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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

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St. Matthew

Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13
Psalm 19
Matthew 9:9-13

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build up

"It is He Who gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers to equip the saints for the work of service to build up the body of Christ." —Ephesians 4:11-12, our translation

There are two different kinds of Christians: equippers and builders. Most (possibly over 90%) are builders. They lead people out of the kingdom of darkness into God's kingdom. They "form that perfect man who is Christ come to full stature" (Eph 4:13) and build up Christ's body in love (Eph 4:16). A small minority equip the builders. Equippers are "apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers" (Eph 4:11, our translation).

Equippers exercise one or more of these four ministries. For example, Matthew was both an apostle and an evangelist. He was used to equip many millions to build Christ's kingdom. Equippers work primarily with Christians rather than in the world. They build up the saints who build up Christ's body.

Equippers are useless without people to equip. Builders are unprepared for their work unless equippers do their job. Each part of Christ's body needs all the other parts. Then, all together and under the lordship of Jesus the Head, "the whole body grows, and with the proper functioning of the members joined firmly together by each supporting ligament, builds itself up in love" (Eph 4:16).

Prayer:  Father, may I find out whether I'm an equipper or builder, and may I do my job.

Promise:  "People who are in good health do not need a doctor; sick people do." —Mt 9:12

Praise:  St. Matthew believed in the Messiah when Jesus called him to leave his job and even more so when Jesus called him to leave his earthly life through martyrdom.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Equipping the Saints on audio AV 6C-3 or video V-6C or our tape Equipping Gifts on audio AV 3B-1 or video V-3B.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 8, 2005

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