October 23 I Sunday
1 Timothy 3
“What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task.” —1 Corinthians 3:5
The Corinthian church was divided with some members of the church claiming to follow Apollos, others Peter, still others Paul, and even some claiming Christ. There were all sorts of divisions, jealousy and quarreling with one another. This led Paul to remind them in his letter that these men are simply servants of the Lord.
Take the lives of Paul and Peter for example. God designated Paul as an apostle for the church. Paul had the gift of evangelism, preaching and teaching. We could read of many miraculous works done by God through Paul in the New Testament. Likewise, Peter was designated and appointed by Christ as an apostle. He had the gifts of preaching, teaching and evangelism too and God did many miraculous works through Peter as well.
If we look at the ministry of Peter and what he emphasized and look at Paul and how his ministry expressed itself, both of them displayed different attributes of who God is. Peter was commissioned to be an apostle to the Jewish nation; therefore, his ministry took on a lot of Jewish attributes because he was trying to reach the Jews. Paul, however, was called to the people group that he liked the least—the Gentiles. Even though the same God was at work through both of them, their ministries were not identical.
God has equipped all of us with a grace gift, and it is to be used when we join Him in His work and in His ministry. When we take a look at the lives of Paul and Peter, we can recognize that both of them were gifted as apostles, both had spiritual gifts at work from the same source, but how God manifested through their giftings was so radically different.
We can see from the early church how spiritual gifts distributed throughout the body manifest in a variety of ministries and expressions because of who God is. There is a diversity of gifts, but they come from the same source with the same purpose, which is to illuminate and call people to Christ Jesus as Lord.
We could start by asking ourselves, “What gifts has the Lord imparted in my life?” If we are uncertain, may we begin discovering by praying, “Lord, what gifts have you placed within me?” When we have identified our giftings, ask God, “What are some ways that I could use these gifts to serve You?” Like Peter and Paul who had similar giftings, yet each were purposed with a different ministry to reach the world for Christ, may we have the boldness and courage to use our grace gifts as servants of the Lord.
Prayer: Lord God, thank You for blessing me with Your grace gifts to serve Your kingdom. Teach me how to use my gifts to best do Your work.