Well it was a happy time at our house this past Sunday as the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl. My husband, Rick, has been a diehard fan all of his life. It might be because he was born in Louisanna and has lots and lots of reletatives that live there. Another likely reason is because he loves to cheer for the underdogs!
As I was watching the game I was reminded of all the places in the New Testament that Christians are called “Saints” and it occurred to me that perhaps God was trying to get a message to we who are His Saints on earth! The Bible says in Ephesians 4:11 that Jesus gave gifts to the church for the equipping of the saints so that they could do the work of the ministry. While I know that we need leadership in the church, this verse says that the function of the leader is to prepare the people to do something and I for one don’t think that the doing is just going to a building each week.
Now I’m not an avid football fan, but I do know a little of the mechanics that it takes to train a football team. There are different coaches that train the players in specific areas so that they can perform specific tasks during a game. I also want to point out that it isn’t the coaches that play the game, it’s the players! The quarterback doesn’t need to be trained to be a linebacker and punters aren’t trained to be blockers. The coach’s job is to equip the team to be ready to do the work of playing the game. But all of that means nothing if the players never have an opportunity to actually PLAY A GAME!! Oh they’d know a lot of stuff, but what would be point if they never got to actually play a game!
Likewise, all of our religious knowledge is not worth too much if it isn’t put into practice. That’s why James tells us to be doers of the word and not hearers only (James 1:22). The doing is supposed to follow the learning and if there is no doing, one has to wonder how much knowing there actually is. Since we are the children of God and joint heirs with Christ, then I believe that we should be doing the works that Jesus did. I mean, Jesus said that WE, His disciples and saints, would do GREATER works than He did (John 14:12)!
So let’s take a look at some of the doing that Christians are supposed to be trained to do. Here’s a list that I compiled from Luke 4 (Jesus mission statement), Mark 16 (Jesus last words to us), and the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:
Preaching/Prophecying GOOD NEWS to the weak, weary and poor; healing the brokenhearted; proclaiming/prophecying liberty to captives; bringing revelation and restoring blind eyes; liberating the oppressed; healing the sick; casting out demons; forgiving people; loving people; praying for God’s Kingdom to be on earth as it is in heaven.
Now that’s a pretty long list and that’s only from three passages of scripture! And if you’ll notice there’s no limitation on where these “services” are to be performed. I believe that’s because we, like Jesus, we are supposed to doing good everywhere we go ( Acts 10:38).
The truth is we have more Saints receiving ministry than there are Saints being trained to do the ministry themselves. The saints have not been trained to go out and they have become content with being spoon fed once or twice a week. I lived along time like that myself, thinking that my job as a Christian was to attend Sunday services and attend Bible studies. And while I did learn a lot, it wasn’t until I started practicing what was being preached than my life began to turn around. The truth that I’ve discovered is that when I’m doing for others I’m not nearly as focused on me. And I’ve learned that I don’t have to do everything; I only have to do the things that My Father has gifted and anointed me to do.
The Day of Saints is dawning on the Church. It is a day when the people in the pews need to be about their Father’s business in the streets, at work, at home, in the schools, in government, and everywhere God has them positioned. If you’re not sure what your gifts and talents are, find out! Read Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 and see if any of the gifts mentioned there connect with your spirit. Don’t be concerned if you don’t have certain ones; rejoice and be glad for the one or two you do have! Get busy developing yourself so that God’s team on earth, His Saints, can win the Super Bowl of LIFE! There are so many people that are struggling with depression, stress, and loneliness. They don’t need to be told to come to church; they need to be introduced to the Great Physician and Comforter of our souls and YOU are the one that God has chosen to display His love through.
Make no mistake, where ever God has you positioned is your designated playing field. How many touchdowns are your scoring? How many tackles have you made? How many passes have you gone out for or caught? Do you realize how important you are? Do you know that God has positioned you to help bring comfort and encouragement to someone? Are you doing the work of ministry or just attending services? Are you actively sharing your faith with others? Are you loving the unlovely and extending forgiveness to people around you? Are you sharing your gifts of giving, singing, or healing with others?
God is calling His Saints off the pews and into the game! Don’t give into the excuses of what you don’t know or that you may offend someone. Ask the Lord to guide you with wisdom, understanding and patience. Be bold and take a chance. Step up, open your mouth and let God fill it. Chances are they’ll be grateful for your witness and you’ll be blessed too. If you are a child of the King, this is your time, because this is THE DAY OF THE SAINTS!!
Prayer; Dear God, Thank you that you have drafted me to be one of Your Saints. Help me to shake off all of my excuses and awaken my spirit to see the needs of those around me. Help me to not shrink back, but to boldly proclaim Your truth and love in real, practical, and simple ways. Thank You for choosing me and for allowing me to be apart of the greatest team on earth; Your Saints!! In Jesus Name, AMEN