I once heard someone say, “You are always in ministry. Sometimes you get paid for it, sometimes you don’t.” All of us are in ministry. It is a love offering back to God, whether it is a paid position or not. God has uniquely gifted every believer to do a job only he or she can do. But what do we sometimes tend to do with these gifts? We childishly compare and rank some as more important than others. Sometimes we become prideful of what we can do, or envious of what others can do. If someone lovingly spoke the truth to us, they might say, “Grow up and stop acting like a child.”
- Do you know how God has uniquely gifted you?
READ THE WORD: EPHESIANS 4:7-16 (ESV)
7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says,
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”
9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What is the first gift Paul mentioned that Christ has given to us (vs. 7)?
- What are some of the positions given to church leaders? What is their purpose (vss. 11-12)?
- Why should we not remain young (childlike) in our faith (vs. 14)?
- How did Paul draw an analogy between the church and the human body (vs. 16)?
- What might speaking the truth in love look like to you this week (vs. 15)?
RESPOND TO GOD
God is concerned about the building up of his church, and his desire is that his people live their lives with that same common goal. To do this, he has given each of us gifts to use to serve the church. Every gift is from God; each one has an important part in growing the church. We can’t be proud of our gifts since we did nothing to earn them; they were a gift. Why would we envy someone else’s gifts since ours were handpicked by God for us? Church leaders cannot and are not to do all of the work of the church. It takes everyone, growing and serving together, for the church to function as it should.
- Ask God to reveal your gifts to you, if you don’t know what they are.
- If you do know your gifts, thank him for them. Ask him to show you how to effectively use your gifts to benefit the church.