Friday, April 18, 2008

"The Big Give" - How To Use Your Gifts & Talents To Make A Difference


An unknown poet wrote these words that I want to start with today...

My life shall touch a dozen lives before this day is done;
Leave countless marks for good or ill, ere sets the evening sun.
This is the wish I always wish, the prayer I always pray:
Lord, may my life help other lives it touches by the way.

Even though we don’t know who wrote these words, we can all relate to this person because this is a person who, like us, wants to live a life of influence.

Last Sunday, I told you that when we think and talk about salvation we usually overlook something. That’s this…

The fact that Jesus saved us for something, not just from something.

God has a purpose for each one of us, individually, and he has a purpose for us as a church.He saved us so we could accomplish something, so we could have an impact on the world and people around us.

Not only does God want us to accomplish something, but each of us here have a desire to matter in this life. We all want to live a life that will make a difference in this world.

We want to have a life that has an influence on others and on this world.

The question I asked last Sunday was this…

*If that’s what God wants and what we want, why don’t more of us find ourselves living a life of influence and impact?

I told you that I think the reason is because we don’t know where to start. We don’t know how to use our gifts and talents in a way to impact other people’s lives in a big way.

And with so many needs out there, wee don’t know who we can help out in the biggest way.

That’s why for these last two Sundays I’m doing this series called, “Big Give.”

In this series, we’re going to be looking at a new matrix that will allow you to discover a way to have larger impact on the people in need around you. It will help you to discover, develop and/or deploy your gifts and talents in new ways.

Last week, I reminded you of this…

God is the one who took the first step and he did the ultimate Big Give. He gave himself and he paid the ultimate price: his ife. And God now expects us to give to others as he’s given to us.

When he sent the disciples out on their first mission Jesus told them this in Matt. 10:8, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”

Jesus wants us to give to others in the way we’ve receivedgenerously and freely! He wants us to help them out, bandage them up, heal them, lift them up, and set them free people who are in need around us.

I told you that the funny this is that I’ve been seeing TV shows living out what God wants us to do better than Christ-followers. Shows like “Extreme Makeover Home Edition”. I think they appeal to people because we crave to live a life like that. I told you last week that it was after watching Oprah’s “Big Give” show that I suddenly had a new idea…

We don’t have to wait until we’re a bigger church to give big. We can have a huge impact on people’s lives at this stage.

It will happen when we each find the sweet spot of our maximum effectiveness. It will be when we begin to live this out togetherinspiring each other, working together and challenging each other in the process.

We’re going to provide this through a friendly challenge I’m going to give Smaller Gatheringss that will allow us all to live these ideas out in a unique way.
Hebrews 10:24 it says (NLT), “Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.” The NIV translates it this way… “And let us consider
how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

I’m challenging the SG groups to take the ideas that we’re talking about in this series and run with them in such a huge way that it will be a way we can encourage and spur each other on toward actually living out these outbursts of love and good deeds!

I want your SG group to find an individual or organization that you can do the BIGGEST Give to. I want the idea that you know other groups are using their creativity and aiming high to spur your group to go for it a big as you can

Today will help you to do that. You might want to have a pen handy again as we start.

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