Encouragement from the Word

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth"
III John 1:4

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spiritual Gifts: Do I Really Have One?

If you are a believer, then God has given you a unique spiritual gift (or two) that you are to use within the body of Christ (the church) to help it function according to God's design. Just as a body has many parts that must all function together to make the body work properly, so goes the church. Your gift is an important and necessary part of the kingdom of God.

How Do I Determine my Spiritual Gift?

 If you are not sure what your spiritual gift is, there are several spiritual gift inventories online that can help you determine that. Hopefully, this post will give you some insight into what your gift may be. Please take the time to prayerfully search this out and then talk to a minister at your church to see where you can begin to use your spiritual gift. You will be amazed how God will bless you as you begin to take an active part in furthering God's kingdom and building up his church.

In Romans 12: 4-8 it says:

 "Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ, we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving; let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully."

 I discovered many years ago that my spiritual gifts were teaching and leadership. Although I am a teacher by profession, people who are teachers do not always have the spiritual gift of teaching; nor do those with the gift of teaching always go into that profession. Having the gift of teaching, I really enjoy planning out lessons and pulling out "truth nuggets" and life application for the learners. I love the studying and preparatory aspect of teaching as much as the presentation of the lesson. It makes me happy when students learn something new and are moved forward in their faith.

As for the gift of leadership, I thoroughly enjoy planning and running events and have no problem speaking in front of a crowd. I have the ability to use a team well to get things done. I share my gifts with you just as an example and not to boast in any way. As a matter of fact, no gift is greater than any other. You can find more about spiritual gifts and particularly, the "body"analogy, in 1 Corinthians 12.

What Gifts are Mentioned in the Bible?

 Some of the spiritual gifts are listed below. As you read about them ask yourself if any of them sound like you, or particularly inspire you:

Service - These people enjoy helping with various chores around the church such as working in the kitchen, helping with custodial issues, doing yard work for older members, or helping with parking. It makes them feel useful and fulfilled to get their hands dirty, dig in and help. They don't mind (as a matter of fact, they prefer) being behind the scenes.

Giving - People with the gift of giving immediately reach into their wallet or purse when they see a need within the church that can be remedied with a little or a lot of cash. God has blessed them with the resources to help with things like purchasing a new sound system, giving to a missions project, paying for someones electric bill, donating a vehicle to someone who needs it. They are happy to share their money and resources with others.

Exhortation - Those with the gift of exhortation enjoy encouraging other believers to "keep on keepin' on". They often urge others to do what's right through advice and possibly, words of warning. They like to write letters and cards to people who are going through a rough time. Lifting people up lifts them up.

Teaching - A person with the gift of teaching has a burden to see people grow and learn through Bible study. They enjoy preparing and presenting Biblical truth in a logical and systematic way. They are usually pretty comfortable speaking in front of people, although it is not always a large group that they teach. Seeing the light go on when someone understands a Biblical truth for the first time really "floats their boat".

Leadership - Those who have the gift of leadership enjoy planning and organizing things within the church. They are good at delegating responsibility and leading a team of people to accomplish a task. They would probably do well as the Vacation Bible School director or as the head of another program in their church.

Mercy - A person who has the gift of mercy will show lots of caring and compassion for people who are hurting. They may like to do hospital visits or minister to people who have lost a loved one. When brothers and sisters in Christ are hurting, they hurt as well. They truly and sincerely care about people.

Prophecy - A person with the gift of prophesy is concerned with sin and the influence of culture on the body of Christ. They have a strong sense of right and wrong according to the Word of God. Within the church, they may encourage, admonish and influence believers towards a more godly lifestyle.

Faith - Believers with the gift of faith know that God is going to work everything out. They naturally have a peace in life that may seem unnatural to some. When others around them are distraught or in a panic, they strongly believe God. These people are often described as having a positive attitude about life.

Evangelism - Those with the gift of evangelism love nothing more than to share Christ with people. Their heart's desire is to see people come into the family of God. They will usually have tracks on hand to give to people they meet as they go about their day. My own father had the gift of evangelism and was an active member of the Gideon's organization for many years.

Discernment - Believers with the gift of discernment can quickly detect what is false and what is true. They can be a great source of wisdom and advice when situations come up in the church that just "don't seem quite right". They can usually determine whether or not someone's motives are pure, as well.

Don't  be a "pew sitter" any longer. Be a part of God's exciting work. Find out where you can help. I guarantee your church will find a place for you!

Please Leave a Comment

Have you discovered your spiritual gift? What is it? Are you using it in your local church? Leave a comment and tell me about it.

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