For March 5, 2023
On the eve of His crucifixion, Jesus reassured His Disciples that His followers would continue the Kingdom work He began. His work to bring glory to His Father would not end at His death. Instead, it would continue unimpeded until He returns,
I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. John 14:12-13 (NLT)
The Universal Church or the Body of Christ is comprised of diverse members who show Christ through their effectual love for God and others, demonstrated through benevolent service to God and others. Human beings are ill-equipped to perform such altruism consistently, so God gave us His Holy Spirit to empower us with the spiritual gifts that enable us to perform admirably—consistently,
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. …It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have. The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, 11-13 (NLT)
When we place our faith in Christ, and are Born Again, the Holy Spirit endows each of us with a spiritual gift we can use to honor Christ and serve others. The local church is the primary agent by which we see the fulfillment of Ephesians 4:12, equip and edify others for service or ministry.
Through our Christian service, many spiritual gifts are displayed, but we can honor Christ and benefit our churches and communities using these eight spiritual gifts,
- Helpers (1 Corinthians 12:28) unselfishly share their time, talents, and resources to assist others. Easily recognized, they are first to respond to needs. They also shun recognition, because God will reward them. A fine biblical example is Ruth, who helped Naomi.
- Givers (Proverbs 3:27, Romans 12:8, and Galatians 6:10) share their resources unselfishly to meet needs. They, too, respond quickly and prefer anonymity. Givers delight meeting needs without repayment. God provides them with resources to share with others. Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan shows how givers respond to the needs of others.
- The Wise (1 Corinthians 12:8 and James 1:5) can see problems from God’s perspective and they respond appropriately. More than human intellect, the wise deliberate and act in ways that glorify God and astound people. Solomon’s resolution to the two prostitutes who claimed to be the mother of one infant astonished everyone because it was from God.
- Exhorters (Romans 12:8) share Scripture to console discouraged Christians. Without fanfare, exhorters take great pleasure in helping people gain a renewed inspiration and motivation to serve God. Jonathan exhorted David to trust in God and stay on course as the future king of Israel.
- Evangelists (Ephesians 4:11) can share Christ with positive results. God calls, equips, and inspires people to serve Him in this capacity. The Bible tells about Philip the evangelist at Caesarea.
- Pastors (Jeremiah 3:15, Acts 20:28, Ephesians 4:11, 1 Timothy 3:1–7, and Titus 1:5–16) nurture people toward spiritual maturity. Not recent converts, they are spiritually mature leaders who serve under the authority of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd. God serves as both teacher and leader.
- As a Teacher (Romans 12:7 and Ephesians 4:11), the pastor explains the Bible so that others can understand and apply to life, just like Jesus, who taught with great effectiveness.
- As a Leader (Romans 12:8 and 1 Corinthians 12:28), pastors give oversight with tact, vision, and prudence to maximize resources and provide direction.
God used Moses to shepherd and instruct the Children of Israel while leading them out of Egyptian bondage.1
There will be many fulfilling moments in our lives that show how God loves, protects, and provides for us. We grow confident that He directs our steps and will never leave or forsake us. Our Christian experiences enhance our knowledge and strengthen our faith in God and His Word.
Some believe that ministers are more effective when they have had a troubled past. However, our ministry effectiveness is up to God. It’s always appropriate to acknowledge our sinful past in testimony as we contrast it to the eternal, abundant life that we now have in Christ.
All Christians require accountability, but those who have had years of painful episodes should complete a spiritual treatment program before they engage in ministry, since untreated or unresolved, counterproductive “baggage” can surface and expose others to spiritual, physical, emotional, or psychological injury.
1 Timothy 5:22 (NKJV) tells us not to “lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.” Thus, taking vetting precautions will help lessen the risk of the server’s relapse and harm to others.
The saving of souls, growing in faith, and the serving others define ministry effectiveness from God’s perspective. This is how we can reveal Christ and glorify God, which is all that matters.
As Enoch walked with God daily (Genesis 5:24), it’s possible to accept Christ and abide in Him for a lifetime. Those of us who follow this pattern are living demonstrations of His amazing grace and miraculous power.
We can reveal Christ today when we sanctify the Lord God in our hearts, so we can give a prompt response to the hope within us with meekness and godly reverence. (1 Peter 3:15) Won’t you give the Lord Jesus your heart today and reveal Him nobly to a lost and needy world?
What a Wonderful Savior!