Can Your Spiritual Gifts Be Used For Wonderful Things?

Have you ever thought, “My spiritual gifts are too small to make a difference…”?

Or maybe that work behind the scenes is less valuable to God?

…and even if you haven’t thought this, you likely know someone who has.

If so, today’s devotion is for you, and will show you:

  1. How the Church grows through “off stage” spiritual gifts.
  2. How key the people who faithfully serve by meeting the needs of others are.
  3. The fruit that comes when all of the Body’s parts work in concert.

Our devotional Bible verses are from Acts 6:5–7. Take the time to read them right now:

And what they said please the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.

And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.

Acts 6:5–7 ESV

How the Church Grows Through “Off Stage” Spiritual Gifts

When you read the list of names in verse five, I bet you know the first two. Stephen, who became the first martyr, and Philip, who famously led the Ethiopian Eunuch to Jesus in Acts 8.

(And then teleported, btw. Yes, I want that spiritual gift.)

But do you recognize the names that follow?

Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, Nicolaus…

Honestly, I’ve studied the Bible for a long time—and I totally forgot about them. In a way, they were some some of the Church’s first deacons.

In my experience, these are often the people who meet the Church’s needs through selfless acts of quiet service.

And this is what I mean by “off stage” spiritual gifts. They’re the folks with gifts like helps and mercy. They may not have a microphone, but they certainly have an impact.

Spiritual Gifts

Look What Happened…

After these servant-leaders were prayed for and commissioned, look what happened in verse seven.

  1. “The word of God continued to increase…”
  2. “The number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem…”
  3. “And a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.”

The Holy Spirit moves in incredible ways when the Body of Jesus works in harmony with the spiritual gifts he’s given us. That’s how it was for the New Testament church.

…and that’s how it still is today.

Do you have “off stage” spiritual gifts? Are you embracing them and joyfully serving people? 

Why Did Paul and Barnabas Disagree? How It Matters To You

Daily Bible Devotional Verses

Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. (Acts 15:37-41 ESV)

Paul and Barnabas were friends and ministry partners.

Their newest venture was to, “Return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are” (Acts 15:36).

But even between these two renowned men of God, there was “sharp disagreement.” In fact, the disagreement was heated enough they “separated from each other.”

Two things come into view:

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Luke 4:42-43 – How Jesus Viewed Ministry Success

Daily Devotional Bible Verse

And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” (Luke 4:42-43 ESV)

Ministry success is easily attributable to Jesus.

He captivated thousands because he taught “as one with authority” (Mark 1:22). He was like no one they had ever heard.

He would preach to thousands, heal the sick, and spend time with the untouchables. At one point, his renown was so great that people tried to make him king by force (John 6:15).

Jesus could have stayed where he was and regularly had large crowds gather in his presence. But what did Jesus do with this “ministry success?”

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