1Co 4:7 (NKJV) For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?THIS TEXT TEACHES US NOT TO BE PROUD.
You and I must not claim the credit for what God has called us to do because with the calling,
God also gives the inspiration, the wisdom, the faith, the love, the knowledge, the strength and the skill to fulfil HIS purpose in His way.
However, there are other lessons hidden in this text.
Firstly, we do differ from one another. Some of the differences are by God’s design.
God did not call Johan Sebastian Bach and George Frederick Handel to be preachers but to write some of the most glorious music ever heard on this earth.
God did not call Billy Graham or Reinhard Bonnke to teach theology in a Bible college but to preach to great crowds to bring millions of lost men and women into the Kingdom of Heaven.
If God has gifted you to transform the lives of children, He may not have given you the gift of preaching to crowds of adults.
One of the saddest things in churches is the low value we put on children and children’s ministry.
Samuel was a child when he heard the voice of God and became a prophet.
Mary was a young teenager when she conceived the Son of God.
In Mozambique, Heidi Baker adopts abandoned children and raises them up to preach the Good News of Jesus to hostile Muslims and witchcraft workers.
Little boys and girls open blind eyes and deaf ears and whole villages come to faith in Jesus Christ.
Children’s ministry can be a place of training for preachers to adults. However, we should not only see children in this way.
I often hear people speak of children as “the church of tomorrow.” I hate this saying.
Although it is partly true, it poisons the church with unbelief concerning the potential of children to be heroes of faith right now.
In churches where these thoughts are accepted, the adults are often spiritual underachievers as well. God save our children from becoming mediocre unbelieving believers!
Another reason for differences between believers is simply that only some believers have learned the secret of receiving in order to give.
“For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive?”
Lk 7:47 (NKJV) Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little."
The first thing we all need to receive is forgiveness for our sins.
If we have a revelation of the wonderful goodness of God, we will see more and more how much we need His forgiveness and how great is His mercy and grace.
Some of us strive to be good but we are really trying to cover our weaknesses and faults.
- Paul wrote:
2Co 12:9 (NLT) Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.I love to hear preachers talk about their weaknesses and faults and how God has helped them overcome them. Unfortunately, few preaches dare to be so transparent.
There are other believers who depend on their knowledge and abilities instead of opening themselves to the wisdom and direction of God.
If you empty yourself and receive revelation, wisdom and direction from God, He will also use your knowledge and talents but your own ability must never be your starting point or the thing you rely on.
- God redirected their thinking and used their minds for His Kingdom.
1Co 1:21 (NKJV) For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
We must also not go to the other extreme by despising intellect.
We would not have bibles and study resources without highly educated believers.
We also need believing doctors, teachers, writers and politicians.