(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Romans 12:6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. … 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Between writing yesterday’s devotion and today’s devotion, I was thinking about the question, “Why wouldn’t I use a gift God has given to me?” How would you answer that?
I was out in my garage. I have been blessed…or accumulated…many tools. But not all of them are getting used. Why not?
- I don’t know what it is or how to use it. There are some tools I have inherited from others that I’m not sure exactly how to use them. I’m sure with a little research and a little practice, I could benefit from them.
- I know what the tool is, I am just too busy to use it. The tool lies idle because other things in life prevent time in my shop.
- I don’t have a project to work on. This is rare…but the tool will do no good if it is not put to use to help accomplish a project for a greater good.
Do you see parallels to spiritual gifts? We may not know what they are or how to use them (See link again in the “Apply” section). We may know our gifts, but find ourselves too busy to add them to the body of Christ. We may feel like there is nothing for me to do with my gifts and therefore feel like they are not important.
All of these need a commitment to change. I commit to discovering my spiritual gifts and using them. I commit to decluttering other aspects of my life so I can use the gifts God has given me to be part of his church, his body and add my gifts to the collective of others. I commit to seeking ways to use my gifts, not waiting to be asked, but offering them to the service of the Lord. Commit with the Spirit’s help to use the gifts God has given to you. As we’ve said all week, “You have a gift…use it!”
So, if you have the gift to encourage, then give encouragement.
One with the gift of encouragement is willing to come alongside someone to support and walk with them. Perhaps you have the ability to see when someone needs a kind word, appreciation or just recognition for a job well done. If you do…use this gift often! People all around you need encouragement!
If you have the gift of giving, then give generously.
Giving to the Lord is the responsibility of every Christian. Giving the first of your income and a tenth of your income is just the regular activity of a Christian. Giving beyond that is the gift of giving. The gift of generosity enables one to give beyond their ability, at the sacrifice of some things personal, but for the advancement of the ministry of the Gospel in some way. Generosity is certainly financial, but the gift of giving can extend to a generous giving of time to serve or use of talents to help.
If you have the gift to lead, do it diligently.
Some people don’t like to be out in front. Some do. Maybe you are one of those. You are comfortable casting the vision, organizing the team, and motivating action for the kingdom of God. People look to you for direction or just affirmation that things are moving in the right direction. You are ok making decisions because often the “buck stops with you.” If this is your gift follow the lead of your Savior and find an area of ministry to lead God’s people forward with great things for the Lord!
If you have the gift to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
I think it is hard to walk in someone’s shoes, to carry their burden, and do it cheerfully. But maybe God has gifted you to do this. You are willing to help when no one else is. You are willing to lend a hand when others are too busy. You are willing to show compassion when others aren’t. And…you keep a smile on your face because you know it was for this reason God put you in a person’s life. If showing mercy is your gift, use it and do it cheerfully!
What are the gifts/tools God’s Spirit has given to you? Don’t let ignorance, business, or lack of opportunity keep you from using the gifts God has given to you. Talk to your pastor and other Christians…discover your gift. Take a look at your calendar…make time for your gifts. Take a look at the opportunities around you…and USE your gift!
Apply: Monday’s devotion had a link to a Spiritual gifts assessment. There are others, simply google “Spiritual Gifts Assessment” and try a couple. See if they share similar results. Experiment with what you find and enjoy the process of using them.
Prayer: Lord, help me see the gifts you have given and then put them to use! AMEN