In last week’s column, we examined that worship, defined in the New Testament, is not merely an event, but rather, a lifestyle. As Christ-followers, we are called to give back our lives to God as an act of worship (Romans 12:1). Practically, we can see what this looks like by observing several key areas: our time, talents and treasure. This is not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start in seeking to give God our whole lives. When we understand the Biblical doctrines of creation and redemption rightly, we understand that we are not our own. God fashioned us and sustains us as His creation. In the insanity of our sin, we attempt to steal a claim to the rights to our lives from God. We seek to be the lord of our own lives (Romans 3:10-12). This leads to spiritual death and is an offense against God (Romans 6:23). However, through redemption, God rescues us. As we believe in Jesus, He becomes Lord of our entire lives. We surrender to Him everything that we have (Colossians 3:16). As Christians, we understand that “every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17), and that we are merely stewards of resources for God. A “steward” is one who takes care of something that is owned by someone else. Our time, talents and treasure are the Lord’s property, not our own. He gives them to us to care for, develop and to use for His glory. God doubly owns our resources (through creation and redemption), if we are His redeemed sons and daughters. When we understand the grace that is given to us and the price that God paid to redeem us, our only rightful response is to surrender everything that we have to Him.
We should view everything that we do as a means to glorify God by knowing Him, making Him known, and by being excellent in what we do. As it pertains to church life, we must remember that every person in our faith family has a unique role, with talents to give back to the Lord. Everyone’s talents or gift are different. Don’t let Satan tempt you to believe the lie that you have no talents. As members of a local church, we should use those things to build up other believers and to evangelize the lost (Ephesians 4). If we are not using our talents to glorify Him, we are being disobedient. Peter explains the means and the motive for using our gifts in 1 Peter 4:10-11:
10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
God gives us the gifts, and we use them for Him. Do you know what your spiritual gifts are? Are you using them on a weekly basis in order to minister to others? Every believer should be ministering to others and be being ministered to. We need to make sure that we are sitting under sound teaching/preaching, being discipled and held accountable, and having a personal devotional life. Also, we should be exercising our gifts within the church to disciple others and reach others for Jesus. Romans 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Corinthians 12 are great places in the Bible to study about spiritual gifts. Ask those closest to you in your church, or maybe even a pastor to help you identify your gifts and opportunities for you to exercise your talents in order to build up the church. This is the essence of worship. This is what we were created for, what our heart longs for and what glorifies the Lord!