We often wish things would change, that someone would offer a class, begin a ministry, help people who ___________ (fill in the blank). How often do we realize that we need to be that “someone”? We are not called to be spectators observing the shakers and movers of this world. God calls us to use the gifts he’s placed within us to be the ignitor, the initiator, the impetus! Too many people don’t think they have any gifts, don’t believe they have anything to offer. All Christ-followers have been given at least one gift, probably more, to use for God’s purpose. It’s up to each of us to find out what that gift is and to allow it to develop. As Paul instructed Timothy to fan into flame his gift for use in God’s Kingdom, we too must be proactive in discerning and learning what gifts we have and how they can best be used to serve others, reach others and make the world a better place. In Matthew 25 Jesus tells the parable of the three servants. Their master entrusted to each of them a portion of his money while he was away on a long trip. Upon his return two of the servants had invested his money and were able to turn a nice profit. However, one servant had buried the money to keep it safe and had nothing to show for his efforts. The two who invested were praised for being faithful and were given more responsibilities, but the one who did nothing was deemed “wicked and lazy” and was thrown out as useless. We cannot take lightly our responsibility to use our gifts as God has designed. He doesn’t!
2 Ti 1:6; 1 Co 12:7, 11; Mt 25:26
For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (2 Ti 1:6) A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other (1 Co 12:7) All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. (1 Co 12:11)
In Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4 and 1 Peter 4 the Bible expounds on the spiritual gifts. Twenty are identified, but scholars believe that is not an exhaustive list, but representative of the types of things to look for in giftedness. If you are not sure what your spiritual gifts are, begin by reading the Scriptures about spiritual gifts. Go online and look up Spiritual Gifts… many of the references you find will be helpful. Pray and ask God to show you your gifts, to give you wisdom in discerning those gifts. Over time you will begin to see certain gifts come to the forefront. Make a list of the gifts you think you may have. Talk with some Christian friends and get feedback from them regarding what gifts they see in you. As you hone in on a gift or two that you want to pursue, find a way to test that gift by serving in a ministry where you can use it. If that experience isn’t great, maybe you haven’t found the right fit. When you are working and serving in your gifted area you will experience fulfillment and at times be blown away at how God is using your gifts. People will also encourage you when they see you working in your gifted area. Sadly, too many give up after trying a ministry or two when they don’t feel it’s the right thing for them. They sit on the sidelines enjoying the efforts of everyone who is serving and working and giving of themselves. No, and I repeat NO serious-minded Christ-follower stays on the sidelines! Don’t kid yourself. If you’ve been using some age-old excuse of a bad serving experience as your justification for doing nothing, get over it. Lazy doesn’t cut it and busy is only an excuse. One day we will each give an account of how we’ve used our gifts. What will you say?
Do you know what your gifts are? If so, describe them. What rewards have you experienced by working in your gifts? How have you seen your gift make a difference in the lives of others? In God’s kingdom? Why do people rob themselves and God by withholding their gifts? How do you spur someone to use their gifts when they are sidelined?
Follow the steps described in “Thought” above.
Father in Heaven, you are the source of all good things. Thank you for the gifts you have given me. Help me to use them and grow them to yield a great profit for your kingdom. I pray that your investment in me will be a blessing to many and that I will be part of making the world a better place and mark eternity for you. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.