There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is
the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but
we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is
the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is
given to each of us so we can help each other.
- 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
She stands in the locker room holding the white jersey in her hands, and she looks at the words printed across it saying, “People of God,” and a smile covers her face as a sense of peace-filled belonging settles within her.
No tryouts, no performance was needed, just a heart willing to believe and have faith in the team captain, Jesus. When she accepted the position on the team, the coach gave her a gift, that would help her fulfill her role on the team: the Spirit.
The coach (God) explained that the same power that was in Jesus would be in her too. He said, “Through this Spirit I will give you gifts to do certain things well (Romans 12:6), and as you step out onto the court to join the team (all who believe in Jesus and His sacrifice) those gifts will serve to help us win the game against the enemy. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are already in you, but only you can decide if you are going to use them to help us win, or if you will sit on the sidelines and withhold those gifts from your teammates! What do you say, will you decide to play?”
Those who believe in Jesus are all given the same goal: sharing the Gospel with others, so that they might accept Jesus’ love and the truth of His sacrifice which saves us all. God had a plan for achieving that goal, and He invited His people to play a vital role in carrying out His plan. He wanted us to have a toolbelt of gifts we could use, so He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell inside of us to help us.
The gifts we are given vary in nature, but the reason we get them is to use them to glorify God and to serve one another in love. More and more people are leaving the church, and we need everyone to spread the truth about what Jesus did to show His love for us. We simply can’t afford for people to sit on the sidelines, and not join the mission of spreading the Good News to all people so that they might believe and be reconciled to God through Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20).
The Bible tells us that other people will know that we are followers of Jesus by our love for one another (John 12:35). So, God gave us different gifts so that we might be able to love others well because of them. He knew we would need some people who are good at organization, others with a heart to serve, to lead, to weep with those who weep, to encourage, to provide funds, to give wise counsel, to teach. He knew this life would be filled with challenges, pain, and trials, and He created us to be in community with one another so that we could help each other achieve our common goal: that every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11).
How do we know which gifts God has given us? I think Matt Chandler explains it well when he says, “We look to where our giftedness and passions intersect.” On the blog this month at Lane of Roses, we will be having a series of days where we explain 16 gifts that are found on a multitude of different spiritual gift resources. We invite you to explore these gifts with us to determine how you can use the gifts God has given you, to serve and love others as Jesus did.
The first step to discovering your gifts is to pray that the Lord will reveal the gifts He has given you. A second step would be to take a spiritual gifts test (our recommendations are Shepherds of the Lost Spiritual Gift Survey and Lifeway Spiritual Gifts Inventory). The third step would be that in His abundant grace, God would affirm the gifts through other believers with whom you are in contact.
Once you determine your gifts, pray that God would open your eyes to opportunities for you to use the gifts He’s given you (through the Holy Spirit inside you) to love, encourage, and build up other believers and to share God’s love with those who do not yet know Him.
1. What gifts do you believe that God has given you?
2. When was a time you used your gifts to love, encourage or build another person up?
3. How can you use, or continue to use, these gifts to love and serve others?
God, Thank You for Jesus. Thank You that He came to die on the cross for us so that we might come into a right relationship with You. Thank You that You gave us the Holy Spirit so that we might serve both You and others. Thank You that You gave me gifts to do certain things well. Help me to seek out opportunities to use my gifts to worship You in all I do. Help me to celebrate the gifts You have given others, and help me not to compare myself against the gifts you’ve given them. Thank You for sending “the Advocate as (Your) representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach (me) everything and will remind (me) of everything (You) have told (me)” - John 14:26. Lord, please have other followers of Jesus affirm the gifts You’ve given me, that I might have clarity. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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