“For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.” (2 Cor 8:12)
God bestows spiritual gifts and equips us for services. The list of services which we may apply our gifts include speaking, teaching, writing, interpreting, playing music, singing, cooking, cleaning, etc. The start point is having a willing heart to serve, learn, and grow. “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away” (Mt 25:29). The challenge for each of us is to discover, develop, and use our personal gifts for God’s service.
Serving can be difficult. However, what God demands most is our willingness to serve. God knows our strengths and limitations. He does not demand from us what we cannot achieve. As long as we are willing to contribute whatever gifts we have received to the church community, God’s work is closer to completion. What is important is that we carry out our responsibilities to the best of our abilities.
When we are burdened, or feel inadequate for engaging in holy work that is beyond our comfort zone, we need only to remember Jesus’ words, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). Jesus’ desire is that we yield ourselves to Him in utter dependence, recognizing that “without Me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5), and relying on His Spirit to fulfill the ministry task appropriate to our talents.
God is the divine source of all gifts. His Word and the Holy Spirit are effective devices which we can use. Through His Word, we can see a clear reflection of ourselves. It helps us to understand which areas need to be improved. The Holy Spirit residing in us is God’s own life-giving Spirit if we choose to let Him fill us, teach us, and empower us. Time and again, through our struggles in services, we will be amazed at our transformation from a caterpillar to a butterfly by the power of the Holy Spirit.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor 15:58)
Just like the early Christians, not many among us are wise, strong, or powerful in the worldly sense. But by God’s grace and love, we are called to serve Him. Let’s not lose sight of the purpose of our service – a joyous banquet with our Lord! Jesus is not calling us to join Him in a labor camp but in a feast – the wedding feast of the Lamb, when God and His beloved church will be joined forever.