From [Christ] the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:16
According to the family legend, two brothers, one named Billy and the other Melvin, were standing on the family’s dairy farm one day when they saw an airplane doing some skywriting. The boys watched as the plane sketched out the letters “GP” overhead.
Both brothers decided that what they saw had meaning for them. One thought it meant “Go preach.” The other read it as “Go plow.” Later, one of the boys, Billy Graham, dedicated himself to preaching the gospel, becoming an icon of evangelism. His brother Melvin went on to faithfully run the family dairy farm for many years.
Skywriting signs aside, if God did call Billy to preach and Melvin to plow, as seems to be the case, they both honored God through their vocations. While Billy had a long preaching career, his success doesn’t mean that his brother’s obedience to his calling to plow was any less important.
While God does assign some to be in what we call full-time ministry (Ephesians 4:11–12), that doesn’t mean those in other jobs and roles aren’t doing something just as important. In either case, as Paul said, “each part [should do] its work” (v. 16). That means honoring Jesus by faithfully using the gifts He’s given us. When we do, whether we “go preach” or “go plow,” we can make a difference for Jesus wherever we serve or work.
How can you use your gifts to honor God in your vocation? How can you encourage others you know so they too can use their calling as a way to serve Jesus?
Help me, God, to be used right where You put me. Help me to see that my words, actions, and work ethic can profoundly affect others.
In Ephesians 4, Paul states that when Christ ascended, He “gave gifts to his people” (v. 8). In Romans 12:3–8, Paul writes that believers in Jesus have been given individual gifts to be used to support others in the body of believers. Included in this list are prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, and showing mercy. In 1 Corinthians 12–14, Paul gives another list, along with detailed instructions on how to use these gifts to build up the church. These “gifts of the Spirit” are to be used “for the common good” (12:1, 7).