A Transformed Mind
Ministries in the Body
What is the motivating factor that drives you?
What are your God-given gifts?
Romans 12: 1-2 states that believers must present their bodies as living sacrifices, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service. We must not be conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is that good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. There are several things we must keep in mind in order to be set apart to Christ:
No one wants to be considered as one who thinks too highly of himself. However, because of the flesh, we have at times without sound judgment. Paul is reminding and encouraging the believers to be careful not to think highly, but to think soberly. Be humbled as Jesus was humbled (Phil. 2:8). We must not evaluate ourselves by the worldly standards of success and achievements, but emulate God’s standards and His mindset. (Phil.2:5). We must fulfill God’s purpose with God’s values in mind. Those who are maturing operate based on the gifts God has placed in their hearts rather than by a worldly system. of faith means that God will give the spiritual power necessary to carry out each responsibility. Eph. 3: 20 says; that He is able to do exceedingly; abundantly, above all that we can imagine according to the power that worketh within us.
I. Our Self-Worth (vs. 3) (Our new identity in Christ)
Some of us think too little of ourselves and live in bondage to our fears and shortcomings; others overestimate themselves. We must base our self-worth on our identity in Christ (His perspective of us). Our self-worth must be bundled up in God’s love for us. When Jesus died; He died to rescue us from the rejection of this sinful world. God saved us for His purpose and we will not leave here without fulfillment in Him.
· Critical people vs. those who compare themselves: Both base their lives on other's perspectives, and because of this, both have self-worth issues.
June Hunt writes that self-esteem can mean two things:
1. Objective regard of your value: (I’m paraphrasing: These are those who are dependent daily on Jesus Christ.) Self-esteem in Christ is recognizing that our identity has nothing to do with who the world says we are or one who uplifts his/her ego. Rather, it's summed up in who we are in Christ and His humility. Isa. 66:2 says; This is the one I esteem, he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.
2. Exaggerated regard of your value: those who think of themselves as being good enough and sufficient enough within themselves that they don’t need to depend on the Savior. This kind of self-esteem is summed up in Pride. Phil. 2:3 says; Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Two ways of living:
- God’s mercy: Humility is one who has a profound reverence for God’s message and their application to life. How I see myself based on God’s standards of truth.
- God’s judgment: one who chooses to disregard God’s standards and live according to the flesh.
II. The” Body” (vs.. 4, 5)
Paul uses the physical body to describe how Christians should live and work together. The human body cannot function properly if there is some type of brain damage. Christians must function under the rule of Jesus Christ. When we begin comparing ourselves instead of focusing on fulfilling our God-given ministries, we fall short and give in to high minded thinking. Every believer functions to serve the body, not so that the body will serve believers. Although we all have different gifts, we are accountable and responsible for and to each other. The world has the motto, "every man for himself." As believers, God has called us to model Jesus and look out on behalf of our sisters and brothers in Christ.
"In order to effectively use our gifts; we must:
- Recognize that all gifts and abilities come from God.
- Understand that not everyone has the same gifts.
- Know who we are and what we do best.
- Dedicate our gifts to God’s service and not to our personal successes.
- Be willing to utilize our gifts wholeheartedly, not holding back anything from God’s service."
Our gifts are God-given; therefore he gives faith and power as He wills. Our role is to be faithful and to seek ways to serve others with what God has given to us. When God calls, He enables.
I Thessalonians 5:24 says: Faithful is He who called you, who also will do it.
III. *Our Ministries (vs. 6-8 )
- "Prophets: are bold and articulate. They communicate God’s message to strengthen, encourage, and comfort the body." 1 Cor. 14:3
- "Servers or ministers are faithful and loyal"
- "Teachers are clear thinkers"
- "Preachers or Exhorters know how to motivate and inspire others"
- "Givers are generous and trusting"
- "Administrators and those who are leaders are good organizers and managers."
- "Mercy showers or those that comfort and are caring people who are happy to give their time to others."
*Taken from the MacArthur Study Bible
Not one person can possibly have all these gifts: God gives according to His grace. We must exercise our gift(s) faithfully as unto the Lord. When exercising our gifts, we must extend the grace that God has extended to us. This is summed up in the big word L-O-V-E. Grace frees us from bondage and frees others from their bondage. We can experience unity in the body if we stop focusing on others and focus on the assignment God has given to us.
Lord, keep us focused on your call so that the church will increase in-depth and in power. Help us to walk in the newness of life accepting all that you have to offer us. For your glory, honor, and praise in Jesus' name AMEN.
Encourage and Be Encouraged!
Resources used: Bible Knowledge Commentary, Teacher's Critical Commentary, MacArthur Study Bible (NKJV) and June Hunt's Counseling Keys on Identity