Okay, here we go again, I want everyone to say it out loud, who cares what your neighbor thinks, say it out loud now! Everyone says “I Can Make a Difference.” Here we go!
“I CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!”
Did anyone hear you? Do you really believe that? Do you really believe that you can make a difference? If we really believe that we can make a difference then what are you doing with your life to make a difference?
Today, I want to look at the thought “America’s Got Talent.”
What do you do? What gifts, talents, or hobbies do you have that you can use to serve others? Whatever they are, they can be used for the kingdom of God. Whatever talent you have we, the church, can use it for the kingdom.
Let’s look at Romans 12:1-2.
- I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
- And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
When I was a kid, I loved transformers. I thought they were the coolest things. I remember taking these toys that were cars, planes or trucks and turning them into a robot. I loved the cartoon. Every day after school I would come home and watch transformers. I would always root for the Autobots and I would love it when they beat the Decepticons.
Now I know that Paul is not talking about transformers here, but he is talking about being transformed. Paul is speaking to the church in Rome and he is telling them to be transformed into the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Paul is saying that we need to be transformed into what God wants us to be. We need to be transformed into His will for us.
Then Paul goes into what I believe is God’s good and perfect will for us. Let’s look at the rest of that chapter, Romans 12:3-21
- For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
- For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,
- so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
- Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
- or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;
- he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
- Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
- Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
- not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
- rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
- distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
- Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
- Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
- Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
- Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
- If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
- Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
- Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
- Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Do you notice that right after Paul talks about doing the perfect will of God that he begins talking about the different gifts that each person has?
God’s desire is for us to use the gifts that we have that are to be used in His perfect will. All of us have gifts that God has given us and God wants us to use those gifts for the glory of God. He wants us to do everything for His glory. We are not to receive any of the glory, but it is for His glory.
Has any of you ever heard of the term glory-hog? A glory-hog is someone that has to get all the glory for himself. If you have ever been a part of sports in your lifetime you know most sports are team sports. There are only a handful of sports that are individual sports. I don’t like glory-hogs in sports. If a player scores a touchdown and he won’t give the rest of his team credit then that person is a glory-hog.
The work of the kingdom of God is a team sport. It takes all of us to do our part for the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 12:12-14 says, “12) For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13) For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14) For in fact the body is not one member but many.”
All of us have our gifts that God has given us and all of us has our part to play in the kingdom of God. The body or church cannot function properly without all of us. 1 Corinthians continues on saying that the eye can’t do without the hand and the hand can’t do without the foot. Just like the body needs all the parts to function properly so does the church body need all its parts.
So, today how can you make a difference? You can make a difference by doing your part in the body of Christ. What are the talents that God has given you? Maybe you don’t sing or play a guitar. Maybe your talent is hospitality or teaching. Maybe you are a passionate person with a love for people.
There are some things that you can do that other people can never do or will never be able to do. Maybe you don’t know what your special talent is. You need to begin finding that talent by praying and asking God to show you what your special gift or talent is. After you have prayed and asked God to reveal it to you, begin finding ways in the church that you can use your special talent and if you don’t know where you can use that talent, then you need to ask. And the last thing you need to do is fulfill the need in the church. Don’t leave it up to someone else to take your spot. I believe that if you don’t use your talent or gift then God will give it to someone that will.
This morning I want to close with this story.
Have any of you ever heard of Bertoldo de Giovanni. Bertoldo de Giovanni is a name even the most enthusiastic lover of art is unlikely to recognize. He was the pupil of Donatello, the greatest sculptor of his time, and he was the teacher of Michelangelo, the greatest sculptor of all time. Michelangelo was only 14 years old when he came to Bertoldo, but it was already obvious that he was enormously gifted. Bertoldo was wise enough to realize that gifted people are often tempted to coast rather than to grow, and therefore he kept trying to pressure his young prodigy to work seriously at his art.
One day he came into the studio to find Michelangelo toying with a piece of sculpture far beneath his abilities. Bertoldo grabbed a hammer, stomped across the room, and smashed the work into tiny pieces, shouting this unforgettable message, “Michelangelo, talent is cheap; dedication is costly!”
With that in mind, I say to you, “talent is cheap; dedication is costly.” Are you dedicated to the things that the father in Heaven has for you or are you more concerned about things that don’t really matter?