Friday, 5 December 2014
There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 1 Corinthians 12:5
Just as there are “diversities of gifts” (v. 4) given by the Spirit, there are also “differences of ministries.” The same word translates both “diversities” and “differences.” In the sense of differing ministries, the word is used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament when referring to the divisions of the priests and Levites recorded in 1 Chronicles and Ezra.
In the church, there are elders, deacons, and etc. Each has a particular ministry to perform and yet, they all fall under “the same Lord” who is the Head of the church. The “Lord” here is certainly speaking of Jesus who commissioned the disciples in Matthew 10:1 and Luke 10:1 and who designated each apostle according to His choice, such as Peter’s appointment in Matthew 16:18 when he was given “the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” Peter exercised his use of those keys in Acts 2, 8, and 10 during the early establishment of the church.
If an appointment is a true appointment, it falls under the Lordship of Christ and there should be neither feelings of pride nor of lowliness. Rather, each person who is appointed under Christ in true ministry, regardless of its size or supposed importance, is fulfilling a job over which the Lord is in charge. For this reason, both boasting or feelings of lowliness are to be excluded.
Life application: Do you have a ministry within the church? If you clean the bathrooms as your task is that a shame to you? If you are a pastor of an extremely large and popular church, is that a point of boasting to you? Would the people come to a fancy church if the bathrooms were utterly disgusting? So, whose ministry makes that difference? The jobs we might feel as lowly are actually of great importance. All jobs should ultimately be directed to the honor of the Lord.
Lord establish the work of my hands
So that my tasks will bring glory to You
May it be that everyone understands
You are the reason for all that I do
Whether sharing Your good news, my Lord
Or cleaning a bathroom on Thursday every week
Or teaching others Your precious word
In each task, only Your glory I seek
Lord, thank You for the people who are willing to do the different jobs within the church. Together each task unites to make a well-functioning ministry that is edifying to those who attend. Thank You for those who clean, those who bring food, those who make sure the lights all work, those who teach, those who invite, and a thousand other ministries that come together as a group to worship You. Thank You for each one of them. Amen.