“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?
Can that faith save him?” (James 2:14)
Do you ever feel like you have been left out when it comes to the ability to serve God’s Kingdom? I have great news: Every believer is gifted and chosen by the King Himself to serve alongside Him for the advancement of the Kingdom. Our spiritual gifts are God’s provision enabling us to serve Him effectively as a community of priests.
Paul declares: “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us” (v. 6). Whenever Paul wrote about spiritual gifts, he hammered away at the false notion that only a few “spiritually elite” were gifted for service. In the Corinthian community there were individuals who wanted to boast about their spirituality based on their gifts. While Paul acknowledges that different gifts exist, he asserts “there are different activities but the same God is active in everyone and everything” (1 Corinthians 12:6).
This first principle contains two obvious implications.
First, there are no spectators in the Body of Christ. You were saved and gifted by God to serve for the advancement of the Kingdom.
|Second, all members of the body must work cooperatively for the church to operate with full effectiveness. You are important to the work of your church.
If we use our talents to honor God, God will grant us even greater opportunities. Even persons with limited abilities can succeed if they will give it their all. Just because you have never been comfortable in front of people doesn’t mean that you have not been given the gift of teaching. It is amazing how many of the world’s great orators have had to conquer such impediments as a lisp, an unimpressive appearance or some other hindrance. Their very determination to overcome their handicap helped make them great. I am not certain where commitment ends and God’s blessing begins, but a spiritual gift is not necessarily a talent. Availability and dependability are as important as ability itself.
Look at the people God chose to serve him in Bible times. The towering figure of the first part of our Bible was an 80 year old man who spoke with a stammer. His name? Moses. None of the men who surrounded Jesus gave any indication of their later greatness. So it is in the church today. God uses people who are willing to offer themselves and all they have to Him. More important than our individual talents, or abilities or intellect is the spirit with which they are given to God. In what spirit are we using our gifts to honor Christ by sharing his love?
Here are some practical implications:
1. We are gifted to serve as co-laborers with God, enabled to do whatever He asks us to do.
2. No task accomplished for the King is mundane or insignificant.
3. No person is unimportant.
4. No task is too great for the church.
Many individuals and many churches suffer from a spiritual inferiority complex. We think, plan, and budget as if it all depends upon us. We serve a sovereign God who has infinite resources and desires to make them accessible to us as we join Him in advancing His Kingdom to the ends of the earth.