One-Anothering Well: Can't Give What You Don't Have
When you think of good hospitality do you not also think of the service received? Good food or a good night’s rest is not enough if “the service was terrible”, right?! The quality of our experience is often determined by the attitude and aptitude, by how our host(s) execute their role and responsibility.
As Christians we welcome others into the family of God with an inviting display of hospitality and compassionate care. To understand our role as Christians we must understand our responsibilities as servants, not masters. Believers are gracious givers of God’s care to others in need.
People should benefit from and be blessed by the experience of encountering us. Think of it this way: When I go to the restaurant, I’m there to serve the waitress, improve her day, and leave a favorable impression of Christianity. I am a steward of the grace God has gifted to me and am responsible to share it in many ways.
Do you fret or feel inadequate about what to give or do when opportunities to meet the needs of others arise? Take comfort. You already have what God expects you to give. (From 1 Peter 4:7-11):
Some of the greatest experiences I’ve had as a recipient of healthy relational hospitality or care have not been defined by the quality of the food or the sleeping arrangements. They’ve been shaped by the willingness of others to share no more than what they already had graciously and enthusiastically.
1. For A Gift to Have Value It Must Be Given (10).
· God has gifted every believer with abilities that must become availabilities. Grace gifts are spiritual endowments and empowerments that God gives each believer to edify, encourage, engage, and remain effective in ministry while living in unity, fervent charity, and growing in maturity.
· When faced with the question, “How or with what do I serve given the limited resources I have?”, the answer may be easier than you think. God asked doubting Moses, “What is that in thine hand?” To the disciples Jesus said, “Give ye them to eat.” God does ministry with what is made available!
· “Little is much when God is in it”! In other words, you don’t have to look very far for opportunities to minister to others, and you likely have more abilities and resources within reach than you think. Our Master has told us to serve, as stewards -- out of His abundant resources (1 Cor. 4:7, 12:7, 11).
2. For A Church to Have Vitality It Must Be Serving (11)
· We don’t need multitudes of programs and complex endeavors to be a vibrant ministry. We only need willing servants giving what abilities and resources they already have, to people already within reach.
· Back to God’s question: What is that in thine hand? When we truly comprehend that we cannot give what we do not have, we can rest in the joy that God does not expect us to give more than what He supplies. Your God given grace gifts are the mouthpiece and ministry to manifest His grace and glory.
· You’ll never feel more alive and abounding than when you make available the abilities and resources God has entrusted to you. Our collective gifts unleashed in ministry together increase the potential for God’s life-giving grace to reach others in need and to give God (and Christianity) a good name.
Your desire to glorify Jesus Christ is not an issue of ability or capacity, it is a matter of availability and fidelity. Take whatever you don’t think is enough, yield it to God, and watch what He does with it.
You cannot give what you do not have, but you have been given more than enough when you open your hand.
Relational health and spiritual wellbeing are greatly enhanced when we choose to minister one to another, and with one another in compelling community, by responsibly using the resources and abilities we already have.
We become more effective in ministry when we enrich others with the gifts God has entrusted to us. Little is much when God is in it. Friend, what is that in thine hand? How will you make it available to God?