Your opportunity to serve Jesus
The Bible teaches that every Christian should be serving Jesus in all that they do. Whether you are a full-time pastor or a high school student God has placed you in your situation to glorify Him. 1 Corinthians 10:31: …do all to the glory of God.
God has placed Christians in various places (work, school, neighborhood, etc.) so that He can be glorified in all of those places. This means that all Christians must be involved in ministry.
1 Peter 2:4-5: And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
This involvement in ministry is not an opportunity to pay God back for saving us, but rather it is an opportunity to increase our own joy by glorifying God and being used for His purpose.
Hebrews 11:24-26: By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.
God’s gifts for service
In addition to placing Christians in opportunities to minister, God has given Christians all the tools and resources that they need to minister. God has given all Christians resources like the Holy Spirit, the Bible, prayer, the Church, and many more. Additionally, God has equipped each individual Christian by giving them specific gifts.
God has blessed Christians with certain spiritual gifts. The New Testament teaches us what these gifts are, and how they are to be used. Some of the gifts spoken of in the New Testament were special gifts given only to a few people when the church started (i.e. healing, tongues, apostles, prophets). However, most of the gifts spoken of in the New Testament are still given today.There are at least four places in the New Testament that give a list of spiritual gifts.
|Romans 12:6-8||1 Corinthians 12:4-11||Ephesians 4:11||1 Peter 4:11|
|Interpretation of Tongues|
Each one of these lists is different because they were written separately for various purposes. Since each list is different it is possible that collectively they do not list all of the gifts the Spirit may give. Additionally, some gifts are attributes or actions that all Christians are expected to have (i.e. faith and service).
These gifts have been given to individuals for the good of the entire church.
1 Corinthians 12:7: But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
No Christian has been given every gift, thus Christians must depend on one another to exercise their unique giftedness within the church. At times certain gifts may seem more important than others, however all gifts are important because they are received from God.
1 Corinthians 12:22-23: On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable…
1 Corinthians 12:11: But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
The Spirit has given these gifts to individuals so that they can effectively minister with other Christians as one body.
1 Corinthians 12:14-26: For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
Every Christian has physical resources that God has provided for them to be used for His glory. These resources include wealth, time, health, and abilities.Wealth – The wealth that we have comes from God, and it is intended to be a tool used for God’s glory.
Proverbs 3:9: Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce
Application: We must avoid the temptation of hoarding our wealth for our own enjoyment. Whatever we have is a gift from God, and it must be used for His glory. Giving to the Lord must be our first priority when it comes to our wealth.
Time – God has given us the time that we have on this earth to use wisely for His glory.
Ephesians 5:15-16: Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
Application: We need to use our time wisely. We must be careful with how much time we spend entertaining ourselves (tv, ipod, internet, etc.). We must be wise, and use our time to glorify God.
Health – God has graciously allowed us to live, and He has given us our health.
Psalm 71:6: By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb; My praise is continually of You.
Application: We must always remember that our lives are in the hands of God. Health and sickness are both opportunities from God to serve Him.
Abilities – God has given us various abilities (music, athletics, etc.) so that we can glorify God through our abilities.
Daniel 1:4: …youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for serving in the king’s court…
Application: God has given us certain abilities and we must be diligent to use those abilities for God’s glory. We do this by excelling in our abilities, using our abilities to serve, and by giving God the thanks for our abilities.
 Chart taken from Christian Theology by Millard J. Erickson (pg. 876) Christians, like all people, have various abilities. This means that not only do Christians have different gifts, but we also have different areas of ministry to exercise those gifts.