You are Gifted
Did you know that you have been given spiritual gifts? This is not merely a unique talent you possess or a passion to which you feel called. It is a gift that was given to you by the Holy Spirit when you accepted Christ into your heart. These gifts are meant to be used for the benefit of others – serving – and to give glory to God. They are not to be hoarded and used for your own profit but to help others.
Whatever you do, don’t deny your gifts or make excuses. Even if you don’t feel gifted, even if you doubt that you are anything special, the truth remains that you hold spiritual gifts. The Holy Spirit has bestowed upon you these gifts that are intended for you to use in your service to others. It’s not prideful to agree with this; it’s actually quite the opposite, as we are pointing right back to God as the Giver. We are the recipient of these beautiful gifts given to us by our amazing God to do His work. We have nothing to do with these spiritual gifts — they are placed within each of us by our creator, God Almighty.
What are Spiritual Gifts?
So, what are these spiritual gifts? There are many, and each gift is different from the other. None are better than the others, and all can be used for God’s glory (just like you and me). We’ll delve deeper into the specifics of the gifts later this week (watch out for a free printable that covers the spiritual gifts), but for now, we’ll just give a brief overview.
Paul tells the believers in Ephesus, “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-13 NIV).
At another time, Paul encourages the Romans, “If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully” (Romans 12:6-8 NIV).
Paul explains to the church in Corinth, “To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues” (1 Corinthians 12:8-10 NIV).
He then continues to say, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?” (1 Corinthians 12:27-30 NIV).
Discovering Your Unique Gifts
As we can see, there are a wide variety of spiritual gifts given to the church and believers. There are the gifts of apostleship, prophecy, evangelizing, teaching, serving, encouragement, giving, leadership, mercy, wisdom, faith, healing, miracles, tongues, and interpretation—and that is only to name a few! God is not limited, He provides all that is needed for kingdom building. And He works through each of us in a unique way.
You can identify your spiritual gifts through a variety of assessments. I encourage you to take the time to complete an evaluation to discover your gifts so you can then use your gifts to serve those around you. I recommend the Spiritual Gifts Survey offered through LifeWay. You can download the form, complete the survey, and score your survey to discover your spiritual gifts. It’s important to understand that we hold many of the spiritual gifts or perhaps all of the spiritual gifts. The survey helps you to identify your strongest gifts and areas where you may not be as strong.
My Unique Gifts
My top three ministry gifts are leadership (ability to lead others toward spiritual growth), administration (goal-oriented with strong organizational skills), and giving (joyfully giving of resources to advance God’s work). I am not as strong in hospitality. This does not mean I am not hospitable, or I do not create a warm welcome for people. What is does imply is that due to my nature, I am not as comfortable inviting people into my home last minute or without planning because I want to make their stay as welcoming as I possibly can.
I also believe I scored low in hospitality because I am very concerned about putting out my family when I host a Bible study group or mentoring session. Or I tend to be over-concerned with not being able to give as much time to the person I’ve invited to stay with us. You see, there could be many reasons why I am not as strong in one gift as another but I want you to know that just because you score low in one area does not mean you do not have that particular gift or you should avoid an activity because of your results from the survey. God will always supply our strength and what is needed to do His work.
The Purpose of Your Unique Gifts
The key is to remember the purpose of our spiritual gifts. As the apostle, Peter wrote, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV). Our gifts are treasured possessions meant to be stewarded, or taken care of with all diligence. They are given to us so that we can then go and use them to serve others.
Our spiritual gifts aren’t given to us to make us feel good about ourselves. They aren’t there for our boasting or to puff up our pride. Our spiritual gifts are to be used for the glory of God. These gifts are to be used for the greater good of the family of God. God knew who would be in our circles of influence and who would be in need of our encouragement and support. Those we connect with daily and have an incredible opportunity to minister to using the spiritual gifts God has given to each of us.
Using Your Spiritual Gifts to Serve
So, as you identify your spiritual gifts, take time to reflect on who you can serve with your spiritual gifts. What population do you believe God is calling you to serve? It could be your family, your children, your parents, your neighbors, or your community.
It is my prayer you will use your spiritual gifts to serve those around you and be a blessing to others.
“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”
In the following weeks leading up to the resurrection, I hope you’ll join me in serving and loving those around us. Let’s be ambassadors for Christ. Won’t you join me?
PS – If you’re struggling with purpose, not quite understanding your current season, or you are in need of prayer, please reach out. I am here for you, and YOU are not alone.