Ephesians 4:11-12 – It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. (NIV)
At some of the work places I have been in, there have been coffee-pots so that we could drink coffee if we wanted to. One thing I hated was the few people who always left just a drop left in the pot so they could justify not making a new pot of coffee. This used to provoke me, because, for one thing, it is not a difficult task to make a new pot. So there were a few who wanted to reap the benefits but did not want to do the work. This seems to be a common line of thought; so many want something for nothing.
What parallel is there to our spiritual life in this? Salvation is a gift we receive from God that is freely given; there is no work we can do to attain it. But once we have received salvation there should be a change within us. Today's verse tells us that since God has given us a gift, we must use it "for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up." We should use these gifts and not just sit idly by, thinking that someone else will do the job.
Prayer: Lord we thank you for the gifts you have given us. We pray that we may use those gifts for your glory and not for our own, for it is your will that is the agenda of the Christian community, and not ours. May your love guide us and strengthen us. In Jesus' name. Amen.