SPIRITUALLY EQUIPPED

READ: EPHESIANS 4:4-12

However, he has given each one of us a special gift according to the generosity of Christ. (V.7)

To meet their defined mission of protecting and serving the community, law enforcement officers must be properly equipped.  This equipping includes constant training; the provision of job-related tools and instruments (cars, uniforms, computers, weapons etc.); and clearly defined goals, objectives and operational policies.  These are then blended with each individual officer’s knowledge, skill and unique ability to create one unified force in body, spirit and function.

Paul teaches us, in today’s reading from Ephesians, that like law enforcement officers, we are all a unified part of one body– led by one God; one Lord; one Spirit; and one Faith.  This body of Christ followers is simply known as “The Church!”   However, for the church to achieve its purpose of advancing the Kingdom of God, it is essential that each member use their unique spiritual gift in harmony with one another.  Each one of us has been given a special gift through the generosity Christ, but the problem most of us encounter is identifying the nature of this gift.  Pastor JD Greear, in his video study on “The Book of Ephesians,” offers a solution for this problem.  First, identify the thing you confidently do well and you will have a good sense of your spiritual ability.  Second, identify your spiritual affinity by thinking about the thing you are really passionate about in life.  Third, identify your affirmed gift by thinking of what others have thanked or commended you for doing as part of your faith commitment.  Once you have made these lists, see where your ability, passion and affirmation come together and you have discovered your unique, Christ equipped, special gift(s).  Combining these individual gifts with those he has given to our churches, pastors and teachers, enables us to move forward as one unified body of Christ.

A good example of this passage of Ephesians in action is through the unique pottery making ministry established by two members of our church.  Don, a former Art Teacher, had a passionate ability to design and create pottery, a gift that was affirmed by all of those who had viewed his creations.  Together with his wife Mary, a passionate teacher and creative pottery person in her on right, they developed pottery classes for church members. This Christ led art platform directly enhances the spiritual lives of their students.  Their classes are perpetually full; the work of the students is awesome and gives glory to God; and this ministry is a vital contributor to advancing the Gospel of Christ.

PAUSE FOR REFLECTION AND PRAYER

Christ provided each of us with the spiritual equipment we need to do his work and to advance and build up his church.  Have you taken the time to identify your special gift(s) and put them into action?

Dear Jesus, thank you for my special gift(s) and help me use them in concert with the other members of your Body to build up and advance Your Kingdom.

You’re Brother in Christ,

Fred Ailes