Being USEFUL in God's Service
We are adding this new word to our PC Global vocabulary: USEFUL. We can be Successful, Fruitful, and Faithful but are we USEFUL?
The greatest way to LIVE LIFE is being USEFUL.
In our changing CULTURAL: We must continually learn what it means to be USEFUL.
What is POWERFUL about trying to be USEFUL vs. trying to be SUCCESSFUL?
Successful is all about me, us,
Usefulness is all about others.
“Serving others is at the core of the mission God has for his children.”
2 Corinthians 1:3–4 ESV, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Isaiah 40:1, “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.”
According to the “YOU VERSION” of the Bible: This was the most read Scripture in 2022.
What a privilege it is that God trusts and calls us to be a part of this ministry of comfort.
1. What is USEFULNESS? = MERCY.
The Latin word for mercy is, "misericordia," it comes from the two words miserere (“pity” or “misery”) and cor (“heart”).
When we ask for God’s mercy, we are essentially asking him to relieve us of a heart that is in misery.
Comfort and mercy then means “a heart which gives itself to those in misery.”
“Another translation of this work of mercy is to “comfort” the sick.”
We have Always said;
Church is a body and fender shop.
“Church as “a field hospital after battle”
Proverbs 22:9, “He who has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.””
James 2:15–16, NAB, “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?”
Matthew 7:21, Not everyone who says (words) to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does [deeds] the will of My Father who is in heaven.”
Now He gets very specific:
Verse 22, “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’”
Evidently, ministry activities can become meaningless without deeds, because this very next verse says: Verse 23, “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me you who practice lawlessness.’”
Those activities don’t cost us anything.
Prophesying, healing and casting out demons have this in common:
All three are the result of a gift (a grace, a charisma) freely handed to us by God.
No investment is required on our part,
The indictment was issued because there was no personal involvement—sewing, cooking, hosting strangers, visiting prisoners— May God grant us the grace to go beyond merely prophesying, casting out demons and performing miracles, to becoming doers of the Word.
If you have experienced: Miscarriage, divorce, grief, abuse, financial crisis or some other difficulties in life. Maybe God is calling you to step out and to encourage others who are going through those very things today?
You are uniquely equipped to offer comfort because you have been there. You understand.
You are proof that life does go on.
You are a carrier of hope.
Matthew 25:31–45 ESV, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
36 I was naked and you clothed me,
I was sick and you visited me,
I was in prison and you came to me.’
37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’"
Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.””
2. Being USEFUL opens doors.
Proverbs 18:16 ESV, A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.
EVERYBODY IS GOING THROUGH SOMETHING.
Sometimes they need a hug.
Sometimes they just need someone to listen.
Sometimes they need a shoulder to cry on.
Will you be that friend?
An act of mercy does not require, wealth, research, skills, experience, or even travel:
There are lonely people near most of us:
nursing homes, hospitals, and long-term care facilities.
Right to life clinics . . .they all need help.
What are we facing today in our culture? America (the world) filled with deeply, deeply wounded people. The thing the Church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds.
Just a visit can be healing.