Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Life Shape Prayer & Discipleship Module 3 – New Creation Responsibilities Block 8 – Service


The body has many different parts, not just one part. Our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where He wants it. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:14-27 NLT <> Encapsulated)

Early in the morning on December 7, 1941, 353 Japanese war planes were launched from 6 aircraft carriers and subsequently bombed the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This surprise attack:
·       Sank 4 US Battleships and damaged 4 others
·       Sank 3 Cruisers; 3 Destroyers; 1 Minelayer; & 1 Anti-Aircraft Vessel
·       Destroyed 188 US Aircraft
·       Killed 2402 Americans
·       Wounded 1282
·       Shocked the whole world

The attack was intended as a preventive measure aimed at keeping the US from interfering with the planned actions of the Empire of Japan against US and European territories in the Pacific. However … it backfired!

After launching the warplanes from his carrier Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy is reported to have said: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with terrible resolve.”

Whether or not the quote is accurate the truth stands sure. Following this unprovoked attack on the US at Pearl Harbor Americans from all walks of life woke up, discarded their petty differences, united in one common goal and pressed themselves into the service of their country. Each person found their place of service and did their part for the cause. Volunteers poured into the Army, Navy, Air Corp and Marines.

Men and women left school, jobs, homes and sweethearts behind for the chance to be a part of something greater than themselves, something they felt worth their pledge. Others joined civilian work forces, participated in bond drives, accepted rationing, manned aircraft and ammunition factories, went without personal comforts and gave all they had to do their part. Virtually everyone found something they could do for the cause. United together we fought the long battle and we won the great victory.

History looks back on this time and those who served and has rightly labeled them: “The Greatest Generation”. Many of the things we in America and the world enjoy today are direct results of those Men and women who laid down their petty differences, united together in a common cause and made themselves personally responsible to find their place of service.

This great generation not only stopped the tyrannical aggressors of that day but they also brought peace to the families, liberated nations, rebuilt communities and restored relationships in a world that been torn apart by the selfish acts of a few men. You see, the “Greatest Generation” didn’t just win the war for themselves … rather … they continued to serve until everyone was saved from the evils of the day and delivered to a brighter future for generations to come.

I am reminded of another people who laid down their petty differences and made themselves personally responsible to serve a greater cause.

It was around 445BC when Nehemiah found Jerusalem overrun and without walls. He felt personally responsible to deliver the Jews to a better protected and more secure future. His encouragement to them was simply: “Find your place of service” and “hold yourself personally responsible to build your portion of the wall.” Despite all of the resistance they encountered – only 52 days later we read:

Nehemiah 4:6  So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.

The secret to getting the wall built was Nehemiah’s strategy. He simply had each person work on the portion of the wall which belonged to them and amazingly, when each person did their part, the whole wall was built!

God’s strategy and His call on our lives has never presented us with anything more difficult than simply doing our part. Some people are made for one purpose and some for another. However, We are created to serve and connect. When we work together, we win! When we separate, isolate, or refuse to serve the common cause – we lose and create even greater potential losses for everyone else.

It would be unimaginable to expect a team to win if the 1st baseman simply refuses to do his part; or if the operator won’t show up; or if the airplane mechanic doesn’t check his work; or if the teacher feels no personal responsibility to know the material; or if the heart decides to stop beating.  

This same truth covers every area of life and eternal life as well. Each person is designed with purpose and gifted according to God’s will. In fact, every creation has a purpose whether we realize it or not. The leaves on trees are designed to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen; the herbivorous animals control vegetation; the carnivorous animals keep overpopulation and disease in check; the root systems help to manage soil erosion; river beds and lakes provide fresh water reserves; the sun lights and warms our earth; the moon effects the tides; birds re-seed the forests; bees pollinate the crops; clouds collect and distribute moisture; wind drives weather; on and on and on … every creation has a purpose and a specific responsibility for which it is designed. And, when everything works together as God intended, from the mountains to the valleys, it’s a win for us all!

Key Scripture: 1 Peter 4:10  As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Important Points
1.   You are designed to fit a special place of service to God and others.
2.   If we don’t stay connected and work together, things may not work.
3.   We must hold ourselves personally responsible to do our part.
4.   Wake up and find your place of service in the Church today!