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Click the link below to learn more about Spiritual Gifts.
Welcome Back to
My Brother's Keeper
Using Your Spiritual Gifts
Welcome back my friend!
Good things come to those who wait. I trust that you're waiting at
the end of each step for the next day to continue on. It's a great
thing you're doing!
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen
thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
What's the difference between a gift, and a spiritual gift? Most
people think of their gifts as their talents, but most peoples'
talents are really skills that they've developed on their own,
through knowledge, study and practice. A spiritual gift is a natural
ability that you receive from God, through the Holy Spirit. A
spiritual gift is an ability which you use to glorify the Lord.
What are your spiritual gifts? That's a question that you can answer
by asking yourself, What can I do, to best serve the Lord? What
opportunities and talents has He given to me that I can use to
glorify Him? What do I enjoy doing that truly serves Him? He gave you
unique gifts and wove them into who you are, and He has a plan for
you to use those gifts. Often times, God will put you into situations
where you can use the spiritual gifts that He gave you.
No matter what your spiritual gifts are, they're
important to God. Let me give you something to think about. Let's say
you take the ingredient ... Salt ... Out of all your food. Blehhhhh!
But it's only salt. It usually dissolves and you can't even see it,
but it sure does make a difference. Don't underestimate the
importance of the spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit gives you, no
matter how insignificant you think they may be.
Actually, your gifts don't only belong to you. The Holy Spirit did
not give them to you simply for your own benefit, but for the benefit
of others, and so that people would depend on one another. If we each
had all the spiritual gifts, what would we need to depend on others
for? Our spiritual gifts help keep us united.
This is a wonderful explanation by the Apostle Paul, of how we're all
united in Christ and how we all should depend on and appreciate one
another and the spiritual gifts that each one of us has been blessed
with. Let's take a look.
1 Corinthians 12:4-31
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the
same God which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every
man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to
another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the
gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another
prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds
of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit,
dividing to every man severally as He will.
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all
the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body,
whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have
been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am
not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I
am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing?
If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in
the body, as it hath pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of
thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to
be more feeble, are necessary:
23 And those members of the body, which we think to be
less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our
uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath
tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that
part which lacked.
25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that
the members should have the same care one for another.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer
with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in
28 And God hath set some in the church, first Apostles,
secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then
gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
29 Are all Apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers?
are all workers of miracles?
30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with
tongues? do all interpret?
31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto
you a more excellent way.
What does all that mean?
Well, to make a long story short, it means that we've all been given different gifts by the same Holy Spirit, and that we all need one another. In short, we are all Spiritually Gifted when the Holy Spirit moves in. Paul is kind of humorous saying, if the whole body were an eye, how would it hear? Good point, huh? Another point he makes is that some gifts, even though they may seem weak, are very very important. Let me give you another example: The eye is very fragile, even an eyelash inside of it can cause much pain, but without the eye, the hand which is very strong, would have a difficult time working.
What did Paul mean by that last sentence? It's good to sincerely want
to do the best things for God ... But, Paul adds, I'm going to show
you something that's very important! Oh my, yes! Throw a little
unconditional love into the recipe and then you've got the right
idea. Paul goes on in 1
Corinthians, Chapter 13 to teach more about this, that you can
have all the gifts in the world, but without Love ... Well, if you
don't share them with Love, they're useless.
Have you ever gotten a paper cut on your baby finger, and even though
you're in perfect health, that teeny tiny little paper cut can
absolutely ruin your day? Whenever you consider yourself unworthy, or
the gifts that the Holy Spirit has freely given to you unimportant,
you're really affecting the lives of others. No matter how
unimportant you may think your gift is, not using it causes a wound
that effects someone else, and quite possibly many people.
It's easy to forget how we should use our spiritual gifts even when we know that we are Spiritually Gifted. When you perform the gift(s) that the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon you, do you remember that you're sharing it with the Lord's beloved people? Do you give it freely? Do you like to take the credit for your talent or are you humble and make certain that others (who don't understand as well as you do) know that it is a gift of God, and that you are merely a vessel by which He is distributing His gift?
Let's talk about specific spiritual gifts for a moment. In today's world, it oft times seems that our gifts are different from those that people were blessed with back in Paul's day, but is that really true? What about doctors? True, most have not come by their profession spiritually, but though our society requires a degree from medical school to be a doctor of any kind, some are spiritually gifted in their work. They are today's healers.
You'll find that our world today doesn't require the gift of speaking
in tongues in the same way that it did in Biblical times and the Word
of God today is spread through other means of communication, but make
no mistake ...
His Word Gets Around!
What about being Spiritually Gifted with the gift of prophecy? Don't we have people alive today who
are God's prophets? This is an interesting question. Many people
believe that God doesn't use prophets any longer. I'd like to give
you something to think about. In our unbelieving world of today, if
God did send us the precious gift of a prophet, who would believe?
I'm going to give you a few seconds to think about your answer ...
. . .
. . .
. . .
No matter what your answer was, doesn't it mean that a prophet is
really in the eye of the beholder?
Peter tells us in the book of the Acts of the Apostles, quoting
scripture from Joel
2:28-30, that the gift of prophecy will be given to men and women
in the End Times:
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God,
I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your
daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and
your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour
out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
What about teachers, and helpers, etc.? If you look around, you'll
see that there are still people who are gifted in many of the same
ways, in our world today, as in Biblical times.
Do you have gifts that you don't even know about? Perhaps you are Spiritually Gifted with something that you don't consider a 'gift' but is something that touches other peoples' lives. Maybe hospitality is a gift of yours. You may find it effortless, whereas someone who may be a fantastic cook might have great difficulty making people feel welcome, whether it be at home or at a Christian community gathering. If you've ever seen the old movie "It's a Wonderful Life" you know that there are many people who's lives you've affected just by being ... You. That alone is a spiritual gift. The fact that God created you, is evidence that He has a plan for you, and that even if you can't put a title on a specific 'gift' ... You are a gift to others. But, what Are Your Spiritual Gifts?
The way that we use our gifts is so very important. If someone gave you a gift, and you thought it was too special to use it, what good does it do? It may be nice to look at, but what does it profit anyone? The same goes for your spiritual gifts when you have been Spiritually Gifted. What if those who are gifted with musical ability didn't sing? What good does it do for anyone then? Don't put your spiritual gifts up on a shelf somewhere, and never use them ... It's a shame for them to go to waste.
Some people are jealous of other people who are Spiritually Gifted and this
is a problem that apparently was going on way back when, too. If the
word jealous is too harsh for you, let's use the word ... Envious.
Paul explains, using the parts of our physical body, as an example of
how we should view our spiritual gifts as parts of the body of
Christ, and not to misjudge our importance.
How you use your gifts is important:
4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members
have not the same office:
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one
members one of another.
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that
is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the
proportion of faith;
7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that
teacheth, on teaching;
8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth,
let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he
that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is
evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly
love; in honour preferring one another;
11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving
12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing
instant in prayer;
13 Distributing to the necessity of Saints; given to
14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them
16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high
things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own
What does all that mean? It means to give your gifts with Love. We
should never take advantage of spiritual gifts or take them for
granted either, whether they be our gifts, or someone else's. As Paul
said above, your gift is serving the Lord, which deserves reverence,
whether you are giving or receiving.
A lot of people claim that they don't have any gifts or talents, or
that they just don't know what their gifts are. Sometimes this is for
attention but sometimes it's because they don't want the
responsibility that goes along with being gifted. Let me give you an
Two year old Junior learned the ABC's from watching Sesame Street
every morning, but when mommy wants Junior to sing the ABC's for Aunt
Gertrude, he remains as silent as a clam. Not because he doesn't know
the ABC's, but because once someone else knows that Junior knows his
ABC's, he knows he's going to have to sing them for everybody that
happens by until he's 5!
This is just a silly example, but do we realize the happiness and the
benefits that we are keeping from our fellow Christians by not using
our God given gifts? Sharing your spiritual gifts takes your precious
time ... It's a sacrifice, for God. Whatever you do for others, you
do for the Lord. We all belong to Him ... We're all a part of Him. Do
you have something better to do with your time than that?
There are other kinds of spiritual gifts, that aren't talent related
... But the kind that are like presents, if you will. If you're a
Christian who hasn't recognized you being Spiritually Gifted with your own talents and spiritual gifts, take a good
look at these:
The Gift of Jesus Christ:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have
The Gift of the Holy Spirit:
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized
every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and
to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your
children: how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy
Spirit to them that ask Him?
The Gift of Eternal Life:
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Gift of Grace:
For by Grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Every Good Gift:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and
cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness,
neither shadow of turning.
Never be so busy that you forget to recognize the small miraculous
gifts from God in your every day life.
God doesn't hide our gifts from us. If you sincerely look for
them, you'll find them ... Just ask Him. The Lord won't deny your
earnest prayer to fulfill the plan that He has for you. Pray for the
opportunity to discover your own special niche. Oft times, when we
put our own plans aside and open our heart to the guidance of the
Holy Spirit, is when we truly discover the gifts that God designed
just for us. You've discovered that one of your gifts is to represent.
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