THE GIFT OF MINISTRY
One thing that is fascinating about being a believer is that God calls each of us to act, and He does so through our spiritual wiring. Once we bow the knee to Jesus, something prods us along to engage others in care, compassion, and service. The next Advent gift is the gift of ministry.
The Apostle Paul says it this way:
This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities. (Ephesians 3:7-8, MSG).
Do you know that every believer is a minister? The letterhead at the first church where I served listed all of the staff pastors. At the top of the list, it said, “Ministers, Every Member.” If you were an active part of the congregation, you were expected to also be a minister. Not in a vocational position but in the day-to-day community life of the fellowship.
That’s truly how it is. Paul says if you are Gentile, or non-Gentile, Christian or Jew, if you partake of the promises in Christ Jesus, if you have received His grace, you are a minister… one who God will use for His Kingdom purposes.
Can people come to know Jesus in a tattoo parlor? Absolutely! A ministry in St. Louis focuses just on that group of people. How about motorcycle gangs? I recently passed a guy on a Harley that had a “Bikers for Christ” patch on the back of his leather jacket. There is a Christian legal group for attorneys. There is the Christian Medical and Dental Association. There are ministries in professional sports, airline pilots, and even parents of toddlers. The list is almost endless. You name it, whatever the group of people, there are believers who are ministering to one another. Most are doing so without an ordained, pulpit-pounding, seminary-trained “professional minister” at the head of the organization. That’s the way God wants it.
It’s a gift to be able to minister to one another with His grace. Every believer has been given the ability — by the power of the Holy Spirit — to listen, to pray, to encourage, to minister.
God has uniquely equipped you to minister to your neighbor. Scripture says that one of the primary reasons we go through trials and difficulties is so that we can encourage others when we get to the other side of that challenge.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NIV).
May God continue to give you grace and blessing as you minister to one another. So, receive this gift and use it often — the gift of ministering to one another.
Father God, thank you for the gift of ministry. May the Holy Spirit lead me to minister to those who need to see your love, grace, and compassion. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This advent devotional can be found on the YouVersion Bible App here.