Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Equipped and Called

Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:7 NLT)

Let’s say that you found an old car at the junkyard, and you started restoring it. You painstakingly researched the original colors, how the upholstery originally looked, and what kind of tires had been on it. You made sure that all the numbers matched on the engine. And when you finished working on it, the car was restored to showroom condition.

In the same way, when we function as the church ought to function, we’re getting back to God’s original order.

Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ” (NLT).

In the original language, the word for “equip” means to put something back to its original condition. It also speaks of putting a bone back into place again.

The role of pastors and teachers, the role of evangelists, is to equip believers to do ministry. It is not for them to do everything for those in the body of Christ. Rather, they are to encourage believers to discover the gifts that God has placed in their lives so they can start serving Him.

People who serve in their churches have come to realize that God has blessed them and has done so much in their lives that they want to give back. They want to start serving the Lord with what He has given them.

Maybe God hasn’t called you to be a pastor, a teacher, or an evangelist. But there are many gifts that God has given to the church. When we put our faith in Christ, God gives us some of those gifts.

Maybe you’re not a preacher, but maybe you have the ability to help behind the scenes. There is something for everyone. And God has put gifts in your life.

There are a number of passages in the Bible that specifically tell us to not lack in these gifts as we wait for the Lord’s return. For instance, 1 Corinthians 1:7 says, “Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ” (NLT).

And in 1 Thessalonians 5:19, we read, “Do not stifle the Holy Spirit” (NLT).

I would encourage you to study the Bible to see how these gifts are used (see 1 Corinthians 12–14 and Romans 12). Read through the Book of Acts. And then pray, “Lord, I ask You to show me what my gift or gifts of the Spirit are so that I might use them for Your glory.”

This could be a wonderful blessing for you to start giving out what God has given you. Be a part of His purpose for the church, which is the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry. It’s time to engage and discover the gifts that God has given you—and then start using them.

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