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Gifts of the Spirit


HOLY SPIRIT SERIES PART 1 | Based on the sermon by Pastor Brett Hollis

 

The spirit lives in us, we’re filled with the spirit, and then the spirit imparts gifts to us. Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians chapters 12, 13, and 14 are the chapters that cover the spiritual gifts more specifically than any other passage in Scripture. Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 have a lot in common. Not only were they written by the same person, (the Apostle Paul wrote both of these), but Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 talk about the spiritual gifts. However the spiritual gifts are talked about within the context of the topic of love and the topic of the body of Christ.

 

The spiritual gifts are sandwiched in there with love in the body of Christ. Paul starts off his section on the spiritual gifts in Romans 12 by saying this, 


“Therefore I urge you brothers in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God this is your spiritual act of worship.”


What Paul is saying here is you have been bought by Christ. God gave his one and only Son. Jesus’ blood was poured out and that has been his purchase of his people, His Church. You have been bought. He was the final sacrifice. Now he’s saying live your life in such a way that you are daily offering yourself to the Lord. Every part of me, all who I am- my body, my mind– God I want to use for you. He is saying that is your spiritual act of worship.


So lifestyle is worship. Worship is not simply standing there on a Sunday morning and singing songs for 20 minutes. That is a form of worship. We do it because it’s important. We do it because it’s biblical. We do it because God tells us– we owe him praise, but singing is not the only form of worship. 


Your very lifestyle is worship. Getting up every morning and saying, “Okay God, I’m yours. Every bit of me is yours. I used my life– everything about me before I came to know you–for the dark side, for the Kingdom of darkness. But now I give you everything. I want you to use me. I want you to use my possessions. I want you to use my gifts. I want you to use everything about me for you.” That is our spiritual act of worship.


It’s just a few verses down in Romans 12 verse 6 that Paul says,


“We have different gifts according to the Grace given to each of us.”


What we’re going to learn is that we are one body. Just like a body has different parts, we all have different functions and gifts. He says throughout his writings,


“You can’t say to the ear, “Because I’m not an ear, I don’t belong.” You can’t say, “because I’m an eye, I don’t belong” 


Every born again Christian belongs to the body of Christ. Every one of you belongs. The idea that you have nothing to give--you need to throw that out the window–because God says very clearly that he has gifted each person in this body to do certain things and no one is left out. God hasn’t left anyone out. 


I want you to know that following Jesus Christ is like opening gift after gift after gift. We have the gift of salvation. Within the gift of salvation is the gift of the Holy Spirit. Within the Holy Spirit are the spiritual gifts, and it just keeps on giving. Have you ever experienced that? Where you open one box and then there’s a box inside of that box and there’s a box inside of that box. That’s what walking with Christ is like. 


Every day there’s more that he has for you We can wake up every morning and go, “Okay, God, everything about today is for you.” Monday morning when you get up and you’re on your way to work you can say, “You know what God, I believe that you put me in this workplace for a reason. I believe this is my mission field. Now use me. Use me however you wanna use me, because I am yours. That is my daily worship to you.” 


Now with that ground laid, I want to look at my first point: 



I. Do not be ignorant about spiritual gifts


1 Corinthians 12:1 starts off with this:


“Now about the gifts of the spirit brothers and sisters I do not want you to be uninformed,” 


Paul is starting this next section off in his letter to the Corinthians saying, “Listen, what I’m about to talk about-I don’t want you to be uninformed.” There were some misuses of the gifts that were happening in the Corinthian Church. In fact, the Corinthian Church was a little bit on the wild side. They had some issues, and you can see it when you read Paul’s writings. There was a misuse of tongues and a misuse of prophecy. So, Paul wants to bring some corrections. As he starts this part of his letter he starts by saying, “Listen, I don’t want you to be ignorant on this topic. I don’t want you to be uninformed.” 


Spiritual gifts are really important. Any gift from God is important. Anything God has for us is important, but Paul is saying, “I don’t want you to go through life being uninformed. I want you to understand this. I think that’s an important part, because you might come from a background where you were taught not to even talk about gifts, or think about the spiritual gifts, or that the spiritual gifts were not for today. I want you to understand that although they were being misused in the church of Corinth, Paul was saying “Listen, I just need to clear up some things, but you need to make sure that you know and understand about these gifts.” So we don’t wanna be ignorant of them. There’s that saying that says “ignorance is bliss.” Well ignorance is not bliss when it comes to spiritual gifts. In fact, ignorance equals miss. If you’re ignorant on the spiritual gifts, you will miss out on so many things that God has for you and the body of Christ will miss out on so many things God has for us.


I will tell you this- that spiritual gifts have changed my life. I’ll tell you two ways that they’ve changed my life:


1.) For me, as I step out in my spiritual gifts, it’s changed my life, because it’s developed my faith. It’s helped me understand who God created me to be and what he created me to do. It’s been fulfilling as I step out

to do these things- for God to use me.


2.) My life has been changed by other people using their spiritual gifts. I’ve had moments in my life where I wanted to give up and then here comes someone with the gift of encouragement. They came alongside me

and they just spoke life into me and it made me wanna keep going. Just because they took their gift and they enacted it and walked out in that gift.


There have been other times that I’ve been in need and someone who has the gift of giving or the gift of helping came alongside of me and gave and helped me to get through this very difficult season. When we use our gifts and we don’t shy away from the gifts, what happens is- not only do you get blessed by using your gifts, but you’re blessed by others using their gifts. So we don’t wanna be ignorant of it, we wanna understand them. We don’t wanna skip over this, because it’s really important when it comes to church life. The body of Christ and church is not about just going into church, getting a cup of coffee, singing a few songs, hearing a message, going to lunch, and then going home for a nap. Church is so much more than that. God designed the church with a lot of purpose in mind and he designed each part of the body just like he designed our physical body. He designed the church to meet needs and if we just ignore the spiritual gifts we’re ignoring the very purpose of the church: gathering together.


1 Corinthians 12:11 says, 


“All these speaking of the gifts, all these are the work of one in the same spirit and he distributes them to each one just as he determines.”


One of the things we have to understand about the gifts of spirit is it’s the Holy Spirit who determines who gets what gift. If you’re ever sitting there thinking, “Oh man, I wish I really had that gift, that gift’s really cool” and you feel, “man I want a better gift than I got,” –you have to understand that it’s not up to a person of what gift they’re going to receive. The Holy Spirit determines who’s gonna receive the gifts. However, The Holy Spirit responds very well to eagerness and desire and faith. But, you can’t sit there and say you’re better than or less than someone else because of your gift, because it’s the Holy Spirit who is the gift giver.


It’s really cool how Paul starts the entire letter of 1 Corinthians off. In 1 Corinthians 1:7, he says this: 


“You do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for the Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.” 

That means that in the church back in that day, back when Paul was writing this, and to this very day, we don’t lack any spiritual gift as long as we’re sitting here waiting for the return of Jesus Christ. We don’t lack spiritual gifts. Then you might think, “Well then how come we don’t experience more spiritual gifts?” We’re gonna get to that, but we need to know and believe that there is no lack when you’re in Christ. There’s no lack. We have everything that we need in Christ. 


So, as he’s talking about not being ignorant, we have to make sure that experiences that we have had do not make us want to throw the gifts away. For example, if you’ve been in a situation where someone was just really bizarre with the way they’re using gifts and misusing gifts, it makes someone go, “Alright I don’t wanna have anything to do with this. I wanna be as far away from the spiritual gifts as I can.” I have been in situations where people misuse gifts, I have been in situations where they were abused, the gifts were abused and not done properly. One of the things that Paul says in this passage of scripture is, “God is not a God of chaos but a god of order.” So, love the gifts. Embrace the gifts, but learn about the gifts, understand the gifts. Do this so you know when a gift is being improperly used or out of order.


Now let’s go to our next point:



II. The purpose of the spiritual gifts


Paul says in 1st Corinthians 12:7, 


“Now to each one the manifestation of the spirit is given for the common good.” 


Now let me tell you about the phrase “common good.” Let me give you an even deeper definition of what he’s saying here. In this context, “common good” means this: to bear together, to collect, to profit, to carry with others, and contribute in order to help. So what he is saying is when we come together as a body of Christ, every one of us is gifted and every one of us has a gift to use, and needs to use that gift. That’s how we benefit from gathering together. Gathering at church should be different than any other gathering you have. It should look different from your workplace. It should look different than some soccer game or sporting event you go to. Why? Because there’s a purpose for us getting together, and it’s for a higher good. We’re getting together at church for the good of those around us. So, when he’s talking about “for the common good,” the gifts of spirit are manifested. They’re brought out for the common good, and that is for us to profit together collectively, carrying one another’s burdens.


It’s a really cool thing that God has supplied a gift for every need, and I wanna make that clear, for every need that’s represented in the church. There is a spiritual gift to meet that need. I encourage you to read Romans 12, and 1 Corinthians 12 through 14. In that, you will get a better understanding of why it is that we gather together, and so the spiritual gifts are there that we would all benefit from and we would all profit from that. Here’s something else you need to learn about the spiritual gifts: your spiritual gift is not for you. Your spiritual gift is not for you. What you have received, it is for the person next to you. So if I have the gift of serving, the gift of serving is not for me. The gift of serving is for me to serve someone else. If I have the gift of encouragement, that gift of encouragement is for me to encourage somebody else. Whatever gift that I have, whatever gift God has given me, it’s for me to meet the needs of those around me.


Talk about the body of Christ working with each other, and talk about the idea of walking in humility and walking in love. You can’t really function in your gift properly without wanting to serve someone else. And so as a body of Christ, I encourage you, next week you go into church with this mentality, “I am coming here to serve and try to meet the needs of others with my spiritual gift.” Oftentimes we go to church with a check off list, especially if we’re visiting, “How was the music? Did people say hi to me? What did I get out of the message?” These are all pretty valid things, but your whole life will change if you start walking in that door going, “How can I make a difference in this body? How can I make it? What do I have? What has God given me that I can do or use to make an impact on this body?” 


You know the old JFK speech, “Don’t ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Don’t ask what your church can do for you, ask what you can do for your church. Now there’s nothing wrong with making your needs known. In fact you should make your needs known, because if you don’t make your needs known, it’s hard for someone with that gift to step up and help with that need. So, I’m not saying don’t make your needs known, but I’m saying if you go into church with this idea that it’s not all about me, it’s about them, for the glory of God, your life will change. Your life will change, and church will explode- and I don’t mean that in a bad way, I mean in a good way. People will want to be there. Imagine if you’re in a room full of people that just simply want to help each other and serve each other. Imagine what that would do. It would be incredible, it would be the talk of the town. 


Your gift is not for you to show off, it’s not for you to brag. Remember you’re part of a body, every part’s important. Your gift is not to reflect your talents, it’s not to give you fame, it’s not to make you popular in the church. It’s to make Him popular. So everything we do must be for one another and for His glory. If that would be our mindset, the church would be impacted in such a huge way that it would make a huge impact in the community, and so on- a rippling effect.


When the Spirit goes to give out gifts: he does not discriminate between color, height, or economics, and he does not discriminate by age. There are kids in our midst that are gifted by the Holy Spirit, and we need to give those kids opportunity. We need to make sure that they realize they are just as important as a part of the body as everyone else. It’s not just the adults that are gifted, it’s the kids that are gifted as well. It’s our job to help bring that out of them.


If gifts are so important and they’re for the common good and that’s how we should use them, then we should be eagerly desiring them, and that’s our third point. 


III. We should be eagerly desiring the 

spiritual gifts 


1 Corinthians 12:31 says,


“Now eagerly desire the greater gifts, and yet I will show you the most excellent way.”


Do you desire the spiritual gifts or do you run from the spiritual gifts? You know for some, like I said, maybe you’ve had a weird experience or a bad experience. Don’t give up because you’ve had a bad experience. God has something incredible in store for you and it has to do with spiritual gifts, but he wants you to eagerly desire them.


Here is the definition of the word used for “eagerly” in that verse: to bubble over, to burn with a zeal, to be deeply committed to something with the implication of accompanying desire, and to be earnest, to set one’s heart on and to be completely intent upon. We should be eagerly desiring the gifts, not eagerly avoiding or running from the gifts. Yet I think that happens in the church often. If we look at 1 Corinthians 14:1 Paul says, 


“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the spirit, especially prophecy.”


Why does he say especially prophecy? In this context you see that he’s addressing an issue-a lot of misuse of the gift of tongues and prophecy. So what he was saying was tongues are a very important part of our gift set, tongues are an important part in the body of Christ, but if you’re coming together and everybody is speaking in tongues and no one can understand then it doesn’t edify anyone. It doesn’t build anyone up unless it’s interpreted so people can understand them. Prophecy on the other hand is speaking in a language that they understand. It’s spoken in your native tongue and you are speaking a word of God. A word of encouragement to people for their strengthening and their encouragement and everybody is built up by it, because everybody understands it. 


So in this context, he is saying prophecy is greater than tongues in the sense that everybody can benefit from it. It doesn’t mean that just because someone has a gift of prophecy they’re better in the body of Christ than someone that has a different gift.


Now with that in mind, if we’re supposed to eagerly desire these, what keeps us from desiring spiritual gifts? I know of Christians who love the Lord but freak out when it comes to the idea of certain gifts. I’ll give you an example: I had a friend of mine, he was a part of a Bible study I did in the church I pastored in Kent and the topic of spiritual gifts came up and this guy said to me, “I will accept any gift of God except the gift of tongues.”


Well, that’s a pretty bold statement, because what you’re doing is you’re saying, in a sense, that some of God’s gifts are not good and I don’t want them or need them- that’s really sad. The other thing he is saying is I will literally resist and refuse something that God tries to offer me if it’s in that package. That’s a scary place to be, because if we are truly his and we are sold out to him and he has purchased us and we are to live our life fully for him, shouldn’t we desire all that he has for us? Our prayer should be, “God let me have everything you have for me, I don’t wanna box you in, I don’t want to resist what you have for me.” When he said that it just greeted my spirit.


The point is not whether you ever receive gifts or not. The point is that you’re saying I will actually refuse the gift of tongues- I will refuse something from God. Yet we’re told to eagerly desire God’s gifts. I should be bubbling over for these gifts. I should be excited. I should be wanting this. What keeps us from wanting to come into church and go “God use me however you wanna use me”?

I believe it’s fear, I believe fear is the biggest reason we don’t see more gifts manifested. I believe the gifts are alive. I believe they are in us, but I believe fear has a way of keeping us back. I have a friend of mine that was at a camp meeting. He was in this big service and he felt like God gave him a prophetic word to speak to the group of people and to encourage them. He knew exactly what he was supposed to say, and he’s like “I can’t do it.” He refused to say it. 


About five minutes later, when he finally kind of drew the line in the sand to God, all the way across the room, some other person spoke up and said word for word verbatim what he was going to say. He walked away from that feeling like God gave me this opportunity, but I was scared and nervous and fear took over instead of faith. I missed out on the blessing of being used. What happens is we get so afraid sometimes of what it’s going to mean. “What if I say this and people…? What if I do this and…? Your job is to allow faith to override fear. Fear will be present in your life. There’s times when fear’s going to pop up, but if you allow that faith to override that fear and say, “Okay God, I’m a little freaked out by this, but I’m gonna step out in faith. Watch what he can do.



IV. Faith in fear when it comes to using your gifts


2 Timothy 1:5-7 says, 


“I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois” (he’s talking to Timothy here), “and then your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded now lives in you also. 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. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.”


Fan into flame the gift of God, and yet so many times we come together and we’ve squashed it out. I know that fear is a present thing. I’ve dealt with that. Let’s take tongues, for example, that’s a really unique spiritual gift. I have never spoken a message out in tongues. I have prayed in the spirit on my own, but I have never been in a situation where I had a message in tongues that needed to be interpreted. However, I was in two different settings where God used me. 


I was on the front seat of a church service, and I felt like when this person behind me gave a message in tongues, I felt like I immediately had the interpretation. This was weird. I had never experienced this before. I didn’t know how I could know that. I knew it was a spiritual thing, I knew it was a gift from God, but she went off and she spoke her tongues, and I had to take a deep breath and think, here we go, and I gave this message. What was so cool about it was it hit with so many people there. But if she would have been too afraid to speak out- if I would have been too afraid to speak out, then the body would not have been blessed like it was.


I had another situation: there was this woman in our church, this elderly woman, and she felt like she had, at times, a message in tongues, but she was scared. She had an appointment with me and she says, “I’m just scared. The idea of it freaks me out. I don’t understand it.” I’m like, “Well, that is the point. You don’t understand it.” She goes, “I’m afraid I’m gonna speak it out and nothing’s gonna happen.” I said, “You know what? You let me know if you ever have that happen again in service and I’ll help guide you through it.” 


So we’re in the middle of the service one day and she gives me this nod and I said, “Go for it,” and she gave this message in tongues. I didn’t know what she was saying, she didn’t know what she was saying, but we waited for the interpreter, just like scripture says. So we waited, and we waited, and we waited, and no one said anything. I look down and she’s starting to cry because she feels like she’s done something wrong and she left. It was after church then, I had three different people come up to me separately, they didn’t know the other one came to me, and say to me, “Brett, I really messed up today. I knew I had the interpretation, and I was too scared to say anything.” Every single one of those three people said the same exact message. Everyone, and everyone had said to me, “I was too scared. It’s just weird, these gifts. I was just so scared, I didn’t want people thinking anything weird of me.” I know that fear comes into play a lot of times. I get that, I understand that, but faith needs to rise up and overcome that fear. What will happen is like what happened to this elderly woman who went home crying because she felt like she messed up, and the interpretation was there all along.


In fact, God gave one person a shot, they said, “No, I’m too afraid.” Then he gave a second person a shot, “No, I’m too afraid.” Then he gives a third person a shot, “No, I’m too afraid,” and nothing happened. The body of Christ was not built up. I don’t know what your gift is. I don’t know if it will be a gift of prophecy or it’ll be a gift of tongues or a gift of interpretation or if it’ll be a gift of helping or a gift of hospitality or a gift of encouragement. But here’s what I can tell you: when you realize that God wants to engage that gift, it is an honor and a privilege for God to wanna use us. When we sit there and say, “No, I’m too afraid,” what we’re doing is we’re making it about us. We’re immediately saying, “I don’t wanna do it because I’m uncomfortable.” Little do you know that he is setting you up to be used to change someone’s life. I wanna encourage you, don’t let fear be your drive. 


I was speaking at a pretty large church. I was supposed to preach, so they are about to introduce me. I’ve got my Bible ready and right before they introduce me, I feel the Holy Spirit give me a knowledge of a situation in the church and a word that I’m supposed to speak. It had to do with someone having an affair. He didn’t give me names, didn’t tell me who, but the Lord wanted me to speak and warn this person that what they’re about to do is not good, and they need to stop right now or there’ll be heavy consequences. I’m the guest speaker. I am the guest speaker- all I wanted to do was preach that nice message that I wrote that week. I’m walking literally the slowest I’d ever walked to the pulpit. I’m thinking, “I don’t know if I wanna say that, God. Who am I? Come on.” I get up there and I lay the Bible down, really dragging things on. I’m turning my Bible slower than I’ve ever turned it and he wouldn’t let me. The Holy Spirit just grabbed hold of me and said, you need to speak it and you need to speak it now. 


I paused, I took a deep breath and I said, “Before I share this message that I planned, I need to share something I did not plan. There is somebody in this room, that you are planning on committing adultery today and I want you to know that God sees it, God knows it, and God is warning you, do not do this. There will be heavy consequences if you do. It was so silent. I mean, I didn’t know what to do. No one cried out, “Oh it’s me!, or ran to the altar. None of that happened. No one was crying- none of that happened afterwards. I was gonna say no one said anything to me, but pretty much no one talked to me after church that day, and I left after my message.


Seven months later, I’m back there at that church to preach. Now I left thinking, “What was that? I will probably never be invited back here again? Seven months later, I’m invited back there to preach and I’m waiting in the foyer. I got there early. This guy makes a beeline up to me and he says, “Hey, I gotta talk to you about something. Remember when you were here like about a year ago? Remember you gave that word? Well, my friend leaned over to me right before you got up and said, “Dude, I’m going to go to so and so’s house today,” and they were both married, “and we’re going to do our thing,” and I turned to my friend and I said, “You better not do that, you say you’re a Christian, you better not do that cause,”– “nah, it’s good, man, it’s good, we got this all lined up,” When I stepped up and I said, “There’s someone here today that is planning on doing this,” He said, “It was the most he had ever seen spiritual gifts used, and from that day on he said for the last seven months I have been seeking God for the gifts because that convinced me the spiritual gifts are for today he. My friend was sitting there stunned and afraid, but went and did it anyway, ended up in the hospital almost to the point of death.” When this friend visited that friend and reminded him of the word, he repented, confessed and God healed him, but their lives were changed. 


I didn’t know that for seven months. It would have been nice to get a postcard or something. I mean it would be nice to know, but I didn’t know. I had no idea. I was so afraid. I was so scared, but I spoke it anyway and God used it. I just wanna encourage you, it might be freaky, you might just get the sweats and the shivers, but I’m telling you when you step out of obedience, God does something. Fear is the main reason gifts are not used. You might think “Well, if gifts are for today, how come we’re not seeing more of them?” I’ll say most of the time it’s fear. It’s fear and rebellion against what God wants to do for you. It takes faith to step out in your gifts. 


Faith opens the way for gifts, but fear closes the door to them. Faith desires gifts, but fear runs from them. Faith looks to be used, but fear looks for a way out. Have fun destroying fear through the power of God in your life. Do not allow the devil to have his way with you. The enemy has had you long enough. He has messed up a lot of your life with fear, don’t let it happen anymore. When it comes to spiritual gifts, know that,  “God wants to use me. He’s going to use me. I don’t know the results, but I know this: I’m gonna step out in faith and I’m gonna ask God, “Help me, Lord, let it be what you want it to be.””



V. Love Expressed through gifts


1 Corinthians 13 says:


“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I’m only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames but have not love, I gain nothing.” 


Here’s what he’s saying: these gifts have to be used in love, through faith, for the glory of God. If you have a gift and you’re using it in any other way than through love, then you’re misusing it. If you have a gift and you’re using it for any other reason than to lovingly care for other people, you’re misunderstanding gifts. You have to have love. If you don’t have love in what you’re doing for the Lord, if the gift you have been given is not being used for the purpose of loving your neighbor, you are accomplishing nothing. It’s all being done for other reasons, selfish reasons. And this is why the body of Christ is so important and why love is a part of this. 


It is the greatest expression of love when you step out in faith in your gifts. Your spiritual gifts are an expression of love to the body of Christ. When you hold on to your gifts and you don’t share them, then that’s selfishness. We have to have love. We have to do it in love. We have to make sure that everything we’re doing in the church is out of love. Do you care? I encourage you to pray, “God, help me to do everything out of love- not to do it out of selfishness. Not to do it out of showing off. Lord, let every time I step out of my gifts be for the purpose of loving my neighbors.” It’s all about love. Spiritual gifts are expressions of love, launched by faith, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.



VI. Knowing your spiritual gifts


1 Corinthians 12:4 says, 


“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.”


When you look over those definitions of gifts, see if anything stands out to you. When you read Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12-14, pray and say, “God, will you help me to see my gifts in this?’ I have four simple ways for you to help discover your gifts. Now, I’m not saying these are perfect and they’re certainly not exhaustive, but here are four real simple ways to help you discover what your gifts are.”


1.) What do I love to do? 

Usually your gifts are connected with just who you are and what you love to do. So if you love to teach there’s a good possibility—I’m not saying that it’s final, but it’s a good possibility—that you might have the gift of teaching. If you love to lead and people love to follow you, there’s a good chance you might have the gift of leadership. Oftentimes, it’s connected because it’s how God wired you. God wired you in a certain way. When I was growing up, I loved to be in front of people. Man, give me a mic, I love to do that. Most people that I knew, especially in my family, that would cause them to go into cardiac arrest. They did not want to be in front of people. When I was in high school, I asked two different teachers: my history teacher and my English teacher, “Can I do all of my reports orally? Like, can I speak them out instead of writing them out? Because I’m not a good writer.” I wasn’t good. Both of them let me. But if you asked me to write it down, I wouldn’t be very good. When God revealed to me my call in life, I didn’t have a hurdle to get over to be in front of people. I enjoyed being in front of people. That’s what I love to do. What do you love to do? What are the things you love to do? 


2.) What are you good at doing? 

Ask yourself this. What am I good at doing? I am not gifted skillfully with my hands. I do not get invited to family get-togethers to help build things. When my dad was building a house down in Mossy Rock- everyone’s down there, the whole family gathered to help, and I’m out there bending every nail that was given to me. My dad comes up to me and he says, “Hey, uh, and by the way,” (I was 35 at the time), he says, “Hey, why don’t you go get sandwiches? Like, why don’t you go to town and get sandwiches?” Now, for some people, that would offend them. For me, I’m like, “Yes, please give me the list, I’ll go to Subway, I’ll be gone three hours, this is great, I don’t want to do this kind of work, I’m not interested in that kind of work, I don’t like that kind of work. I’m not good at that kind of work, that’s not part of my gifting. That’s not what I’m good at. God wants to use my mouth, not my hands necessarily.”


3.) How does God typically use me? 

I say typically because God can give you and will give you other gifts along the way. I’ve been used in lots of different ways, but there’s about one or two ways that I’m typically used by God. If I look back at my life, I go, “Well, I guess He typically uses me in this way.” Well, that’s probably a good sign that that may be your gift. So when you look at your life and you go, “Okay, well, how does God typically use me?” I’m not saying you’re limited to that and I’m not saying that’s the sure way of saying, “Okay,” but I am saying it gives us an idea of how God has equipped us.


4.) What do others say? 

Ask people around you. You might be surprised. Show this list of gifts to someone and say, “Can you see me in any of these?” I’ve had people do this. I’ve had classes do this before, and it has been so conformational to people because they felt that this was a gift. Then everyone around them felt the same way, or some people saw things in other people that they had never seen in themselves. 


Four really simple things: 

1.) What do you love to do?

2.) What are you good at doing? 

3.) How does God typically use you?

4.) What do others say about you? 


I encourage you to really spend time waiting on the Lord. Go through the door on Sunday mornings ready to serve in whatever capacity. Go to your small group or youth group or men’s ministry or women’s ministry. Go with the idea of “I am not here to receive, I am here to give.” Then if something stirs in you, if God begins to stir something in you and you know that’s what He wants you to do, don’t let fear have its way. Step up in faith?


I want you to know that every one of you has something to offer because the Holy Spirit has promised. He’s promised these gifts. Every one of you has something to offer. I encourage you to look over these lists and read these scriptures. Please pray and say, “God, don’t let fear have its way in me, show me what you’ve called me to do. Show me what my gifts are, and help me not to let fear hold me back.”



The Spiritual Gifts Defined
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