Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Ephesians 4:1-16 in the New Testament for Everyone (NTE). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: I don’t have a lot of tools. I maybe have a couple of Allen wrenches buried in the back of a desk drawer, but that’s about it. Whenever something needs to be fixed, I find a way to use an Allen wrench or duct tape—or the old “leave it be” method. I have this little cushion chair that goes under my desk that I got for a steal at Target because it was missing a couple of screws. “No big deal,” I thought. Plus, I’m not one to turn down a bargain.
Since I didn’t have the tools to fix the chair, every time I pulled it out or pushed it in, I had to do so with two hands. Trying to slide it out resulted in more screws coming loose. By the time my husband, Kiefer, and I combined our homes, the top half of the chair was completely separate from the legs. But before I knew it, Kiefer had whipped out two or three tool boxes, found just the right screwdriver and screws, and in no time, my flimsy chair was rock solid.
What made all the difference was having the right tools. Kiefer was equipped to fix the situation; I was equipped to ignore it. Here’s where it gets good . . . Paul tells us in Verses 13-14:
He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ . . .
To build up the body of Christ and to make it strong, we need the right tools. Again, to follow Paul’s illustration of the body having different parts and different functions, remember that tools also have different functions. If someone gives you a hammer and someone else a screwdriver, you should be hammering and not yelling at the person with the screwdriver that they shouldn’t be twisting it but using it to strike.
So what have you been equipped with? What tools have you been given to do ministry, to build up the body of Christ? Are you focused on what you’ve been given and using it to God’s glory, or are you looking at what someone else has?
Recalibrate: What have you been equipped with and how are you using it?
Respond: Ask God to show you the things He has given you to build up the body of Christ. Give your all in pursuit of whatever that may be.
Research: Read Sherry Turkle’s article on solitude. Does it make sense to spend time alone with Jesus in order to experience overflow?
Remember: “Love should always make us tell the truth. Then we will grow in every way and be more like Christ, the head” (Ephesians 4:15 , CEV).
Jessyka Dooley is associate pastor at Boulder Adventist Church, leading Live Wonder (ages 0-3), Live Adventure (ages 4-11), and Live Purpose (ages 12-17), along with their supporting ministries. She grew up in Washington State and has a degree in theology from Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska. Jessyka has served in various areas of ministry, but her passion for discipling kids has taken center stage in her career.
Try to do an activity with your little one that they haven’t done before. It could be going down a slide or playing with Play-Doh or jumping on a trampoline. Whatever it is, encourage them to try something new. Help them to feel secure by being close at hand. Do the activity together until they are confident to try it alone. Be secure in knowing that the Holy Spirit is always at hand encouraging us to do what we thought we couldn’t do.
Ephesians 4:11-12 says that “Christ Himself gave the apostles, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Imagine that you don’t have any muscles and you need to build them up so you can do what you need to. Paul is saying that the body of Christ needs to be built up so it is strong. Make a list of all the things you can remember your teachers or pastors encouraging you to do so that you would be spiritually strong. What can you do to encourage each other to live love?
What is your calling? It’s hard to know at times. When I was 16, I was sure I knew my calling. I wanted to be a school teacher and that was that. But then God opened the doors for me to preach several different times that year in local churches. People kept telling me, “Hey Emily, I think you should consider being a pastor!” I didn’t believe them because I was scared and I wanted to be a school teacher. The older I got, the more I had people telling me that I should be a pastor. But still I wouldn’t listen to them. Finally, by my senior year of high school, I decided to actually pray about it. I asked God for conviction and that He would use my gifts for His glory. That year, He showed me that my gifts were equipping me to be a pastor. I realized that He was equipping me to be pastor, not a school teacher. You are a part of the body of Christ. I don’t know what He is calling you to do, but I do know that He has this insane desire to use you. Your gifts matter and they are valuable to building up the body of Christ. Maybe He is calling you to start a new ministry at your church, reach out to someone at school, to be a pastor, to be a school teacher, to lead out in music. Whatever it is, ask God to reveal to you your spiritual gifts and discover how God is calling you. Will you have the courage to say “yes” to Him?