August 23, 2006

Respecting Every Gift

2006 1524 page13 capHERE ARE DIVERSITIES OF GIFTS, BUT the same Spirit. And there are diversities of administration, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretations of tongues; but all these worketh that one and the selfsame spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.”
Study this scripture carefully. God has not given to every one the same line of work. It is His plan that there shall be unity in diversity. When His plan is studied and followed, there will be far less friction in the working of the cause.
2006 1524 page13“There are many members in the body, and all the members have not the same office, but each one is essential to the perfection of the work.” “The body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him. And if they were all one member, where were the body?”
“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily, prophets, thirdly, teachers; after that, miracles, then gift of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”
The Lord desires His church to respect every gift that He has bestowed on the different members. Let us beware of allowing our minds to become fixed on ourselves, thinking that no one can be serving the Lord unless he is working on the same lines as those on which we are working.
Never is a worker to say, “I do not want to work with such a one, because he does not see things as I do. I wish to work with some one who will agree with all I say, and follow out all my ideas.” The one the worker thus refuses to connect with may have truths to present that have not yet been presented. Because of the worker’s refusal to accept the help provided by the Lord, the work is made one-sided.
The work is hurt unless there are brought into it all the gifts that God has bestowed. Many times the progress of the work has been hindered because the laborers thought their gifts all that were necessary for its advancement. The Lord has not done for His people what He would have done if so many of the workers had not limited the development of the work by refusing to cooperate with laborers who should have been given standing room and encouragement. In self-sufficiency, men have ignored and pushed aside those to whom God has given a special work.
Prudence is necessary, and must be exercised. Discretion is necessary, and must be shown. Let those in responsible positions wisely improve their gifts. But let them not think, because their work is important, that they are the whole body. No one is to disparage another’s gifts. No one is to suppose that he is the only one who can bring truth from the treasure-house of God.
“He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
This article is excerpted from one that first appeared in the Pacific Union Recorder on December 29, 1904. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.