During His life on earth, Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit to do ministry. Jesus said that one day, Christians would do even greater ministry than He did (John 14:12). While this does not mean that Christians are greater than Jesus, it does mean that Christians who are gifted and empowered by the Holy Spirit can minister to more people than Jesus could, because there are a few billion professing Christians today spread across the earth. Therefore, our personal ministry is the continuation of Jesus’ ministry.
The Spirit works in and through people, individually as Christians and corporately as the Church, by utilizing both our life-long abilities and newly given abilities (often called spiritual gifts), which together we will refer to as talents. Our talents are God-given opportunities to do good as an act of worship. Non-Christians have their natural abilities and only Christians are spiritual, meaning animated or made alive by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit connects us and our talents with full Spirit empowerment. God has a divine design for each believer. The abilities, experience, and skills that you have are unique, and provide an opportunity to honor God by helping others. The New Testament has various lists of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:8-11, 12:28; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Peter 4:10-11). Since none of these lists is comprehensive, the big idea is that anything you can do that you do for the glory of God is spiritual and ministry. For the believer, this means that all of life is part of our worship and meaningful, valuable, and purposeful.
Jesus stressed that we either worship our wealth or worship with our wealth, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24).
Money is either a tool or an idol. When wealth is an idol, the “trap” of the “love of money” is worshiped in pursuit of other perceived blessings, such as comfort, security, status, and power. However, “godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:6-10).
If we love money, we use God and people. If we love God, we are free to use money to love God and people.
Paul speaks of worshiping with our money, “I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God” (Philippians 4:18).
How did you steward your talents and treasures in 2022? What specific improvements can be made in 2023?
Jesus is the reason for the season…and for everything we do at RealFaith. You helped us reach 100 MILLION people this year. Partner with us to reach even more in 2023. Your gift doubles through December 31st, and every dollar reaches 100 people. Partner with RealFaith today!
To get daily devos texted to you Monday-Friday, text DEVOTIONS to 99383.