Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11
We have become a culture of people dependent on speed, comfort, convenience, and routine. We live in a world of big box stores and one-stop shopping. In some ways, this can be a good thing, but having this mindset can negatively influence our faith and the relationships we have with others. Inside the big box of Sunday, we worship, pray, study God’s Word, and connect with others who are seeking to know God better.
If we live life with a consumer mindset, chances are, we’ll also view the church as just another big box store —a place to shop for the fulfillment of our consumer-oriented, spiritual desires. The more streamlined our lives become, and the more we settle into the comfort of the routine, the higher the chances that what happens inside this box of Sundays will stay here.
This is far from the original intent of the church. By watching and learning from Jesus, the church was meant to think outside the box. The church was birthed, in part, to be active in the world around us. Beyond our walls is a world in need, and the needs are great, and the needs are many. God sent His Holy Spirit to equip us to do things in this world that are beyond our human capabilities alone but also require we bring our gifts and talents to them.
God is currently on a mission. His mission is to redeem the earth. God has written each one of us into that same mission to use our relationship with Him for a purpose. He gave us the Spirit and His power so that we can tell His story through our own. With the acquisition of His Spirit, we acquired gifts and abilities that He desires for us to display as tools for this cause. And the call that God has for us is to use them to be a light to this world.
The first step in getting outside our box is understanding what’s in it. We must be aware of the gifts and talents God has equipped us with and begin to explore ways we can use them to serve others. To be ourselves, we must know ourselves. Knowing ourselves starts with understanding the One who created us.
Where are you letting comfort, convenience, and routine win in your faith journey? Why are these qualities prevailing in your life?
Where have you felt an urge to step out of your comfort zone and serve others?
God, help me to break free from the grip of routine and comfort. For far too long, I’ve spent my days inside my comfortable box. I desire to be stretched and used. My purpose and meaning reside outside of myself. May I trust my life is only found when I’m willing to give it away. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.