We have been studying how the early church was in revival and the Gentiles were being saved, healed and filled and now we read this:
Acts 15: 36 After some time Paul said to Barnabas, "Let's go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing."
I love their spirit. They were not just interested in getting people saved but really engaged in making sure the new believers were continuing their spiritual walk with the Lord. For too many years, leaders have been more concerned about numbers than they are about people continuing along their spiritual journey. It’s not just enough to begin; we must continue growing in Christ.
Friends, we as the body of Christ, are responsible for the rest of the body, not just the ministers. Ministers cannot take care of the whole body but it’s their duty to train and equip others to care for the body. Too many times believers rely too much on the ministers to do all the work of the ministry but every believer is called and anointed to minister to others, to disciple others, to help others. The whole body of Christ must learn to be involved in ministry, using their gifts and talents in the Kingdom.
Eph 4:11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
This is how the church was supposed to function; everyone doing their part but somewhere we began to miss it and thought the gifts God gave to the church were supposed to do all the work of ministry.
I want Acts again! I want to see the supernatural manifestation of God’s power and glory over this region but if that is to happen, we must get back to what how the church functioned in the book of Acts.
Acts 6:2 So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, "We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. 3 And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. 7 So God's message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too.
In every believer there are talents Father God has imparted into them for work in the ministry of Father God’s Kingdom and in the local body. When the ministry gifts (pastors, teachers, evangelists, prophets, apostles) do all the work, other people’s talents are not released and soon they will become spiritually oppressed because they are not able to release their talents. We must release people within the body of Christ to minister to the body of Christ.
This devotion goes out to different churches and to many people so I try to keep all the devotions applicable to everyone. If you have a gift or talent that is not being used, please go to your pastor to let him know you are willing to use the gift Father God has given you in the local body of Christ. We all want to hear the words WELL DONE when we meet Jesus but He can’t say WELL DONE if we have not DONE WELL with the talents He gave us.
Please hear my heart when I say this, sometimes what we like to minister (or be involved) in ministry which is not what we are gifted to do. Make sure when you go to your spiritual leader and offer your ministry gifts, that you are gifted for what you have volunteered to do. I love to sing but I’m not gifted to sing so I sing in private. Maybe you love teaching but that doesn’t mean you are gifted to teach. Your gift will make room for you in each local body but stay within your gifting. I’ve seen people trying to help with students who were not gifted for that purpose and it created misery for the person and chaos for those involved. I’ve heard people want to sing but couldn’t carry a note and it didn’t bring harmony. When you find your place of ministry, your gifting will develop even more and you will begin to feel complete in your ministry assignment. Everyone needs to take a Ministry Gift Testing (we have one if you need it) to find out where your spiritual gifting lies. If you want to be a hostess but you do not have the gift of being hospitable, then we need to find your true gifting or it will create confusion.
This devotion just seem to flow this morning, seemingly away from the text but I know it’s God’s for this week to all of us.
Prayer Points: Father God give me a passion for ministry that goes with the talents you have placed deep inside of me. Guide me into the ministry path in my local church that you have for me.