Give Away Your Gifts!
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10, ESV)
If you were around in the 70s or a fan of Bob Dylan, “you’ve gotta serve somebody” is a familiar line from one of his songs. He was referring to serving on, what you could call, a macro level: “Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord, But you're gonna have to serve somebody…”
Dylan was right. But, for the Christian who has chosen to serve the Lord, there’s a micro level of serving as well. In fact, it’s service on this micro level that is an expression of your service on the macro level.
Simply put, everyone who accepts Christ as Lord is infused with the Holy Spirit and gifted for good works. Paul talks about these gifts in 1 Corinthians 12.
But even pre-dating the New Testament, there are several times recorded in the Old Testament where God, through the Holy Spirit, gifted people with special talents and skills.
One instance is when God instructed Moses to build the tabernacle, he also instilled in various individuals all the necessary skills and giftings needed to complete the work. For example, Bezalel, who God “filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft” (Exodus 35:31-33).
There are also several New Testament passages addressing spiritual gifts.
Take a look at Ephesians 4:11-12, “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ....”
Or Romans 12:6a, “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them....”
Or, 1 Timothy 4:14, “Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.”
The primary points to grasp are (1) that there are many gifts, (2) they all come from God, (3) every believer is gifted in some way, and (4) how a believer is gifted plays into how they serve in the church.
God does not call someone to something that He doesn’t also gift them to do, and he gifts everyone to do something in service to the Body of Christ, his church on earth. Yep, even you!
As believers in Christ, we are all gifted and called to use our giftings to serve one another. That means we need to have an idea of how we’ve been gifted.
Do you know what your gifts are?
One way to gain insight into your giftings is to take a spiritual gifts survey (or test). There are several online; just Google “spiritual gifts survey” and they’ll pop up. Most are free and will give you the results immediately or send them via email. Here’s one to get you started: https://www.sdrock.com/giftstest/. A caveat: These tests or surveys are not authoritative or definitive, but are simply good starting places.
Another way is to search scripture for passages about spiritual gifts and study them prayerfully. Consider the kind of service you are drawn to, such as hospitality, singing, organizing, and so forth. Think back over your life and take stock of the activities in which you participated where you had fun and felt fulfilled. Make lists and rank the items by most enjoyed to least enjoyed.
Finally, a third way to learn how you may be gifted is to ask those who know you best. Ask your friends, your relatives, even your co-workers what gifts and talents and skills they have seen you exhibit day-to-day. You may be surprised by what they reveal to you!
My recommendation is to employ all three approaches and do so with intentionality and awareness. Trust that the Holy Spirit will reveal to you how he has gifited you for service in the Kingdom of God.
Then go serve! The proof is in the doing.
You and your giftings are needed. God has put you here for a reason and part of that reason is to serve him with joy and humility.
Every Christian is a necessary part of the Body of Christ. And we all gotta serve some Body!
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