As many of you know, I am now responsible for the Prayer Ministry at the Refinery. Along with other changes for 2007, everyone will be receiving the weekly prayer updates and prayer requests. I want to encourage all active members of the Refinery to use the Refinery Prayer Ministry to grow in your faith.
Last week, as I was dressing Jacob, I put a polo shirt on him. He asked to button the very top button. Being stylish, I encouraged him to leave the button unbuttoned. However, he insisted that he wanted to button the top button. Jacob adores his dad, so I decided to encourage him to leave the top button unbuttoned by saying, “Daddy doesn’t button the top button. Don’t you want to leave the top button unbuttoned to be like Daddy?” Jacob responded, “No. I don’t want to be like Daddy. I want to be like me.” Jacob did not realize it, but he made a profound statement. At three years old, Jacob understands that he is an individual, and his individuality is a gift to be cherished, not something to throw away in an attempt to conform to the world around him.
Romans 12:4-8 says:
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
God has created each of us with unique talents and gifts. God has made us with unique gifts so that we can complement one another.
In Mike’s last sermon of 2006, he reflected on the Refinery’s past, present and future. He brought up the fact that we are created to be in Communion (Relationship with Christ), Community (in Relationship with One Another), and Commission (in Relationship with the World). Among other things, Mike asked us to prayerfully consider what our talents are and how we may commit our talents to the work of Christ.
As Mike preached and as the verses above reveal, it is vital that we each use our individual gifts and talents to serve Christ and to complete the body of Christ. This week, I want to challenge each of you to prayerfully consider what makes you unique. Instead of trying to be more like the people around you, reflect on the talents and characteristics that make you special. Ask God to show you how you can use these gifts not only at the Refinery, but to reach the hurting people in the world around you. Pray that God will open your eyes to the needs of others, and that he will show you how you can use your individual gifts and talents to help others.