1 Corinthians 12:4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
It is a marvelous thing the way the Holy Spirit works through the various members of the church in order to form the body of Christ. According to Paul, God distributes a variety of gifts; He provides a variety of opportunities for these gifts to be used; and He produces a variety of results.
For instance, suppose two different individuals had the gift of Helping. The Lord might provide an opportunity for one to use their gift by helping during an event at church, while the other individual might be provided the opportunity to use their gift to help someone in need. Both would have the same gift, yet through the two different opportunities, there would be two different results. One might use their gift in helping to set-up tables, while the other would use that same gift to cook a meal or to mow a yard.
Here is another example. Suppose two different men were called to preach. Although both might possess the same spiritual gift of Shepherding, the way they would go about their ministry might be entirely different. One might be more of a teaching ministry while the other might be more of a caring ministry. One might be to people who live in the country while the other might be to people who live in the city. One might be in a church in America while the other might be in a church in Africa.
There are several reasons why ministries of the same spiritual gift might be entirely different. Personally I believe that much of it has to do with the talents, abilities, and personalities of each individual. As I look back upon my life, I can trace the hand of God as He was preparing me to become a pastor. Along the way He cultivated certain areas of my life and guided me through doors that would eventually lead me to where I am at today. What’s more, I believe that what He is allowing me to do today is preparing me for tomorrow.
What an exciting adventure it is to serve the Lord. As we close this first week of study, I encourage you to prayerfully consider how God has made you. What are your strengths? What are your talents and interests? How could you be best used in the body of Christ? Pray and ask for the Spirit’s guidance and be prepared to go through any doors He might open. I can assure you that having the opportunity to use your spiritual gift will not only be a blessing to others, it is a blessing to you as well.