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Where Does God Want You to Serve?

November 7, 2021 Save Article

Romans 12:1-13

It’s time for you to find your place of service. Whether young or old, our purpose as believers in Jesus Christ is to grow up and magnify Jesus through worship and the Word, moving toward maturity and ministry, making Him known to our neighbors and the nations.

God wants all of us to find our ministries. He doesn’t say, “You’re in the pulpit—you have a ministry. You sit in the pew—you don’t. No, He doesn’t distinguish between believers like that. All of us must be in the business of serving God, and He gave each one of us a ministry.

Romans chapter 12 begins with a call to service.

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 [your logical ministry.] And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove [know, discern, figure out] what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

Paul is saying, “Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that’s good and pleasing to Him.”

So many Christians are floundering around, unfulfilled as believers, wondering, “What does God want me to do? If God has a ministry for me, what is it? If I did know what it is, I wouldn't know how to do it.”

The hour is desperate.
Militant atheism and lawlessness are everywhere. Yet people sit in churches unconcerned and apathetic. These desperate days are ripe for revival.

In spite of all of the debauchery and sin, people are hungry, turning to spiritual things. They’ve tried sin and found it to be sawdust. Some want to know if the Bible is true, asking, “Is Jesus Christ the answer? Is there hope in Jesus Christ?”

The hour is late.
I believe the sands of time are running low. We're in a race against sin, Satan, and self. You must find out what your ministry is—in your neighborhood, your business, your school, your family—whatever the Lord has for you.

From Romans 12 I want to give you four principles I found that will show you what your ministry is.

Four principles for discovering your ministry—right where you are.

1. The Principle of Lordship (Romans 12:1-3)

You want to know the will of God for your life, but I assure you, Jesus wants that for you far more. It’s as though Jesus were on His knees in verse 1, imploring you to be available, submitted to His lordship.

We were rebels, sin‑cursed, darkened, and on our way to Hell when God in mercy sought us, saved us, and secured us for Heaven, all because of "the mercies of God." (See Romans 12:1.)

The first 11 chapters of Romans, showing His mercy and saving ministry, have been leading up to this: we’re not our own; we’re bought with the precious blood of Christ. (See 1 Corinthians 6.)

You must begin by presenting yourself as a living sacrifice. He won’t make you do it. You’re not conscripted into service. Everyone who serves God is a volunteer. You must say, “Lord, I present myself.” Are you willing to do that?

If God isn’t answering your prayers, is it because you haven’t presented yourself and answered His request in Romans 12:1?

Maybe the reason you don't have a ministry, or know the will of God, or have His power and anointing, is because you’re not willing to be a living sacrifice. All you have—your spouse, children, business, education, and all your possessions—belong to Him. Does God have all there is of you? Or are you just playing church?

People want the blessings without His lordship, then wonder why they don’t know His will. One word sums it up: lordship. Making Jesus the lord of your life, being a living sacrifice, will transform you and reveal to you your gift and your ministry.

It’s about transformation. Romans 12:2 begins, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed…”

You're not squeezed into the world’s mold. A metamorphosis takes place; you’re changed in form. When you present yourself to God as a living sacrifice, you’re transformed.

The same word here for “transformed” is used to describe Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. (See Matthew 17:1–8, Mark 9:2–8, Luke 9:28–36, 2 Peter 1:16-18.) At that moment, the Bible says,

He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light (Matthew 17:2). 

His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them (Mark 9:3).

On the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus’ inner nature came to the surface. What was the inner nature of Jesus? Deity!

What’s the inner nature of a Christian? When you present yourself a living sacrifice, your inner nature, Jesus, will come to the surface.

It’s about revelation. Romans 12:2 says to be transformedby the renewing of your mind.”

You will have the mind of Christ. (See 1 Corinthians 2:16.) What you will possess is no longer just your mind, it’s the mind of Jesus. The will of God is found between your ears when you get right with God.

When you present yourself to Him, a living sacrifice, you can use the mind of Christ to make assessments you could never make before. You think, not with human rationality, intellect, or intuition, but with divine guidance. You are transformed, having now the mind of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. The Principle of Membership (Romans 12:4-5)

The Church is not an organization with Jesus Christ as president. The Church is an organism with Jesus Christ as the head.

So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another (Romans 12:5).

I belong to you and you belong to me because we both belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. Many of you don’t know your ministry because you’ve tried to find it apart from the body of Christ. That’s arrogance, conceit, and pride. We need one another.

God made it so that I'm not able to get along without you and you're not able to get along without me. Though we have different ministries, God made us so that we are not able to function as well independent from one another. If you want to find your ministry, you'll never find it outside the Church.

3. The Principle of Stewardship (Romans 12:6-8)

Understand: you’re a steward of the gifts God gave you. Every Christian has one or more of these grace gifts, and when those gifts are operating, they bless the entire body of believers. He mentions the gifts of:

  • Prophecy—the ability to speak for God, speaking the truth of God’s written Word into a specific situation.
  • Serving—to be a servant. Volunteering in a number of areas. You identify the unmet needs involved in a task and utilize available resources to meet those needs and help accomplish the goal.
  • Teaching—With this gift, perhaps you’ll be teaching in Sunday School or mission organizations, neighborhood Bible studies, Vacation Bible School, backyard Bible studies.
  • Exhortation—encouraging people in the Lord. For example, in music ministry, in choir, visitation, or counseling, you’re motivating and inspiring others.
  • Giving—All believers are obliged to give, just as all should be encouraging others, but some of us have the gift of giving; that is, the ability to make money, to see needs, and to give, over and above, even giving sacrificially.
  • Ruling—leadership, administration. Some are uniquely gifted in organizing and administration. You find those with this gift leading, heading committees, coaching, serving on staff, directing special projects—accomplishing leadership under the headship of Christ.
  • Mercy—feeling genuine empathy for those in distress and acting upon it.

All these gifts are needed and valid.

Find out where you fit in because God has given you a gift, and you’re the steward over it. Don't say God can't use you. That’s an insult to the God who crafted you, formed you, saved you, and gave you a spiritual gift. You must use that gift.

4. The Principle of Fellowship (Romans 12:9-13)

Notice the phrase "serving the Lord" in this passage:

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, give to hospitality. (Romans 12:9-13)

As you do these things, you’re serving the Lord. These verses speak for themselves in describing the fellowship we should have in the body of Christ—and will have, if we find and exercise our gifts.

To summarize, Romans 12 says:

You have been called into ministry.
God has something He wants you to do.
Present yourself to Him as a living sacrifice.
Ask Him in a spirit of love and fellowship to help you find your gift and use it.

Not only will God use you, but He will also wear you out.

Many of us are in a rut. Some gave our hearts to Jesus when we were children, and then we took things for granted. But when we grow in grace and knowledge, seeing all Jesus did and thinking of the mercies of God, we want to say, “Lord Jesus, I gave You my life as a child and I meant it. But now, realizing more about You and more about me, I give You my life, anew and afresh.”

These are desperate days—but filled with opportunity if you are yielded to Him. You can never repay the debt of love you owe. Say to the Lord Jesus, as the hymn goes, “Here Lord, I give myself away. It’s all that I can do.”

Present your body a living sacrifice. Then you will know how to do what’s good and pleasing to Him, that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

I pray there will be another level of commitment to Jesus Christ in your heart and all our hearts in these days that are desperate but bursting with opportunity for His kingdom.

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