By Jane Fryar and Kristin Schultz
The Holy Spirit entrusts a variety of spiritual gifts to individual members of God’s family, the Church. These gifts enable a variety of service—essential service—in Christ’s Kingdom. Each service, then, involves a variety of activities. Notice the progression in these verses:
There are varieties of gifts,
but the same Spirit; and
there are varieties of service,
but the same Lord; and
there are varieties of activities,
but it is the same God who
empowers them all in everyone (1 Corinthians 12:4–6 ESV).
Gifts. Service. Activities. Ideally, these flow seamlessly through the fabric of our everyday lives. They flow so seamlessly, in fact, that it’s hard to tell where the spiritual giftedness begins and ends. Instead, it infuses, empowers, and reinforces our natural talents, acquired skills, and everyday experiences.
Take for example the ministry of Priscilla and Aquila as Acts 18 describes it. A Jewish couple, these believers shared the apostle Paul’s tent-making vocation. When Paul first visited Corinth, he stayed in their home. Shortly thereafter, Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, perhaps sharing living quarters with Priscilla, Aquila, and Paul.
It could not have been totally convenient. Aquila and Priscilla were refugees, having arrived in Corinth only recently. They had come from Italy when the emperor had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. It was a journey of nearly 750 miles.
Six months or so later, when Paul left Corinth for Syria, Aquila and Priscilla packed up and went with him. The entourage eventually landed in Ephesus, where Aquila and Priscilla spotted great giftedness and zeal in the young Apollos. They helped Apollos more clearly understand the Gospel message. They also encouraged him in his service, writing letters of commendation about him to the church in Achaia.
Think of all the varied activities that must have been involved—making beds and making meals, tanning hides and stitching tarps, late-evening conversations over travel plans, prayer services in the synagogues, and evangelism visits to the marketplaces.
Giftedness in each person resulted in service by all, to all, through specific activities. And it was all for one purpose—to serve Jesus and spread the Gospel message. No one stopped to analyze or diagram all this. Instead, individual children of God simply did what needed doing.
So we, too, as Jesus’ brothers and sisters—gifted mightily for service today—do what he asks:
Through love serve one another (Galatians 5:13 ESV).
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion comes from CTA’s devotion book for ministry workers One Purpose. It’s specially written to encourage churchworkers and ministry teams.
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