Are you aware that as a Christian you have not only a talent but a gift? I have found that many people do not realize that they have gifts and all they need to do is find out what their gifts are and exercise them. Knowing once gift is important but using it for the building up of the Body of Christ is more important. 1 Peter 4:10 (AMP) states, “Just as each one of you has received a special gift [a spiritual talent, an ability graciously given by God], employ it in serving one another as [is appropriate for] good stewards of God’s multi-faceted grace [faithfully using the diverse, varied gifts and abilities granted to Christians by God’s unmerited favor].
What is a gift? It is a thing given willingly to someone without payment
What does it mean to have a Spiritual gift? A gift in the spiritual sense means the Holy Spirit doing a particular service through the believer and using the believer to do it.
How are we able to use our gifts to God’s Glory? We have to be mastered by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why are Spiritual gifts given? The church is the Body of Christ and the members are variously gifted for the advancement of Christianity and for the edification of the church. Spiritual gifts come from God and they are to be used for His purposes and not abused. The gifts are given to maintain unity in diversity. The only way we maintain unity in diversity is if each understands what kind of gift he or she has and then uses it for the glory of God and for the edification of the church. Otherwise we cause disunity when we want to run on other people’s lanes.
In 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, the bible states, “Now there are [distinctive] varieties of spiritual gifts [special abilities given by the grace and extraordinary power of the Holy Spirit operating in believers], but it is the same Spirit [who grants them and empowers believers]. And there are [distinctive] varieties of ministries and service, but it is the same Lord [who is served]. And there are [distinctive] ways of working [to accomplish things], but it is the same God who produces all things in all believers [inspiring, energizing, and empowering them].
- There are diversities of gifts, and the same Spirit grants and empowers the believer.
- Varieties of ministries, but the same Lord
- diversities of activities, but the same God.
In this section we find the doctrine of the Trinity which is the bedrock upon which all other doctrines are built. There is diversity within the Godhead yet there is one God therefore, there also is diversity in spiritual gifts but one church. The diversity of gifts should be used to promote unity within the Body of Christ not division and competition.
Every believer has a gift and all gifts are given by the same Spirit. One is given a word of wisdom. There are different interpretations to what this actually means. Some say it is knowledge of the mysteries of the gospel and the ability to explain them while others confine it to revelations made to and by the apostles.
Others are given Word of knowledge, others gift of faith, gift of healing and so on. Every one of these gifts is given by God for a specific purpose. Some are given to equip God’s people, others to explain God’s truth, others to enable God’s work and others to establish God’s authority. Spiritual gifts are put into a person to profit the church and promote Christianity. They are not given for show. They are not meant to magnify those that have the gifts. The measure and proportion in which they are given depends on giver of the gift. One commentator put it this way,
“The Holy Ghost is a divine person. He works divine effects and divides divine gifts a he will, by his own power, and according to his own pleasure, without dependence or control. But though he distributes these gifts freely and uncontrollably, they are intended by him, not for private honour and advantage, but for public benefit, for the edification of the body, the church.”
There are many gifts in the church just like there are many parts in the human body. The human body consists of many limbs and organs each with specific functions. One cannot function on behalf of the other. A kidney does not have the same function he heart does. I have heard this often said in the church; 20% of believers do 80% of the service in the church. If this is true, there are many people not exercising their gifts for one reason or another. One day someone asked me how I serve in my local church. To be honest with you, I don’t. And not because I don’t want to but I am in a season in my life where there are some things I cannot do. So I do what I can do. Let me address an issue which I think has discourage a number of people from serving in the local church and discouraged some leaders or pastors. I will be as gracious as I possible can.
The truth is if you don’t use your gift, you are not fully functioning in the Body of Christ and your gift is needed. The gifts are there so that the church can function effectively. Now I do realize that there are leaders in some churches who do not allow people to function in their area of gifting. If they see God elevate someone, then the leaders use every weapon available and even form weapons to put this person down. I will say that I find that very sad. Let me tell you something I learnt about Billy Graham.
Billy Graham was given the gift of Evangelism. In the 1940’s, when Billy Graham began his evangelist ministry, he recruited several talented colleagues to help. These men served together for decades. George Beverly Shea, who was a known singer and a radio personality became the beloved soloist in all his meetings. He said that Billy Graham wrote a letter to him asking him if he could become the gospel singer during the meetings. Cliff Barrows was the music and program director. He would host each crusade throughout the years. Friends from high school and trusted colleagues Grady and T.W Wilson worked behind the scenes to organize the meetings. Long before they enjoyed national prominence, the trusted friends and Dr. Graham held a meeting in which they came up with ways to hold each other accountable in order to avoid making mistakes that would bring disrepute to the cause of Christ. They came up with four virtues;
- Financial accountability
- Moral integrity
- Respect for the local church and their pastors
- Truth in publicity
Billy Graham knew he would not be able to do this work alone. He needed people with various gifts so that together they could accomplish what they were each created to do on this earth and in their generation. The Body of Christ is gifted tremendously but sad to say that there are leaders not giving opportunities for various reason. There are also the people given opportunity but abuse it. True leaders see the vision and realize that they need people to accomplish whatever they were called to do and then they allow people to grow by giving them opportunity. And when you are given the opportunity, the worst thing you can do is abuse that it. You never know when an opportunity like that will present itself again.
Always remember that as long as you have given your life to Jesus, you have a gift. And God wants you to use your gift for the sake of the church. Do not look at others and feel like intimidated by how well they seem to be utilizing their gifts. The same Spirit who is inside them is the same Spirit in you. Ask Jesus to show you how to utilize your gift for the sake of His body, the Church.
Author of Hopeful Living, Trusting God to Guide you through Life
Speaker and Radio Show Host of Woman Transformed
President of Woman Transformed