Think of the most recent gift you received. Did it come as a nicely wrapped package? Were you surprised? Had it been carefully selected for you? Was it something you wanted or something you needed?
We often think of gifts as the shiny pretty packages we give and receive at Christmas time, birthdays, and other special occasions. Everyone loves to receive gifts, but most of us understand the adage that it is better to give (gifts) than to receive!
Spiritual gifts are given to each Christ follower by the Holy Spirit. They are special abilities that are to be used to minister to the needs of and build up the body of Christ, the church. To use them effectively we must (1) realize that all gifts and abilities come from God, (2) realize that not everyone has the same gifts, (3) know who we are and what we do best, (4) dedicate our gifts to God’s service and not to our personal success, and (5) be willing to utilize our gifts wholeheartedly, not holding anything back from God’s service. God’s gifts differ in nature, power, and effectiveness according to his wisdom and graciousness, not according to our faith. We cannot, by our own effort or willpower, drum up more faith and thus be more effective teachers or singers or administrators. These are God’s gifts to his church, and he gives faith and power as he wills. Our role is to be faithful and to seek ways to serve others with what Christ has given us.
6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Do you know what your “gifts” are? Are you using them to the best of your ability to serve God’s church?
Identify your strongest gift. Make it stronger. Use it to serve God’s church.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for my gifts! Help me identify them and develop them. Give me the power necessary and appropriate to use them to serve your church. Amen.
This post was written by Pam Haynam. Pam is a writer for the LivingItOut Bible Study, a Lead Mentor Mom for Momentum, and a cook for the weekend worship band. She has a passion for education having served her community on a district school board and is currently serving on a board that sponsors charter schools across the state. She and her husband have three grown children, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law and three grandsons.
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