You have a calling. But you will not understand that calling apart from understanding your identity. You have a calling. But you will not understand that calling apart from investing in community.
Embedded inside of God’s creation is a potential danger- isolation.
Inside Genesis 1:
- The word “good” appears 7 times
- The 7th time it appears this way
- “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good”
Inside Genesis 2:
- The word “good” describes land and trees
- The final time to word appear is as follows-
- “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”
Each human is wired for COMMUNITY.
But for some the goal is AUTONOMY.
- Is illusive
- Is never fully satisfied
- Leads to dangerous decisions
The pursuit of autonomy is antithetical to Christianity.
The pursuit of community is at the heart of Christianity.
It is nearly impossible to show dedication to God plan when you live in isolation from God’s people.
- Cain destroyed Abel when they were alone
- David desired Bathsheba when he was alone
- Elijah despaired of his life when he was alone
- Peter denied Christ when we he was isolated from his team.
The best way to bolster community is to use something that is already inside of you as a Christ-follower.
You have a Spiritual Gift – Aptitude/Ability
An ability given to you at the moment of your salvation, super-charged by the internal presence of the Holy Spirit. Expressed best inside the local church and using your spiritual gift inside the church will help drive community.
1. Its driven by a deep spiritual connection
- You have a gift – 1 Corinthians 12:1-2
- Everyone else has a gift – 1 Corinthians 12:8-11
- This gift is not for you – 1 Corinthians 12:7
2. Its defined by an incredible display of diversity
- Every part has a part – 1 Corinthians 12:15-17
- Every part needs the other part – 1 Corinthians 12:21
- Even “weaker” parts are indispensable – 1 Corinthians 12:22
- Even “less honorable” have special honor – 1 Corinthians 12:22
You are united by the most powerful force in the universe that spoke over the chaotic waters of early creation and brought forth order, beauty and friendship.
3. The results are incredible – 1 Corinthians 12:26-27
Identify some areas where you have hoarded your freedom.
TALK IT OUT:
- In Genesis 1 God says seven times that what He has created is good. In Genesis 2, He says, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” The point is that God didn’t create you or I to be alone, we need one another. How do other people help you experience a richer more meaningful life?
- Pastor Rusty says being totally independent of others may look appealing, but God created us to be in community. He says “the pursuit of community is at the heart of Christianity.” How can we pursue the healthy relationships God desires us to have?
- Pastor Rusty makes the point that we must choose between unlimited personal freedom, shared community and joint purpose. If we focus only on personal freedom we miss out on community and purpose. However, as we limit our freedom and blend our energies we experience the joy of community and the higher purpose of working together for God’s kingdom. Why is this such an important part of our calling?
- 1 Corinthians 12:7 says our spiritual gifts aren’t ultimately for us, but are for the “common good.” How might God use your gifts to bless our church family?
- The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:14-19 that our gifts are widely varied. Based upon what he writes here, why does God give other believers gifts that are totally different than the ones He has given you?
- Pastor Rusty makes the point that though we’re all different, “every part has a part.” In other words, your part is important, but as 1 Corinthians 12:21-26 says, every other part is important too. Why is it so important for us to understand both realities?
LIVE IT OUT:
- Take a moment to thank God for other believers, especially those whose gifts you don’t completely understand?
- List 3 personal freedoms you could limit which might help you experience better community and find higher purpose as you serve God with others in your church family who are not gifted in the same way as you.
- Ask God to help you have the discipline to limit your freedom. Pray God will help you experience deeper community in your spiritual family. Ask Him to help you find meaningful purpose as you work for His kingdom alongside other believers.
- How might your spiritual gift play a role in what God wants to do at Concord?
- Ask God to help you do your part to help Concord become all He wants it be.