July 21, 2013


Galatians 2:8 For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles.

It should go without saying, but God assigns different ministries to different people. Sadly, we sometimes have trouble grasping that on an emotional level, and we feel everyone should have the same sense of urgency that we do toward our particular ministry. Any sort of objective analysis would show us that diversity is absolutely necessary, just as it is in our physical bodies, but we still try to lay our particular burdens on everyone around us. That is particularly true with what might be called more “spiritual” job descriptions, such as intercessor. After all, we are indeed all supposed to pray, and pray for those around us. However for some people that is their major task, calling, and gifting. I once interpreted for such a man, who was beautifully gifted and used as an intercessor, but he took me to task for telling him I wasn’t “called as an intercessor.” He couldn’t get the distinction that though yes, all Christians are called to intercede, not all are called as essentially full time intercessors. Paul dealt with the whole matter of different calling and gifting at some length in 1 Corinthians 12. It’s not a matter of ranking, it’s that specialization is part of the natural order, whether we like it or not.

I’m in danger of being the pot calling the kettle black here. I am called and gifted as a teacher, and I have no greater joy than sharing the riches of God’s Word with those who have ears to hear. However, that job description is one that the Bible itself says there should not be too many doing! (James 3:1) Even knowing that, it still feels odd to me that more people don’t delight to dig into the Word and write about it as I do. It is indeed true that every Christian should have a firm devotional habit, actively seeking to draw closer to Christ daily, but not all are to spend an hour or more at it daily, 365 days a year, the way I do. As well as I understand that in my mind, my emotions still want everyone to do what I do! This is yet another example of my needing to practice what I preach, applying the Word personally rather than just teaching it to others. I delight in my calling and am grateful for it, but rather than trying to drag others into that same calling, I am to help them recognize, be grateful for, and delight in their own calling.

Father, thank You for this reminder. It’s especially appropriate when I am speaking on Manifestations of the Spirit this morning. Help me help the believers understand that, just as Paul said, there are different manifestations but one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:4-6, 11) May I be faithful in my stewardship of what You have placed in me, so that others may be encouraged and strengthened to be faithful in their stewardship of what You have placed in them, so that together we may do Your will, for Your pleasure and glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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