This week’s devotions are based on Sunday’s Message: I Love my church…Love in Service (WATCH HERE).
Every human being has different abilities.
People are great leaders. People are great teachers. People are great helpers. The list goes on.
So what makes Spiritual Gifts different from those talents and attributes that other people have?
Simply put, the purpose is different.
Every talent a person has can be used for self-gain and self-promotion or the benefit of other people. Every talent enables a person to do somethings differently or better than another person. However, Spiritual Gifts are abilities that God gives out of his love and grace that are specifically given and focused on the building up and growing of God’s kingdom. They are gifts that God is giving or repurposing for his glory.
For example, an individual can be a gifted leader and move a company from a start up to a multi-billion dollar world-wide company. However, a leader with the Spiritual Gift of leadership would refocus on leading to the glory of God and make leadership less about the success of the company and more about the spread of the Gospel.
So what are some of those gifts God’s Spirit gives? Before we get to specific ones, here’s a few general truths.
- God’s Spirit is wise and gives the gifts to people that the Church needs at that point and season in life in history.
- There is no exhaustive list of Spiritual Gifts. (Four good areas are 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, 1 Peter 4, and Ephesians 4.
Now for a few specifics. Here’s the list Paul records in Romans 12:
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. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 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.
Do you think you have any of these gifts?
Prophesy: Often this is received as the ability to apply God’s truth in a future context or setting. Not to be confused with the sinful art of “fortune telling,” prophesy takes the concrete truth of God’s Word and applies it in advance of a future event or situation.
Serving: Serving is the willingness to use my gifts to be a blessing to someone else. Service is often the yielding of my time and priorities to the needs and priorities of others. I see other’s needs as greater than my own.
Teaching: Teaching is the ability to make the confusing understandable. A good teacher breaks down content into understandable and meaningful bites so that the individual learns it and is able to apply it.
Encouraging: We all get discouraged. We can get stuck on the present and have diminishing hope or enthusiasm for the future. One with the gift of encouragement isn’t empty in their words, but loves to put God’s promises of truth plainly on the heart of one who is discouraged to change their perspective and give them hope.
Contributing: This gift is an open hand to give materially to a material need. Individuals with this gift manage the wealth God has given them in a minimal way to take care of their own personal needs, but in a generous way to ensure they always have resources to give.
Leadership. One with the gift of leadership is able to move people toward a vision and goal. Their influence is one that is just and positive. They can see the big picture, make clear decisions, and find joy in bringing people along on the journey. They love to create greater impact and influence for the Gospel.
Showing mercy: These are people the Spirit has given a big heart. They are empathetic and able to assist those that many others wouldn’t. Their patient and gentle spirit is humble in interactions, yet powerful in touching the lives of people with the compassionate love of Jesus.
So did one or two of these stand out to you? Perhaps it’s time to start experimenting and see if the gifts you are noticing are confirmed. God is generous and has not overlooked anyone in giving gifts to you. They flow from his grace to you to use for the spread of his grace.
Apply: What are one or two ideas you have to use the gifts God has given to you?
Prayer: Lord thank you for the generosity and variety of your grace to give gifts to me and many others. Help us to embrace their purpose and use them for your glory and the advancement of your kingdom. AMEN.