WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JULY 16TH, 2021
TOPIC: EVERY CHRISTIAN IS CALLED INTO MINISTRY
BY T. O. BANSO
“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness” (Romans 12:6-8 New King James Version).
Whenever the word ministry is mentioned in the church today, many people often think of the pastors or church leaders. They are usually regarded as those who are called into ministry, particularly those who are not bi-vocational. In other words, those who are in full-time ministry, those who do not have another occupation, are those called into ministry.
If that is true, it means other Christians are not called into ministry. But that is contrary to what the Bible teaches. From the outset, it is important to know that every Christian is called. Christianity itself is a calling.
1 Corinthians 1:26-27 says, “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty” (New King James Version). The Greek word for calling in this scripture is klesis, which means an invitation.
The God’s Word Translation renders the passage thus: “Brothers and sisters, consider what you were when God called you to be Christians. Not many of you were wise from a human point of view. You were not in powerful positions or in the upper social classes. But God chose what the world considers nonsense to put wise people to shame. God chose what the world considers weak to put what is strong to shame.”
Furthermore, Paul, writing to the Ephesians, says there is one body and one Spirit, just as they were called in one hope of their calling (Ephesians 4:4). Every Christian is a partaker of the heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1). Also, the Greek word for calling in these two scriptures is klesis. As previously stated, it means an invitation. God invited everyone to be saved and into His Kingdom. Those who answered His invitation are saved.
But is every Christian called into ministry? Let’s first deal with the word ministry. The predominant Greek word translated ministry in the New Testament is diakonia, which means service or ministering. Every Christian is called to do ministry but in different ways because God has called us into different offices and given us different gifts or graces. Every Christian is called into ministry but not every Christian is called to head or lead a church or resign from his paid employment or career to do ministry.
1 Corinthians 12:27-31 says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way” (New King James Version).
In the scripture above, we see a variety of ministers God has appointed in the body of Christ, each having his place, but no single category of ministers can do everything. God appointed different ministers with different gifts
Also, Ephesians 4:11-13, talking about a variety of ministry gifts in the body of Christ, says. “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (New King James Version). This is often called the pulpit ministry. It is a ministry to the believers; it is a ministry to the body of Christ.
The apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors and teachers are the people many often believe are called into ministry. But that scripture says their work is to equip the saints for the work of ministry and edify the body of Christ. “Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12 New Living Translation).
That tells us that the saints, Christians generally, are also to do ministry. They should be trained to do ministry, not to just be spectators in church. All Christians are called into ministry, which has many aspects. And God has given Christians different gifts to function in the different areas of ministry. Each person must know he is called into ministry and use his gifts to serve.
Romans 12:6-8 says, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness” (New King James Version). Each of these areas of ministry is a calling.
In an army, there are different departments. The combat arms (infantry and armoured), are as important as those in the combat support arms (artillery, engineers, and signals) and the combat support services, which include the medical corps, supply and transport, and ordinance and finance.
1 Corinthians 12:12-14 says, “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free — and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many” (New King James Version). Though the body consists of many members, they work in unity.
Verses 4-5 say there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit and there are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. Also, there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all (verse 6).
There is a variety of gifts in the body of Christ. The head of the church, Jesus Christ, did not give to the body of Christ only apostles, prophets, evangelists, or pastors and teachers. In Acts 6:1-7, the seven deacons were appointed to assist the apostles so that they could concentrate on prayer and the ministry of the word (verse 4). After their appointment, the Bible says the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith (verse 7).
All believers are supposed to be ministers doing the work of ministry, not necessarily becoming preachers or holding ecclesiastical titles. All believers should be equipped to become Kingdom workers by using the spiritual gifts God has given them. This is in addition to the great commission to win souls and disciple, baptize and teach those who believe in Him (Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:19-20). The pulpit ministry, namely, the apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors and teachers, and the other areas of service or ministry often called the helps ministry, must work hand-in-hand.
1 Peter 4:10-11 says, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (New King James Version).
God didn’t save any Christian to be attending church services only. He saved every Christian to be equipped to serve or do ministry. And there are different areas everyone can serve from the ones that are obscure to the ones that are easily seen by others. It may have to do with decoration, cleaning, intercession, music, audio and video recording, driving, publicity, visitation, evangelism, drama, children, youths, writing, proofreading and editing, giving, counselling, or administration. Any scriptural service you render in the Kingdom of God is ministry.
The New Living Translation renders Romans 12:6a thus: “God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well.” Whatever God has given you the abilities to do well, be faithful in using the abilities in the appropriate areas of ministry. “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2 New King James Version).
Identify your gifts and use them for ministry according to the grace that is given to you. Don’t be a spectator in the house of God; be a faithful minister.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, help me to recognize the ministry you have called me into. You have given me the ability to do certain things well. Holy Spirit, help me to be faithful to use my abilities faithfully. Holy Spirit, help those who have been appointed to equip the saints for the work of ministry and edify the body of Christ to be faithful in their ministry to fulfil their ministry. As each Christian has received a gift, let him minister it to others as a good steward of the manifold grace of God.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947