WHAT ARE SPIRITUAL GIFTS?
There are times in your life where you receive gifts because you gave someone a gift first. One example of this is secret Santa. Have you ever played that game? To make sure no one is left out, there has to be an even number of players who bring a gift to the party, You draw names, and whoever draws your name, gives the gift they bought to you. Spiritual Gifts do not operate in that manner. You may have also heard Spiritual Gifts referred to as "Grace Gifts" Grab you bible or tap in your app to 1 Corinthians 12:4-14.
Verse 4 uses the Greek word "charismata" which translates as gifts of grace. This lets us know that Spiritual Gifts or Grace Gifts are given from the love of the giver, not the merit of the person who is receiving the gifts. In Romans 12:6 Paul says "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us." In other words, we aren't given these gifts based on God's needs or even His requirements. We are simply given these gifts based on his His love and grace for us!
I'll give you a moment to praise God now for once a gain giving us all something that we don't deserve!
In short, Spiritual gifts are spiritual abilities given to believers by the Holy Spirit to equip them to carry out God's work in the world.
HOW SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE GIVEN
Everyone who is a believer in Christ Jesus is given at least one gift. 1 Peter 4:10 tells us that each one should use whatever he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in it's various forms. Everyone is important to God. We should never look down on ourselves or think that we will never be able to do anything significant for God. We should come to realize that we are somebody in God's grace. We are His children whom He loves very much. Due to these facts, we should exercise our gifts in ministry by, as Peter stated, serving others.
You don't get to pick your gift. And if you have trouble accepting your gift, you don't get to take it back to the customer service department in Heaven to get an exchange. God distributes His gifts as He thinks best. One thing to keep in mind is that because we have done nothing to earn these gifts or work for them, we have no right to brag about our gifts either. We are one body, with Christ as the head with many parts. Each part of the body exists to serve the whole and God knows how each part can be best used. All of these parts are important and must work together to advance God's plan for His people. Paul advises us in 1 Corinthians 14:12 "Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church". Remember, the church is the people not the building. Are gifts should be used to build each other up, not tear each other down. Jesus commissioned us to go into the world, and draw other to Him. How can we do that if we are using the grace gifts God has given us to cause more damage than good? How can we do that if we are sitting our gifts on the shelf and not using them at all?
HOW ARE YOU USING YOUR GIFTS?
Grab your bible again and open it up to Matthew 25:14-30. This passage of scripture is the parable of the talents. This scripture serves as purpose to teach us that we will be help responsible for the way we use our gifts. Take a moment to read this passage then answer the following question:
If God asked you at this moment: "Did you faithfully use the gifts I gave you?" What would your answer be to that question?
DEVELOPING YOUR GIFTS
Keep in mind that even though we have been given these gifts, there is still work for us to do. We should be "stirring up" our gift (Paul gives Timothy this advice in 2 Timothy 1:6). We should also practice and immerse ourselves in our gifts so that everyone can see our progress (more sound advice from Paul.) We also need to be very careful in how we conduct ourselves and the things that we say. 1 Timothy 4:15 says to keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Stick to what God is saying and don't wander off down your own path or what you think is wisdom. Wisdom comes from God and if it truly is a prophetic word, we should be able to go back into the word of God and find it there. 1 John 4:1 states that we should test the spirits to make sure that it is coming from God. There are counterfeits out there.
HOW CAN YOU FIND OUT YOUR GIFT
1. Believe you are gifted. Again, everyone who is a believer has at least one gift.
2. Pray. The bible says that if you want to know something, ask God. He wants to tell you!
3. Discover your gifts in addition to praying, you can take a spiritual gift assessment (link is below). You may be surprised to find that you have already been operating in your gift and you were not even aware of it!
4. Accept Responsibility for using your gifts. Do as the bible commands. There are many gifts as believers we should be using regardless of whether we are gifted in those areas or not (evangelize, show mercy, encourage, give, help). As we begin to be obedient in those areas, the Holy Spirit may reveal other gifts that we were not initially aware of that we possess.
5. Accept the confirmation of others. Often times, people can see things about you before you are able to. Pay attention when multiple people are saying the same thing about you. They may be being used by God in that moment to help you come to some realizations about yourself. Remember God is the source of wisdom. Just because someone says they think you're a preacher or teacher doesn't necessarily mean you are. Allow God to speak to you on these matters. God is your friend and He wants to lead you to and through this!
There are so many Christians who live in a space where they are unaware of their spiritual gifts. When gifts go unused or neglected, there is a potential for great waste! Take your gift off the shelf, dust it off and put it on. It looks so good on you! When you see a gift in a fellow believer, encourage them to do the same. A church filled with believer who exercise their spiritual gifts in a loving way is a church that experiences unity.
I will share more lessons on Spiritual Gifts soon! In the meantime, take the survey below and then comment what your gifts are. If you already know your gifts, I would love to hear from you as well! Love you all <3
Spiritual Gifts Survey: file:///C:/MGR%20Backup/Downloads/DOC-Spiritual-Gifts-Survey.pdf
Jennifer is a student and teacher of the bible who lives in Louisville, KY. She believes that strongly believes in maturing the saved.