SUNDAY 22ND JULY, 2018
THEME: BLESSED ARE THE FOCUSED
TEXT: 1 PETER 4:7-11
MEMORY VERSE: 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.
Apostle Peter in (1 Peter 4: 10) exhorts that, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” God has placed gifts in the Church and they are to be used “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for edifying the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12) Peter goes further (1 Peter 4: 11) to advocate for focus in everyone’s God-given ministry as he charged that “if anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
Both ministers and laity have oversight functions over the Church. As the early Church grew, the need for organization and delegation arose and so the apostles appointed deacons from the converts. Two of the seven deacons appointed –Stephen, the martyr, and Philip, the evangelist- did great exploit for God as recorded in Acts of the Apostles. You do not have to put on a priestly robe to be active in God’s vineyard; all you need is to identify your God-given gifts and be focused in the exercise of those gifts as faithful stewards. In the Church, there are members of the laity who have great administrative skills. Some have passion for evangelism while some are anointed teachers. All these diverse gifts are required in the Church to run the Christian race.
While we work in God’s vineyard, we should not be ignorant of the devices of the evil one, particularly in the area he has designed to derail us. Christians can only overcome by focusing on heavenly and eternal things instead of earthly and temporal things. We are sojourners on earth and our focus should be on finishing our Christian race well and strong so that we can live and reign with Christ eternally.
HYMN: EMHB 455 – AS PANTS THE HART FOR COOLING STREAMS
PRAYER: Lord, empower me to focus on Christ in all that I do. Let me never derail. Amen.