Today's Foundations Devotional: Everyone can minister to someone

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Memory verse:

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.

(1 Corinthians 12:7)

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Yesterday, we finished with 1 Cor. 14:26: “How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification”.

Paul mentions various possible forms of contribution. A psalm would denote some form of musical contribution. This might be the product either of natural talent or of the supernatural enabling of the Holy Spirit. A teaching would denote the ability to impart some truth from the teaching of God’s Word. A tongue and an interpretation might be taken to cover generally the three gifts of supernatural utterance – tongues, interpretation and prophecy. A revelation would cover any one of the three main revelatory gifts – the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge and discernment of spirits.

In this way – mainly through the operation of the supernatural spiritual gifts – all the members had something of their own to contribute toward the total worship and service of the church. They were thus able to fulfil the injunction given by Peter.

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another (1 Pet. 4:10).

Peter brings out the same point as Paul. The ability of the members to minister effectively to one another was due mainly to the fact that they had received these supernatural spiritual gifts. They were thus lifted out of the limitations of their own education or natural talent into a much higher realm of spiritual freedom.

Had their ability to minister to each other depended on education or natural talent, many of them would have been left with very little to contribute. The result would have been just what we see in most churches today. The main burden of ministry would have fallen upon just a few of the members, while the rest would have remained largely passive or inactive, without any real opportunities for spiritual expression or development.

Why is it that so many professional ministers in our modern churches suffer mental or nervous breakdowns? The answer is that, in many cases, one member is struggling to carry a burden of ministry which God never laid upon him. One member is seeking to fulfil a ministry which God intended to be divided up among all the members in the church. The almost inevitable result is some kind of breakdown.

The only escape from the limitations and frustrations of this situation is through the supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit in the church, dividing spiritual gifts to all the members individually, according to His own will. This delivers believers from their own natural limitations and lifts them into a spiritual realm where they can share together the burden of the total ministry of the church.

When all the members are thus equipped to function in their individual ministries, the church as a whole can fulfil its corporate role as the body of Christ.

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Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for the blueprint outlined here of the proper

and pure functioning of the spiritual gifts in the church. Help us to

function and grow in this in the congregation, so that together we

are lifted to unprecedented heights. Amen.

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