HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
As a kid growing up we look forward to Christmas to receive a gift or gifts. We may have loved what we got until we saw what our neighbours had for the holiday. Parents supply what they could afford at that time. I know I was grateful for what I received and I am still happy for what I have today.
There are times in our lives when we envy what others have, we do not and may never know how they came to own the same things we are envious of and where they got them. It is important to be very grateful for what we have and to appreciate it.
We can be the same way when it comes to the spiritual gifts God has given us. We see the gifts that God’s Holy Spirit places in the lives of certain people, and we become envious. As a result, we are not thankful for the gifts that God has given us. Some are holding high offices in the church but are always looking on the shoulders of the other person. Every office has great responsibility. So be thankful for what you have.
But we need to realize the gifts God has placed in our lives are always the best ones for us.
Sadly, many of us are not utilizing these gifts in our lives. We don’t understand our role in the church, which is upward, inward, and outward. In other words, we are here to worship God, build up one another, and reach out to a lost world with the gospel.
First, we are here to worship God. Ephesians 1:12 tells us that God has called us as Christians to live for the praise of His glory. We are here on Earth to glorify and to know the God who made us.
1 Peter 2:9 says we are “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;”.
That is not just true of the church in general. That is true of us as individuals.
Second, we are here to build up one another. Paul said that his own goal was not merely to evangelize, but to “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:” (Colossians 1:28).
Third, we are here to reach out to a lost world with the gospel. Jesus told us to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” (Matthew 28:19). And again in Mark 16, Jesus told us to “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (verse 15).
We must keep these principles in their proper balance. We don’t want to emphasize one at the expense of another or take them out of their proper order.
In Ephesians 4, Paul talks about how this balance must come into place and how our gifts play into this.
It is interesting that in the early part of this chapter, Paul talks about what we have in common and how we should allow nothing to disrupt the unity of the church. Later in this chapter, he talks about what we have as individuals that are unique. He talks about how God will distribute the gifts of the Spirit as He chooses to do so.
One of the wonderful things about a healthy church is its diversity. That in itself is a witness to a divided world. It is a powerful testimony when someone can come into an assembly of believers and see that we have set aside our differences and there is unity.
It doesn’t mean there is uniformity. God can take the same gift and put it in the lives of two people, and it might manifest itself a little bit different as the Holy Spirit works through human personality.
Ephesians tells us that God has given us these gifts “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (4:12). Another way to translate this verse is “to equip God’s people for work and His service.”
The word “equip” in the original language means “to put something back to its original condition.” It is also a phrase that speaks of putting a bone back into place again.
The idea is that we are getting back to God’s original order when we do it this way when we function as the church ought to function.
It is a wonderful blessing when you start giving out what God has given to you, as you become a part of His purpose for the church.
If in the natural you do not give it will be so in your spiritual life. When last have you reached out to the brethren of your elders in this pandemic? have you checked up on them to see how life is with them? Have you called to see if there was food on their tables? Where is your heart and where is your God-given approach to these things. Are you going to live a life like the Levite or the priest that walked the other side of the street and leave your elder to die by the wayside?
You have to show a little kindness, a little more love and see how God will return it to you in measures pressed down and shaken together and even running over. Every member in the church or the body of Christ is one in Him now and forevermore.