Serving God With Spiritual Gifts

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The greatest gifts we’ll ever receive…other than the gift of salvation…aren’t those piled under the Christmas tree or given at your surprise birthday party.

Most of those gifts. . .eventually lose their appeal and sometimes their value.

However, everyone has spiritual gifts that only increase in value and will never go out of style.

John C. Maxwell said:

“When you find your spiritual gift, God will give you an opportunity to use it.”

Of particular focus is the need to use our spiritual gifts.

Spiritual gifts are not given to entertain us.

Spiritual gifts are not given to make you appear as some super saint.

Spiritual gifts are imparted to strengthen individuals and bless the Body of Christ.

Romans 12:1 in the New King James Version says:

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

God considers completely giving ourselves to Him to be "reasonable."

We seem to consider this to be much harder than God does.

How can He think such a thing?  Well… He gave us our life.

Giving it back to Him is “reasonable” in His eyes.

Dying to sin shapes us into a living sacrifice.

Romans 12:2 in the New King James Version says:

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Verse two is one of the majestic verses of the Bible.  In fact, it’s in my Top 5 scriptures.

The Holy Spirit, speaking through Paul, commands us to be transformed.

Instead of conforming to the world system, we are to be shaped by grace.

Romans 12:3 in the New King James Version says:

“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”

This work of perfecting grace allows us to properly see ourselves.

All this flows from the measure of faith given to all believers.

Paul repeatedly refers to the measure of faith. 

It is the Divine equalizer for believers.

Romans 12:4-5 in the New King James Version says:

“For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”

The unity of the Body of Christ is an amazing thing.

The fact that such diverse individuals can flow together is amazing.

Our personal differences can actually move us to a place of greater strength.

For instance, a church that strongly moves in the prophetic can become far too dependent upon verbal direction flowing through other individuals.

Congregations that academically study the Word of God can move to a place devoid of manifestation gifts.

Romans 12:6 in the New King James Version says:

“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them:”

Spiritual gifts flow through the conduit of faith.

Spiritual gifts will manifest (or fail to do so) in our lives through a combination of faith and expectation.

“. . .if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith. . .”

The gifts of the Holy Spirit will manifest in accordance with our faith.

The illustration here is that those whom God uses in prophecy are directed to do so in proportion to their faith.

Romans 12:7 in the New King James Version says:

“. . .or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching. . .”

Please allow me to address those called to pulpit ministry.

Pulpit ministry is not a function of skill alone but active faith.

When we begin pulpit ministry, we do so in faith.  We continue in faith and develop skill.

Romans 12:8 in the New King James Version says:

“. . .he who exhorts, in exhortation. . .”

Those with the gift of encouragement are instructed to pour it out on others.

One beautiful part of sowing encouragement is the inspiration that comes back to the Sower.

Make no mistake. . .regardless of your spiritual gift you are to encourage others.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 in the New International Version which says:

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

My spirit was stirred as I read the Message Bible translation of 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

“Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you're already doing this; just keep on doing it.”

As I was reading this verse. . .God immediately and specifically drew my attention to “. . .no one left out, no one left behind. . .”

It’s clear that many who want to prosper or have their promises FULFILLED have the wrong focus.  Instead of keeping their eyes on Him and those He wants to bless and prosper. . .they focus on themselves and their own needs.

Remember, Ephesians 6:8 says…whatever good thing you cause to happen to someone else. . .God will do for you.

Hallelujah!!  That’s why I get fired up. . .when I read verses like. . .

Hebrews 3:13 in the New International Version says:

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.”

Let’s read what the Word of God is saying gain, “encourage one another daily.”

Back to spiritual gifts.

Romans 12:8 in the New Living Translation continues by saying:

“. . .If it is giving, give generously. . .”

The Book of Romans tells us that giving is a spiritual gift. Giving liberally to finance the end-time harvest will bless people in precisely the same way as prophecy, teaching, exhortation, or even speaking in tongues.

We continually hear about the gift of prophecy, the gift of teaching, the gift of exhortation. When was the last time you heard a sermon on the gift of giving?

Virtually every great work of God has to have a faithful group of supporters behind it, people who minister with their finances.

You will need more than enough if you are going to have a ministry of giving. That is why God is the author of abundance. His blessing can make you rich without sorrow.

Remember, the only way out of poverty, want, shortage, and insufficiency and into God’s abundant provision is generous giving.

Whatever you give to God, He will always give back to you.

Persons with the gift of giving are to do so with great generosity as this is their key to a constantly replenished cash flow.

Romans 12:8 in the New King James Version further says:

“. . .he who leads, with diligence. . .”

Those called to Christian leadership must go about ministering to the needs of others with great diligence.  Pastoral ministry in particular is not an opportunity to prepare for the professional golf tour.

Romans 12:8 in the New Living Translation concludes by saying:

“. . .And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”

If someone approaches you in emotional pain. . .show compassion and allow your willingness to listen be evident in your countenance.

 The Message Bible concludes Romans 12:8 with these words:

“. . . if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.”

In the event someone comes to you with a confession of failure, rejoice. . .not in their failure but in the opportunity to be a blessing to them. 

The sure and certain mercies of Christ are about to be manifest and your are the vessel through whom they are about to flow.  What a blessed individual you are.  Hallelujah!

Is there anything greater than being used of God. . .to help another.

There’s no question each of have spiritual gifts. . .we must use them for His glory and Honor.