and
do His will. God can use all kinds of men
and women. Like Gideon, some of God's
servants are weak in themselves but strong
in the Lord. Like Barak, some people don't
want to fight the enemy alone. All of us
are different, but all of us can serve the
Lord for His glory.
If God calls you to serve Him, it's not
primarily because of your abilities and
talents. He often calls people who seem to
have no leadership qualities at all. He calls
you because you are vielded to Him and
available to do His will. Don't look at your-
self; don't look only at the challenge; look
to the Lord.
It is possible to be a member of a church, but never be part of the team that makes the church function properly. Spiritual growth happens when you move from being a receiver to being a reproducer. A church of 100 people could not function if there were 100 pastors, but neither can it function well if only 1 person does everything in the ministry.
God is looking for Servants
Jesus said the harvest is ripe but the laborers are few
He said that thousands of years ago and it still stands true today.
Where are the laborers or where are the servants?
People who are willing to serve.
I believe the first step to saving people is to serve them
Jesus was constantly serving people
It is nice when we can come together and worship together on a Sunday
It is greater still when we can work together and serve together helping to achieve a certain aim
Are you willing to be a servant today ?
Are you willing to serve in the work of the Ministry.
You have gifts and talents that God has blessed you with to serve others.
My admonition to you is to use it for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God
God wants you and is willing to use you .
As the Song writer said - I give myself away - so you can use me
Are you willing to be used by God today?
Share my story how I started with the Projector
This is how you can start as well
Start Small
There are lots of simple things you can do in church

Challenges of Serving

Now I will admit that there are challenges you will encounter in being a Servant and getting involved in Ministry


Many times we have people say well I have no gift

Have you ever felt like you were just kind of behind the door when the gifts were handed out, and, and, and somehow other people seemed to have talents and they seem to have abilities, and you can’t even walk and chew bubble gum at the same time? And you just don’t have any talents. You don’t have any abilities at all

It’s like when the Holy Spirit was giving out gifts your name wasn’t on the list
It’s like they totally forgot you.
If we read 1 Cor 12 you will realise that everyone has a gift
Everyone has something that they can do
One of the best ways to find out what your gift is - is to ask other people
We have a tendency to limit ourselves and look down on ourselves or even downplay our strengths
People will see what you cannot see
Ask a leader or Pastor what you are good at
Another way to discover your gift is through getting involved in things in the church
For example if you in a sunday school or youth group etc the leader will give you things to do and opportunities
Take part in it and they will help you to discover what you can do and what you cannot do
The Sermon Notebook: New Testament Your Place in the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12–27)

Let me encourage you today to come before the Lord and ask Him to show you what you gift, or gifts, may be. At the very moment you received Jesus into you heart as Savior, God in heaven placed you into the body of Christ. When He did, He gave you certain gifts to be used for His glory and for the good of the entire body. But, you can’t use them until you know what they are! So come to Him and let Him teach you about your gifts.

The Sermon Notebook: New Testament Your Place in the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12–27)

If you were to take a gas tank, a tire, a radiator hose and a steering wheel and lay them side by side, nothing would happen. They have absolutely nothing in common, except for the fact that they are part of a unit called a car. Yet, when that tank holds gas, that tire is mounted to a wheel and attached to the car, that hose carries water and that steering wheel is in it place, then the car can function as it should. The same is true of the body of Christ!)


Obsessive Comparison Disorder
We look at other people and see how great they are and we compare ourselves to them.
We tell ourselves we could never be like someone else
You may be called to sing but you watch Sister Susan and say no - I not any where like that
I not so good
And we decide not to get ourselves involved
Let me share something with you
This is not America Idol or Digicel Rising Stars
This is not a competition
We are on a mission not a competition
We not here to try and outdo each other
We not here to look better than each other
We here to complement each other and make the job easier for everyone
Stop comparing yourself to what other people can do
Compare leads to Despair
This is one whisper the Devil is telling people to make them feel unworthy
So that they would not start
OCD is one of the biggest challenges that stops people from Serving in Church


Another challenge of serving is that you are going to be criticized at times
You going and make mistakes and fumble at times
That is normal
Nobody who serves is perfect and you will realise that it have some people looking for perfection
One thing you may realise is that a lot of people who might be in church and dont do anything - have all the ideas how everything should be done
These people might give you a piece of their mind from time to time
People will belittle you
They will ask you what make you think you qualify to do so and so
Some people will even bring up your past and what you used to do
They will tell you - what make you think you qualify to preach
Or to Lead in Worship
Or backup sing
Play a musical instrument
You going to be criticized especially when you are now starting out
It have no way you will be as good as Susan when you now starting
It will have some people who may be in the audience will tell you - you not as good as Susan and you holding back the worship
Some might not sing if you leading cause they find you not good enough
Criticism and being able to handle it is a challenge
Constructive vs Destructive Criticism
Not everyone will understand
Not everyone will approve
Not everyone will applaud
Not everyone will affirm
Not everyone will celebrate
Not everyone will support
Not everyone will stay
Not everyone will encourage
But do what you are called to do


Learn Your Gifts - This is what I said under discover . Learn what your gifts are . Ask, Pray, Take Quizzes
Leverage Your Gifts - Use it for the Hinor and Glory of God. Don’t just hold on to your gift.
Love other people’s gifts - Water Boy Illustration. What if we were thanful to them. Send them a whatsapp saying I am thankful to you. I have been blessed by your gift. You can do thing I cannot do.
Look to God’s Gift - God gave you his son. You matter to him. You have value to him. no need to be jealous of other people. You have a role and a function that Jesus paid a high price for.


William Whiting Borden, the heir of the Borden dairy estate, received a trip around the world as a gift from his parents. So Borden, a Christian, traveled through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe and felt a growing burden for lost people. Finally, he wrote home and informed his parents that he was going to give his life in preparation for the mission field. And after making that decision, William Borden wrote two words in the back of his Bible: “No reserves.”
Upon graduation from Yale in 1909, Borden turned down some very high-paying job offers, determined to fulfill the call that God had placed upon his life. And he wrote two more words in his Bible:“No retreat.”
After graduating from Princeton Seminary, he went to Egypt to study Arabic. And during his time there, he wrote these words: “No regrets.” Those three statements summed up Borden’s life: No reserves. No retreat. No regrets.
Some would think, “Oh, what a waste of a life.” But no life is ever wasted when it is invested in bringing people to Jesus. No life is ever wasted when it is lived for the glory of God. Life is wasted when it is lived for selfish ambition.
In the end, God will look at your motives. It will be not so much a judgment about quantity as it will be about quality, about motives. Why did you do what you did? If you have been faithful and served God with what He had set before you, then you will be rewarded for your faithfulness. But if you have been unfaithful or have done things with the wrong motives, you will not receive that reward. As Alan Redpath once put it, “You can have a saved soul and a lost life.”
So it is not enough just to get to heaven. We want to get to heaven having done something with our lives for God’s glory.
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