Gifts From God

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10).

In some ways, the Christian life brings troubles and affliction (John 16:33). But in other significant ways, it actually makes life easier. Jesus Himself describe His yoke and burden as “easy” and “light” (Matthew 11:28-29). One way God makes serving easier is by giving us supernatural gifts.

These gifts differ in their outworking. Some possess speaking gifts, while others come alongside people to exhort them to keep serving God. Still others have been gifted by God to give large amounts of money to fund God’s work. The list of gifts goes on, and you can read more in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. Key point: We need to use our gifts to serve others.

In giving us special gifts, God may deprive us of other abilities. In His wisdom, He wants us doing certain things, while other people can do other things. God shapes the church by using people to serve certain functions. He gives us gifts so that the body of Christ may benefit:

“To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7).

In this sense, we do not own our gifts. God “loans” them to us so that we will use them in His service. As we employ these gifts in God’s service, He blesses both us, and those we serve.

The abilities God gives us should be directed to His glory and for the good of others. Only secondarily can we use them in other ways. For example, a person gifted with leadership skills should volunteer that gift in God’s service. Of course, he or she can use that gift in other places, such as the workplace. But they need to remember who gave them that gift, and who can take it away.

Often passion accompanies an ability. We have a gift and enjoy using it. Sometimes we get sidetracked and our interest wanes. In this case, we should do spiritual inventory and ask God where we got off track. Following repentance, we should quickly volunteer our gifts once again, and bless others with our unique service.

Even if we do not specifically know what gifts we have, we should eagerly volunteer for something. God guides a moving ship. He will lead us where He wants us. We should also listen carefully to God’s people to determine where we’d be most effective. One great indicator of our giftedness is that we will enjoy a degree of success in using it. Others will recognize how they profited from our service, and let us know.

God has a place for everyone, and provides gifts and abilities that make our service more enjoyable and effective.

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