Equipped

Equipped

Daily Reading: (Ephesians 4:12):

“to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”

It is easy to have moments where we feel that we are lacking something we need in order to accomplish something in our life. When it comes to making disciples, the truth is that you have everything you need to be successful in helping others grow in their faith. We are equipped with spiritual gifts to be used for growing the Kingdom.

“Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12 NLT).

I believe one of the first words that might grab your attention is the words “their responsibility”. It is true that Paul is talking about apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, it’s their responsibility to equip God’s people. But did you know that God’s people are tied into this equipping for something specific and there is something special God has given each and every believer for this?

Let’s back up a few verses and we will discover something about how God works to equip us to be effective at our mission to go and make disciples and also how important it is what ministry you come under.

“However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures say,

‘“When he ascended to the heights, He led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to His people’” (Ephesians 4:7-8).

Paul is writing to the church at Ephesus and he quotes Psalm 68:18 to say that every believer in Jesus has been given a very special gift and the gift you have been given is for you to do God’s work, building up the Body of Christ.

Gift is “charis” in the Greek meaning a gift of grace. In the very giftings you have they are from God. None of us should boast in our abilities because they are God-given and their purpose is to be used to honor God, and build up other people in the Kingdom.

“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11).

Jesus gave the church exactly what the church needed so that the church would be fully equipped which is what verse twelve tells us.So what is interesting is that Jesus has fully equipped the church to fully equip you so that you might “go and make disciples”.You’d be wise to belong to a church that equips you. However, there are many churches that don’t equip God’s people and therefore many churches are not sharing the good news of Jesus with the world.Your responsibility is to receive equipping and then be involved in doing God’s work.

“However, He has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ” (Ephesians 4:7). Who did God give a special gift to? Each one of us through Christ. Every believer has been given a spiritual gift. God’s grace is given out personally. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” If you are in Christ, you have been equipped with a spiritual gift (Ephesians 4:7), and that gifting can be further built up (Ephesians 4:12), to help others grow in their faith (make disciples).

“He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4:16).

The church is vital to you and you are vital to the church but the “special work” you will do is not your own work. The special work that Paul mentions in verse sixteen is a supernatural power, a power that comes only from God. So, even the amazing things you will be a part of for the building of the body, it is God’s supernatural working power through you.

Your Life Calling

Your Life Calling

Daily Reading: (Matthew 28:19):

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 12:2 says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”  

                                                      And

Ephesians 5:17: “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

There is a way to know what God’s will is and it is found in 1 John 5:14.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).

After reading that verse in English you wouldn’t know what God’s Will is but it is clear in the Greek. The Bible tells us one of the reasons we might not have something is because we haven’t asked God (James 4:2). In 1 John it is telling us that we can be confident that if we ask anything that is a part of God’s Will He is going to hear it, which means He is going to respond and give it to you. So, this must mean that we can be confident in knowing what God’s Will is for us all the time, otherwise it would be impossible for us to have any confidence whenever we pray.

The Greek word for “will” (thelēma)-

  1. the purpose of God to bless mankind through Christ,             

                           (and/or)

2. of what God wishes to be done by us.

If we ask anything according to the purpose of God to bless mankind through Christ or if it is that of what God wishes to be done by us…. The answer will be yes. So, if the answer appears to be a no, God must have something better in store for us that He wishes to be done by us. That’s why Paul would write to the Ephesians, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We give thanks to God in all things when we realize God’s purpose is to bless us in Christ.

But what does this have to do with making disciples? If more believers understood the answer than more and more disciples would be made. Which means that more and more people would be blessed in Christ.

What if I told you that I know exactly what the calling God has on your life is? Would you be excited about it and would you want to move forward into it? How about if you knew that your life calling contains blessings from God.

This is your life calling:

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

Your calling is to go and make disciples and it is God’s Will for you. So, you don’t have to pray and ask God if He wants you to go and make disciples. A more mature thought would be how is this thing that I am praying for (the new job, the sale of my home, etc…) how can it be used to expand the Kingdom by being a vehicle to make disciples?

“Therefore Go.” Imagine that I set up the Boardgame Monopoly and that you have never played it before and I tell you that it is your turn to go. The word go expresses movement but where are you to go and what are you to do if you don’t know the purpose of the game? “Go and make disciples of all nations,” this would mean everywhere in the world. So, wherever you are, be intentional about disciple making (Matthew 28:19). 

How do we make disciples? “Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” The word Go “poreuō” is to lead or order one’s life. Make your life centered around disciple making. The way we make disciples is through the message that we have found in 2 Corinthians 5:18-19: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: (your message comes in the very next verse).

“that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

Wherever God has placed you, whatever gifting He has given to you, it shall be used to tell others the good news of the Gospel of Jesus that in Christ there is favor with God forever.