Hi. Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host of the daily challenges. Today is Tuesday, the day we study the Bible together. This week, as part of our series on the identity of Jesus, we’re going to study how every Christian is part of a team called the church.
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:6-8 ESV)
As followers of Jesus, we are helping the Architect of the Universe rebuild a ruined world. We may have a small part, but we fit into the big plan.
In the Bible we discover that God is at work in every part of human life, that God is at work drawing the whole world to himself AND amazingly we learn that we were created to work with God….
The creator of the universe is inviting us into partnership, a partnership in the transformation of the world. This partnership is called ministry, doing the work of God in the world, the work that God calls us to do and for which God has given each of us gifts. True fulfillment in life is to be found in discovering our personal place in God’s work and learning how to do it.
Amazingly, we don’t all have to just do the same things the same way. There is a diversity of gifts in God’s kingdom, and what matters is that we use them for building up God’s kingdom.
This passage lists a number of gifts. It’s not the only list – there are a few. But this one is what we’ll focus on today:
Some unfamiliar terms here, perhaps. Prophecy we could define as someone speaking God’s words to others. This doesn’t necessarily mean future telling – although sometimes God speaks about the future through people, he also talks about the past and present.
Service is all about serving others, and you probably know about teaching – I’m doing it right now. Exhortation is a forceful way of communicating – challenging people to live in God’s way. Generosity, leadership and mercy you probably can understand.
This isn’t to say that someone gifted at prophency or exhortation doesn’t need to be merciful. That’s actually a problem. Someone gifted in leadership doesn’t get away with not being generous. I could go on. There are people who find they’re particularly suited to excel in one of these areas, but they are each important reflections of Jesus and his teachings, indispensable for any Christian whether they come naturally, or with great effort.
Even more, collectively the church community as a whole needs to excel at them all.
Question: Make a list of these gifts. For each gift, identify someone you’ve observed using this gift for God’s kingdom.