Gifts Unto Service (As Jesus Is, So Are We – Set 11) – May 27, 2023 (152-153/365)

Gifts Unto Service

The Servant King

As Jesus Is, So Are We (Part 11)

There’s nothing wrong about judging. The Greek is ‘cleos’, or to make a decision. Judging, for us, is making a decision. To decide whether something is good or not. But to clarify – we aren’t the judges. We can make decisions, but we have no authority to condemn.

Also, consider – the One who DOES have the authority to condemn, He makes the decision NOT to condemn us. He told the woman caught in adultery, that He does not condemn her. He had the decision to condemn the world, but instead, He loved the world and lay His life down for the world.

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

1 John 3:16-24

Following Christ is not copying Christ, but it is walking with Him.

Among His other titles, Christ is the Servant King. He is the King of Kings, the Son of God who served His Father’s purpose of redeeming and reconciling mankind. He demonstrated that He was greater than all the world claims to be great, but humbly offered Himself in service. His finished work was the ultimate service.

We’re to serve as we have been served. And here lies another parallel. You couldn’t talk about Christ’s service without talking about God’s love, nor can you talk about God’s love without Christ’ service. And as such, if we serve as Christ has served us, it’s inevitable, it’s automatic that we serve with God’s love; it’s as if to say that He loves us, and it’s just automatic that everything we do is with the same love – that’s how full and complete He loves us: So much so, that it is laced into every aspect of our being.

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

John 13:1-5

Christ served, because Christ knew who He was, and where He came from. Now here it was asked: How do you know if a person has a servant heart? You’d know when you see his or her response when he or she was treated as one. Christ knew who He was, and out of that He was joyfully willing to wash the dirty feet of His disciples.

Here we are given a very stern reminder regarding our identity: That is, we cannot place our value on how people treat us or see us – Could you imagine if that were something we needed to do? We’d be a nervous wreck! Consider: 20 people can have 20 separate opinions of us, and there’s no foundation to be had there! No, folks, it is much better to serve, out of the absolute security there is in God’s opinion of us – As Christ is God’s beloved, so we ought to know that we are also His beloved… that’s one great basis for us to serve!

Christ served, because Christ knew where He was going. Christ knew He came from the Father, and He also knew that He was going to the Father. Where are you going? Who will you be with? Rest – and serve out of rest, assured that Christ did what only He could do, so that we would also be reconciled, and therefore be headed to God, whom we also call Father.

Christ served, because Christ knew what He was doing. Christ was well aware that He was doing the will of His Father – that is, to reconcile humanity to Him.

Here, the question was asked – are you willing to die for Christ?

You could hear a pin drop. We had no answers, but when Pastor Joedy asked about how Paul would respond, we agreed that he would say a resounding ‘yes’; But, the thing is, it was also pointed out that Paul was also the one who said that ‘to live is Christ, and to die is gain’; The point here is, whether we live or die, we serve – we celebrate in service, we serve in love, knowing that Christ served the same way. He served, not primarily for His gain, but for us: Rather, we WERE His gain.

Christ’s washing of the feet was an example for us to serve and to love one another. We’ve come up with our own ways to serve Him and one another, but let’s not forget that we are not in service without our gifts – and these gifts, these fruits are not without the Spirit of Love that has been poured out on us. We serve with the gifts in and through the Spirit of Love. We are to use these gifts (Charisma – ‘gifts of grace’) to serve one another, as Christ has served us.

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Galatians 5:13-15

When God gives you a gift, it’s not for you primarily – it’s for others, by way of service… and as you serve, the glory goes back to the Father. It is as we continue to realize – It comes from God, and it goes to God.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 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.

1 Peter 4:10-11

Pastor Joedy then points out a list of gifts as listed in Scripture, mostly in the epistles to the Corinthians, Ephesians, and the Galatians. I’m reminded of the same gifts that Pastor Joseph Prince discussed during the beginning of the year. I assumed that this is where Pastor Joedy got all this, but as the list became longer and more extensive, I think he made the list himself, or got it from another source.

The gifts we receive are as follows:

1. Word of Wisdom

2. Word of Knowledge

3. Faith

4. Prophecy

5. Discerning of Spirits

6. Tongues / Interpretation of Tongues

7. Helping / Administration

8. Ministry Service / Community Service

9. Teaching

10. Giving

11. Encouragement

12. Leadership

13. Mercy / Compassion

14. Apostleship

15. Martyrdom

16. Intercession

17. Hospitality

18. Celibacy

Then the purposes of the gifts were as follows: Edification, Service and Equipping.

He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Ephesians 4:10-16

You need love in ministry, else it becomes mechanical. And besides, love is needed, not only for co-existence but co-operation. And it’s in community where there is opportunity for service, by way of using gifts with one another. The expansion continued in the first days of the church, and it all began in love.

At around this time, we were all encouraged to pray in tongues before ending in worship. In their antiquated definition of praying in tongues, which ministers to them up until this moment, they did what I eventually just dismissed as glossolalia. They called on each senior or lead pastor to pray in the same manner, and to be ready to receive folks representing their congregation, in the attempt to provoke, or to reveal the said gifts of each one through the laying of hands and praying in tongues.

I just went with the flow here and did what was asked of us. Nobody came to me, but on the other hand, it was actually Pastor Joedy who came to me instead, with a Word – He saw me and told me not to be alarmed or insulted, because he was led to say that I was as a donkey. Not being one to be easily offended, especially by someone I respect, I stayed still and gave ear to the rest of what he had to say, and he clarified that I was as a donkey, as the same donkey that saw and angel. I was as a donkey, the same donkey that Balaam was beating.

The revelation here was that there was wisdom to be had that not everyone has or sees, and while this sounds like a good thing, it also means that it’s a wisdom that isn’t easily understood, not a conventional one; a wisdom I could be beaten for by those would want their way done, who only want me to bear their burdens.

I thanked the good pastor for his revelation. Prior to him approaching me, I was imagining water, in a gathering of folk who were speaking in tongues, and, I imagine, thinking they were on fire. Unconventional – I was thinking of water, in an area where they imagined fire. Now I’m not trying to claim anything here, but I will just say that I am thankful that I was still able to glean on things, even if I wasn’t necessarily going along with everyone else at the time.

Not really sure what I want to point out here but I just want to say that one way or the other the Holy Spirit does make a way for us to know the gifts that we have, and the service we’re led to contribute to – while we are in this world, we celebrate Christ, and it’s not without our celebrating the gifts we have through Him.

And lest we forget: From God these gifts come, and to God these gifts are utilized. To Him be the glory and honor, forever and ever.

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