By: Stephen Okelola
Your Relevance Within!
Trust January went well with us? And we have been maximizing the lessons from January’s exposition.
This month, I will be sharing with us a few thoughts as regards the relevance within as promised last month… your place in the body of Christ! Your being in the body of Christ makes a great demand on you being relevant; your service!
As I write this, the inspiration I am getting is that from the twelfth chapter of the book of Romans. Paul admonishes the place of serving with our gifts in the church (notice I didnt say church building; the church is a people and not a building). We are all engraced to be relevant wherever we find ourselves. The purpose of gifting is not to be hoarded or hidden; No! It is to be used in the service of men (which is generic for both guys and ladies) and in this case, in the church!
See Romans 12:3-9 (NIV)
1. Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of Gods mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to Godthis is your true and proper worship.
2. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will ishis good, pleasing and perfect will.
3. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
4. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,
5. so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
6. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;
7. if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;
8. if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
9. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
We can exhaust the whole chapter by reading through so as to get the full bread of the word placed therein. These guys were gifted but the gifts lacked meaning and full expression in that church.
We have many gifted Christians (and in fact, all believers are gifted) who are laying idle in the church without putting their gifts to work and it now seemed that the church is trying to patch up not seeing that the space they are trying to close up with some superficial indices or parameters can be manned, by a folk sitting idle in the pew! I call that THE DEMEANING OF THE GIFTING BY IGNORANCE.
So, to RAISE and to RESTORE…
What does it mean to Raise?
What does it mean to Restore?
How then can I employ my gifts use to raise and restore men in the body of Christ?
Please follow me as I unveil something succinct from the scriptures.
a. To Raise: According to the English dictionary, to raise means to*****. It means to bring back to a position higher than the former.
Lets see Romans 12:13
13. Share with the Lords people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
If I will paraphrase this, I will say be ready to employ your gifting to lift that person from the position of need to the point of satisfaction. Also, in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians church, he talks about the duty of the five fold ministry;
…to equip God’s People…until we all come to such unity in our faith and in the knowledge of God’s son… measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
So, you see the work of raising people here. You can take into consideration the accounts in Colossians chapter three and you will see that the raising is an important act in the pursuit of relevance.
b. To Restore: to bring a thing or situation back to normalcy or its acceptable form of operation. it is possible to see things not working well, a person not living right (probably backsliding), a situation going out of place… you are there to shout and do restoration!!!
Prophet Isaiah talks about restoration someway;
…but this is a people robbed and spoiled… and none saith RESTORE!
Restoration like others is not to be talked. They are meant to be WALKED! God expects that from us.
And of some have compassion, making a difference and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire…
It resonates across both testaments. It isn’t only Old Testament or New Testament… all Testaments inclusive!
So when you see someone who needs to be raised; maybe a push, a word, or anything that will translate the person from a lower level, please do it. You may also see someone who may be going out of the path of faith or committing an error maybe ignorantly, do all within your capacity guarding yourself (you can’t help another person by falling into the error he fell into), and restore!
Selfishness is an enemy of relevance. A selfish person does not think about raising and restoring; He is self-engulfed. What a miserable way to live at this time!! Many in the body of Christ have deprived themselves of this because they have neglected the needs of others and are focusing on their own problems… humorous yet, ridiculous!
Will you take the responsibility of raising and restoring others? The flow is with you… choose wisely!