Celebrating the Abundance During Easter Week
Celebrating our Gifts
As Christians, we are so blessed to be the recipients of incredible gifts and talents given to us by the FATHER. If we do not set goals, make plans and then act on our dreams, we are wasting those talents. SO, let’s get started on just how we can use our gifts, talents and skills to realize not only our dreams, but quite possibly the plans HE has had for us all along. Plans that began long before HE rolled the stone away.
This is Easter week, as we rejoice over HIS resurrection, we can also honor HIM by celebrating the abundance of creativity HE has bestowed on each of us.
Discovering what our gifts are and then using them for the common good would put us right smack dab in the center of GOD’s will. Isn’t that our overall goal as Christians? So what is our first step?
Celebrating Our Spiritual Gifts
If you already know yours, then please skip on to the next chapter.
1 Corinthians 12: Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.
6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith [d]by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of [e]healing [f]by the one Spirit, 10 and to another the [g]effecting of [h]miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the [i]distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.
11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.
Spiritual Gifts Survey
While the following test is over 10 years old, it is still relevant today. Provided by the “2003 LifeWay Christian Resources,” celebrate the abundance by discovering your gifts. Click on the following link, take the survey and then come back here to continue.
Discover Your Spiritual Gifts Survey By Gene Wilkes
Ken Hemphill defines a spiritual gift as “an individual manifestation of grace from the Father that enables you to serve Him and thus play a vital role in His plan for the redemption of the world.”1
Furthermore, Peter Wagner defines a spiritual gift as “a special attribute given by the Holy Spirit to every member of the Body of Christ according to God’s grace for use within the context of the Body.”2
Definition of a Spiritual Gift
A spiritual gift is an expression of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers which empowers them to serve the body of Christ, the church. It is the equipment needed to feed HIS sheep. John 21:17
Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28-30; Ephesians 4:11; and 1 Peter 4:9-11 contain representative lists of gifts and roles God has given to the church. A definition of these gifts follows.
Motivational Gifts from the FATHER
- Leadership—Leadership aids the body by leading and directing members to accomplish the goals and purposes of the church. Leadership motivates people to work together in unity toward common goals (Rom. 12:8).
- Administration—Persons with the gift of administration lead the body by steering others to remain on task. Administration enables the body to organize according to God-given purposes and long-term goals (1 Cor. 12:28).
- Exhortation—Not only do possessors of this gift encourage members to be involved in and enthusiastic about the work of the Lord, but they also counsel and motivate others to service outside the church. In addition, exhortation exhibits itself in preaching, teaching, and ministry (Rom. 12:8).
- Hospitality—Those with this gift have the ability to make visitors, guests, and strangers feel at ease. They often use their home to entertain guests. Persons with this gift integrate new members into the body (1 Pet. 4:9).
- Service/Helps—Those with the gift of service/helps recognize practical needs in the body and joyfully give assistance to meeting those needs. Christians with this gift do not mind working behind the scenes (1 Cor. 12:28; Rom. 12:7).
- Mercy—Cheerful acts of compassion characterize those with the gift of mercy. Persons with this gift aid the body by empathizing with hurting members. They keep the body healthy and unified by keeping others aware of the needs within the church (Rom. 12:8).
- Giving—Members with the gift of giving give freely and joyfully to the work and mission of the body. Cheerfulness and liberality are characteristics of individuals with this gift (Rom. 12:8).
- Shepherding—The gift of shepherding is manifested in persons who look out for the spiritual welfare of others. Although pastors, like shepherds, do care for members of the church, this gift is not limited to a pastor or staff member (Eph. 4:11).
- Prophecy—The gift of prophecy is proclaiming the Word of God boldly. This builds up the body and leads to conviction of sin. Prophecy manifests itself in preaching and teaching (1 Cor. 12:10; Rom. 12:6).
- Evangelism—God gifts his church with evangelists to lead others to Christ effectively and enthusiastically. This gift builds up the body by adding new members to its fellowship (Eph. 4:11).
- Apostleship—The church sends apostles from the body to plant churches or be missionaries. Apostles motivate the body to look beyond its walls in order to carry out the Great Commission (1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11).
- Teaching—Teaching is instructing members in the truths and doctrines of God’s Word for the purposes of building up, unifying, and maturing the body (1 Cor. 12:28; Rom. 12:7; Eph. 4:11)
- Faith—Faith trusts God to work beyond the human capabilities of the people. Indeed, believers with this gift encourage others to trust in God in the face of apparently insurmountable odds (1 Cor.12:9).
- Wisdom—Wisdom is the gift that discerns the work of the Holy Spirit in the body and applies His teachings and actions to the needs of the body (1 Cor. 12:28).
- Discernment—Discernment aids the body by recognizing the true intentions of those within or related to the body. For instance, discernment tests the message and actions of others for the protection and well-being of the body (1 Cor. 12:10).
- Knowledge—The gift of knowledge manifests itself in teaching and training in discipleship. It is the God-given ability to learn, know, and explain the precious truths of God’s Word. In fact, a word of knowledge is a Spirit-revealed truth (1 Cor. 12:28).
Celebrate the Resurrection
And most importantly, God has gifted us with an expression of His Holy Spirit to support His vision and mission of the church. It is a worldwide vision to reach all people with the gospel of Christ. As a servant leader, God desires that we know how HE has gifted us. This will lead us to where HE would have us serve as part of His vision and mission for the church. What better way to celebrate HIS resurrection than by using ALL HE’S given us? HE rolled away the stone and opened the whole world to HIS good news. HE saves us one by one.
For God So Loved the World… John 3:16