"So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching, the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness." (ESV)
This is one list in the New Testament that gives some of the spiritual gifts that one might receive at the moment of salvation. Unlike talents and abilities received at natural birth, spiritual gifts are received at spiritual birth. God's grace deals out differing gifts to different people. And God gives the necessary strength or ability to use what gifts we have. Every Christian has a spiritual gift and it is given to help build the church and to bring God glory.
Seven gifts are listed in this particular passage...
Prophecy- A prophet is a spokesman for the Lord. Someone with this gift often has spiritual insight into situations and can be a powerful prayer warrior or truth-teller, depending on how God leads. This person will share God's truth regardless of what anyone else thinks.
Service- Someone with the gift of service often ends up doing what no one else likes to do. If you have the gift of service, you demonstrate love by serving people and enjoy helping others while meeting their needs. You also prefer behind-the-scenes assignments instead of being out front.
Teaching- If you have the gift of teaching, you enjoy explaining why things are true. You see the need for Biblical knowledge and understanding. Someone with this gift loves to research and dig into details and then share what they discover.
Exhortation- A person with the gift of exhortation loves to encourage the faith of others and help them grow spiritually. These people feel compelled to share God's encouraging words and give practical advice on how to apply God's truth in everyday life.
Giving- A person with this gift has unique financial insights, often has resources to meet needs, and enjoys sharing material blessings. You sincerely like to give to others. You see material needs in the church and are sensitive to how money is spent and saved.
Leadership- If you have this gift, you like to oversee and organize projects and find things for people to do because you see the big picture. You are good at planning for the future while working to keep everyone on track.
Mercy- If you have this gift, you feel compelled to help people reduce pain. Are you more concerned with the person than the reason for their suffering? Many times those with this gift have experienced pain and can therefore empathize with the hurts of others.
(**Descriptions taken from A Confident Heart by Renee Swope)
Every Christian has a spiritual gift and every Christian should be using it to build up the body of Christ. If you are not sure what your spiritual gift is there are a few things that you can do...
- Ask God in prayer to show you what your gift is.
- Just start serving in the church or in ministries outside the church and see what you truly enjoy doing. If it is your "gift" then that particular role will make your heart sing. If you try a role and hate it, then you can be sure that is not where you are suppose to serve.
- Ask someone who knows you well, like your spouse, best friend, etc what spiritual giftedness they see in you. Oftentimes, those closest to us see our strengths before we see them in ourselves.
- Take a spiritual gifts inventory. These can be found at Lifeway Christian Stores in Montgomery. Gene has some in his office and I bet Pastor Shane has some as well.
Until next time...