Bible Studies for Life
Ephesians 4:1-7; 4:11-13; 4:14-16
Samuel Ayala, consultant
Georgia Baptist Missions, Southwest Region
As time has gone by my sphere of influence has always been around people who are different than me. I came to realize how God has placed in everyone’s lives a spiritual gift. That gift is for the purpose of supporting each other, but also to bring Glory and Honor to Him.
I have friends with American, Asian, India, Central America, South America, and Caribbean backgrounds, to name a few. It is so unique that, in God’s given grace, we all could support and work together in unity, love, and constant relationships. That is what I call being purposeful. It doesn’t matter your color of skin or academic background. What is truly important is that we all work together as a team.
As a teenager, I realized that in order for a team to win any game all the teammates needs to play as one. If we do not support one another or play together as one team, we would never win a game. Sometimes, my position was one of sacrifice so my teammate could score a point so we can win the game. It breaks egos, pride, and even being popular, but at the end of the day we have a mindset that we are a team and need to work together in order to win a game.
I apply this truth as the body of Christ coming together as a team. For us to move forward in accomplishing and fulfilling God’s purpose, we need to support one another with whatever spiritual gifts God has placed in each one of us, encouraging one another and even being accountable to one another for the Glory of God.
My calling is to use my God-given spiritual gifts for the unity of the church.
Awhile ago I was equipping my leaders to engage with our local community. Edgar was a potential “next” to be a leader. He asked me a lot of questions about sharing his faith, but didn’t fully understand. I invited him to come with me to share our faith together as we were witnessing in Guatemala on a mission trip.
I started to share in the neighborhood with a teenager. As the teenager heard the gospel for the first time, he started to weep and received Christ in that moment, so I invited him to come to the revival service at the church we were supporting that night.
I noticed that Edgar was in the corner weeping as well. I asked him what is wrong.
“Is that what I am supposed to do, share the gospel to everyone?” he asked.
I answered, “Yes Edgar. This is what Scripture teaches us. Jesus went into the community preaching the good news of God’s kingdom (Luke 4:42-44).”
Edgar answered and said, “I got it.”
As I am writing these few lines, I can share with you today that Edgar is still sharing the love of God to everyone he encounters and shares his story. Sometimes people do not “get it” in using their God-given gift to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and for the unity of the church.
Together we are better, because it is through unity that we can accomplish more and reach more for God’s kingdom.
Some people are gifted to equip the church for ministry.
We are not all gifted the same. We are all different, because God intentionally gifted each one of us with a mindset to reach everyone, in different contexts, and different spheres of influence. We acknowledge that not everyone is gifted to preach, or teach, or even lead, but what I do know is that everyone is gifted to share their faith and to serve others.
Jesus demonstrated his giftedness when – while preaching and teaching – he suddenly took a towel and bowl of water and started washing the disciples’ feet. He helped His disciples understand that we all have a part to ministering in the church with different giftedness. But one thing is for sure: we are all called and gifted to serve others in any capacity (John 13:1-11).
All spiritual gifts are used to help believers grow in Christ, in unity, and in love.
When I visit other pastors I observe that there is a cemetery next to the church. I get a little sad, because as I see people who have been buried I ask myself if God’s giftedness is buried with those lives. Did they discover, grow, or develop their gift in their lives?
Another question would be, did they maximize their gift to the fullest?
Did they help edify the church with their God-given gifts? Did they promote unity and love through their gifts? These are questions we should be asking ourselves today.
Do you know your God-given gift? Are you using God’s giftedness to unify and love the church? Are you growing and helping others to grow in their gifts?
I want to challenge you to ask God, “What is my gift?” Also, if you know your gift, are you serving the church to grow in unity and love?
Live it out
Are we all using our gifts to unify the church?
Do we believe that God has called each one of us to edify others with our giftedness?
Are we growing and helping others grow with each one of our gifts?