Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 4:15,16

“For whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (Ephesians 4:16)

Jesus Christ gives gifts to His followers so that His mission on earth may continue (v. 7).  Every believer has gifts that are to be used for the good of the church (I Corinthians 12:7).  Christ also gave leaders to His church, who are responsible to equip the saints for ministry (vs. 11,12).  Therefore it is important for each of us to use our gifts so that Christ’s work will continue.

Notice the language in our verse today — “when each part is working properly.”  When we invest ourselves in ministry and service, the body of Christ will grow.  Every individual Christian (part) is called to engage in meaningful ministry.

We must first make ourselves available for ministry.  We must be willing to serve in the church.  This means we are to use our gifts, talents and abilities in active ministry to those inside the church and to those outside the church.  We must also invest our financial resources in the work of the kingdom.  We are to give our time, talents and treasures in service to our Lord and to His people.

Each believer is needed.  We have to get away from the idea that the pastors do all the work of ministry.  As we have seen, this violates a clear biblical principle — every believer is a minister!  Pastors are to be equippers of others.  Many in our churches have the expectation that the pastors are to do the work of ministry.  We must realize that all believers are priests and ministers.

Another detrimental trend to the idea of the priesthood of all believers is the widespread consumerism in the church.  People want many services and ministries from their churches and they find it easier to have paid workers than to engage themselves in ministry.  No wonder so many churches are in decline.

But when each part of the body is properly  working, the church will grow.  And as we work together in ministry we will find a new love for Christ and for His people — “when each part is working properly…the body will built itself up in love.”

Lord Jesus, I pray that You will renew Your Church as You extend Your call for each member of the Body to engage in ministry.  I pray for a fresh movement of Your Spirit upon Your people that they may recapture Your call for each of us to be ministers of the gospel.


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