October 23, 2016

FaithBuilding Through Our Service

 

1 Peter 4:7-11

The end of everything has come. Therefore, be self-controlled and clearheaded so you can pray. Above all, show sincere love to each other, because love brings about the forgiveness of many sins. Open your homes to each other without complaining. 10 And serve each other according to the gift each person has received, as good managers of God’s diverse gifts. 11 Whoever speaks should do so as those who speak God’s word. Whoever serves should do so from the strength that God furnishes. Do this so that in everything God may be honored through Jesus Christ. To him be honor and power forever and always. Amen

 

 

Today’s Scripture teaches us an important lesson: our honoring God comes from our very being. We were made in the Image of God in order to serve God, which, according to 1 Peter, is done by serving others. We are to open our homes and give of our gifts without complaint. We are to use that which we have to bring others up. In the end, which the author thought was coming sooner rather than later, it did not matter where one came from, how they got there, who they were with – everyone was to fall under the lordship of Christ. All were to be honored so that Christ could be honored.

 

A couple of weeks ago, I got a phone call from a man I had not yet met. He got my number from a parishioner, because he wanted to talk to me about an idea he had. Yesterday, many of you got to see the fruits of that man’s idea. When I talked to Dale, he told me that he likes to throw fundraisers. It is a skill he has.

 

I was dumbfounded. For one, this fundraiser was going to be large in scope, and the reason for it was not an organization or a cause. It was for two women I’m sure none of you knew. I’m not sure how much was raised, but I do know it was in the tens of thousands. Even more amazing was what Dale said during that call: “The Good Lord has blessed me in so many ways, so I use my gifts to bless others.”

 

Last week, we talked about how giving to God helps build up our faith. It’s because we have to rely on God and others to use the fruits of our labor to do good. That’s hard. We don’t trust other people to use our money and resources well. In this day and age, when our time has managed to become the thing we take most for granted yet also value most, service may be even harder than giving.

 

Instead of preaching on serving, I am going to simply let someone else speak. Renee Boehm serves as the Executive Director of the Dickson County Help Center. Her service preaches for two reasons: for one, she helps connect people in need to resources. That means she also connects people looking to help, like Dale, see their idea turn into real blessings. People living into the mandate found in 1 Peter.

On top of that, Renee could have done so many other things with her life. When I met with her a couple of months ago, I could not help but admire her firm faith in her work. Nonprofit work is not glorious; it doesn’t pay well; and it can be so draining both physically and emotionally. In spite of all that, Renee has relied on God to use her gift of service in transforming it into one of the premier organizations for the marginalized in our county and in surrounding counties.

 

When we are willing to give ourselves and our skills and gifts to God, great things happen. I invite Renee to come up and speak to the amazing things God has done through her and the Help Center and the needs we at Charlotte-Fagan can do to make it even better.

 

*For more information about the ministry on which Renee presented, please visit the Dickson County Help Center site at www.dicksoncountyhelpcenter.org

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