VITAL SIGNS: Unity is spread through spiritual maturity | Ephesians 4:11-16 | Devotional
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
God gives us spiritual gifts for a purpose. They are not to atrophy from non-use or swell heads from misuse. They are not to be put on hold or hidden away. God gives spiritual gifts for a purpose: to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
Spiritual gifts are given in order to help others grow. In the process of helping others grow, we grow ourselves. That’s why I get so frustrated when Christians don’t use their gifts. The church is dependent on mature believers building into the lives of other believers who are not as far along in the maturation process. The health and future of the church depends on you using your gift to serve and develop others.
Now, just to be clear, complaining is not a spiritual gift. It’s not even an edifying pastime. Monday night quarterbacking is not a spiritual gift. Leave that to football fans. Individuality is not a spiritual gift. We “grow up into him who is the Head” when “each part [of the body] does its work.” “I’ve already done that ministry” is not a spiritual gift attitude. When God gifts us, a team of wild horses can’t keep us from using it. But God’s not going to force you into action—putting your spiritual gift into practice is a decision that you have to make. “I’m too busy.” For investing in eternity!? “I don’t know what my gift is.” The body is dependent on each part doing its job. For the sake of the body of Jesus Christ, use your gifts to prepare God’s people for the works of service. If you choose to sit on the sidelines, we all lose.
Father, move your people to use the gifts you have given them. In Christ’s name, Amen.