Now our series of messages from the book of Romans. And this morning, we're going to focus  on what God says to us about spiritual gifts. So let's begin by reading verses six through  eight. But before that, just a reminder of what comes before it. Paul speaks of the Body of  Christ, just as each of us has one body with many members. And these members do not all  have the same function. So in Christ, we who are many form one body, and each member  belongs to all the others. So in light of the fact that there's one body with many different  members and many different purposes, and the church is like that, then the apostle tells us  that there are different kinds of abilities, or gifts that God gives us. And each of us should use  the gift that we have. We have different gifts according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve. If it is  teaching, let him teach. If it is encouraging, let him encourage, if it is contributing to the  needs of others, let him give generously. If it's leadership, let him govern diligently, if it is  showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. So that's what the Apostle says about gifts in Romans  12. A more expanded and rather different list of gifts is given in another of the New Testament letters in I Corinthians chapter 12. So we'll read from a couple of other letters that talk about  spiritual gifts as well. Now to each one, the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the  common good to one there is given through the Spirit, the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same spirit, To another faith, by the same spirit, to  another gifts of healing, by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another  prophecy to another distinguishing between spirits, to another, speaking in different kinds of  tongues, and to still another, the interpretation of tongues. And then at the end of that  chapter, the apostle says, now you are the body of Christ, and each of you is a part of it. And  in the church, God has appointed first of all, apostles, second, prophets, third, teachers, then  workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others. Those who  have gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues, Are all apostles. And these questions in this series of questions all expect the answer? No. There's a way of  saying that in Greek where you're expecting the answer no to the question. Are all apostles?  No. Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do  all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? You say not everybody has each of these gifts, but  eagerly desire, the greater gifts? So he's saying, not everybody has the same gift, but keep  desiring the gifts that God gives. So what do we think about spiritual gifts, I just want to begin by saying that God wants every person to be a charismatic minister. Now, some people  associate the word charismatic minister with a Pentecostal preacher. And God bless the  Pentecostal preachers, there are many of them, and the Lord uses them. But when I say God  wants everybody to be a charismatic Minister, that doesn't mean that everybody should be a  preacher in a Pentecostal denomination. But the word charismatic means a gift, a special gift  that God gives, and God gives everybody, at least one and usually more than one, special gift, you're a charismatic, if you have a special gift from God, given to you by His Holy Spirit. And  God wants everybody to be a minister, a minister is somebody who serves and God wants you to use your gift, or gifts from the Holy Spirit to serve him and to what and to serve others and  to bless them. So are you a charismatic minister? Do you know the gifts you have? And are  you using them? I know that sometimes when we have someone who is going to make  profession of faith and we do an interview with them, we'll ask a variety of questions about  how they came to know the Lord as well as the biblical teachings. And they'll give a lot of  good answers. But I found sometimes that one of the hardest questions that I ask seems to be what are spiritual gifts? And what is your spiritual gift or gifts? At that point, sometimes the  person being interviewed will kind of scratch their head and not be sure what I'm talking  about when I ask about spiritual gifts. and especially when I ask what their's is. I want, above  all, whether you learn anything further from this message, to be able at least to answer those  questions. What are spiritual gifts? As the Bible teaches about them? And especially, what gift or gifts has God given you? And how are you using them? And what are the opportunities to  use them? The Holy Spirit's ministry is explained a lot in the book of Romans. And we learned  that the Holy Spirit gives us life. And the Holy Spirit gives us direction, the Holy Spirit changes us and makes us more and more like the Lord Jesus Christ. And a lot of that is spoken about in Romans chapter eight. But there's a further Ministry of God's Holy Spirit in our lives that we 

need to experience and that is the Holy Spirit's empowerment, his gifting, and his enabling us  to do great things for God, and to do great things that benefit other people in the church. And  so as we think about spiritual gifts, today, we're going to basically deal with six things. First,  just want to define what spiritual gifts are, then reflect on desiring spiritual gifts. discovering  what the variety of gifts are, and what your own gifts might be, how those gifts are  developed, and how they grow in us. And then, above all, deploying them because that's what the apostle is saying, in this section of Scripture, if you've got a gift, use it. That's the upshot.  He gives a lot of different examples. But the basic point is, if you've got a gift, use it. And then depend on God for the empowerment of those gifts, and depends on the gifts God gives  others because, again, memo, he didn't give you all of them. You need a wide variety of gifts.  But the only way you benefit from some of them is by benefiting from what others have,  because God by design didn't give any of us all the gifts that we need. So those are some of  the things that we're going to reflect on. But remember, the upshot is simply this. Know what  spiritual gifts are and know what yours are, and look for ways to put them to work. The  Apostle says now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. He doesn't  want us to be unaware of what spiritual gifts are or their importance. What is a spiritual gift?  Well, here's one definition from a book on discovering your gifts, a spiritual gifts is a  significant ability given to each believer by the Holy Spirit, who thus equips and moves  members of the Church, to serve in special ways for Christ in His Kingdom. First of all, a  spiritual gift is a significant ability, it's something you're especially good, at, better at,  perhaps, then a lot of other people or the average person might be, it's your thing. It's  something that you're just have a special knack for. And it's given to you, as a believer in  Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. It's not just something that you randomly happened to be kind  of good at. But it's something that God the Holy Spirit gave you for the purpose of honoring  him and accomplishing important things in the church and beyond the church. So it's a it's a  special ability, and it comes from the Spirit. And he does this, to equip you to give you the  tools that you need to make the difference that he wants you to make. And he not only gives  you those gifts, but then he's the one who moves in you. He gives you energy, he gives you  power, he gives you a vision, to say, God, here's the gift that you've given me, and I'm seeing  ways to use it and you're energizing me, you're empowering me to do that, to serve in special ways for Christ, and for His kingdom to build up his church, and to expand the reach of his  reign his kingdom in the world. That's what a spiritual gift is. And it's very important that we  know what spiritual gifts are in general and then reflect on now. Given that, that's what a  spiritual gift is, I need to think harder about what my gifts are, and what the purposes of God  are for giving me those gifts. So that's defining the gift and we're to desire gifts. This is not an optional sermon. None of them should be but to say, well, you know, it's important to know  about the way of salvation and to know who Jesus is and so on that that that thing about gifts  that's kind of optional. This is This is essential to being the person God means you to be In his service, the Bible says eagerly desire, the greater gifts, follow the way of love. That's the  umbrella under which all of this is being taught. It's all to be done in love for God and for  other people follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts especially the gift of  prophesy. Therefore, my brother's be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in  tongues. Those are some examples of the apostle Paul saying, we we need to desire spiritual  gifts to be eager for spiritual gifts. And that first of all means that I desire to be gifted, that I  desire to find out what gifts God's already given me. And that perhaps I also desire certain  gifts that God hasn't given me. That can be kind of a, a sensitive area to desire gifts that God  hasn't yet given me. Because that might just be done out of envy, or out of pride, I see  somebody else who has, let's say, there is somebody who actually has the gift of doing  miracles. And I say, you know, doing miracles is an amazing spiritual gift. I wish I could do  that. And it might be okay to say, Yeah, I wish that when I preach the Word of God, I also had  that kind of miraculous power, that the apostles sometimes exercise that really added weight  to their message. But you might also say, there's a boy, I wish that I could really attract  crowds with a show that I could put on by doing a flashy miracle, or by doing something  fantastic and supernatural. Or maybe if you're not into the more flamboyant, or sensational  gifts, if you will, you might wish that that you could have the gift that somebody else has. And

the Bible again warns us against thinking that oh, because I'm not an eye, and I'm only an  ear, I'm not part of the body. So desiring a gift you don't have might be a legitimate desire  just for God to expand your impact. And maybe God's the one who has laid that on your  heart. But it might also be a desire for a gift that somebody else already has. And you're just  kind of envious, and wish you had that same kind of gift. Desire is a personal desire for gifts.  And pray that God will give you gifts, that he'll keep me enlarging them, that he will keep  making you more and more effective for him whatever gifts he desires to give you be open to  what gifts that God desires to give you. And also desire that we be a gifted congregation, and  that God's people in this community, be gifted with the full range of gifts that He wants to  give us for effectiveness. In our community. You'll notice on this list, there might be some that make us a little uncomfortable. If you didn't grow up in a more charismatic or Pentecostal  tradition, you were taught that you really ought to desire the gift of prophecy, or not to forbid  speaking in tongues, or to think about miracles. And people who come from a male more  reformed background might appreciate the Romans list, more than the I Corinthians 12 list,  because the Romans list is not all that supernatural sounding, except maybe for prophecy,  which is the lead one that's mentioned there. But after that, serving, encouraging teaching, a  contributing to the needs of others, you say, hey, you know that that sounds like good  ordinary lists of what ordinary churchgoers ought to be gifted for. And then if you get into the  I Corinthians 12, list, the miracles, the word of knowledge, the speaking in tongues, the  prophesying, that list makes us fidget. And we really look for the theologians who can tell us  why those portions of the list are no longer in effect today. Thank you for your help. Well, you  usually need a theologian to tell you that that because actually, the Bible doesn't seem to say that it seems to be speaking of a wide range of gifts. And having said all that, that doesn't  necessarily mean that every congregation will have all gifts. There are times where some gifts are manifested more in a mission setting than they are in places where the church is more  established. For whatever reason, maybe the church in the mission setting has greater faith  and greater empowerment from the Spirit. But it might be that the spirit is simply giving  what's needed there. And what might a different set of needs might exist in a different setting and so a different range of gifts is given. But I would warn against simply stifling the gifts or  quenching the spirit based on gifts we think the spirit can't or won't give anymore. Hey, I'm a  scholar. I think a lot, I teach a lot. I'm more comfy with gifts of that sort than I am with the  weirder gifts. Okay. And that right there, you get to bias to speak of them as weirder gifts is to distinguish between some things that the Holy Spirit does, and others. And it is not very  helpful for the people who like the more supernatural or sensationalistic gifts to say, those are the real deal. For instance, if you speak in tongues, that is the sign of being empowered by  the Holy Spirit, wherever tongues appears, it does appear last in the list. And sometimes it did come as a sign of having received the Holy Spirit, in the book of Acts, not always but  sometimes. But to pay it take one gift and say that's the one that's the real mark that  everybody ought to have, is going completely opposite of the apostle when he says, does  everybody speak in tongues? The obvious, expected answer is no. And they don't need to. But some have that gift. So you have the danger on the one end of those who may emphasize the quite supernatural gifts, and ignore the tremendous value of gifts of mercy, or of helping or of  administration, or of teaching what we might consider the more ordinary gifts. And then you  have the people over on the more ordinary gifts to say, those are the weird gifts over there.  And thank God they have ceased. And anybody who's still insists on the continuance is  probably motivated either by weirdness or by the devil, well, then you're getting in danger of  blaspheming, the Holy Spirit, it seems to me, which, of course, is a deadly serious thing in the New Testament, to attribute to the power of Satan, things that God is doing. So I just want to,  under this whole idea of desiring the gifts of the Spirit to say that as individuals we should  desire, any gifts that the Holy Spirit wants to give us. I believe that in our own age, and even  for a person like me, it might be very beneficial if the Lord were to surprise me someday, with  the gift of tongues or with a capacity to do a great healing or miracle, because I bet you'd  listen to me more the following Sunday, wouldn't you? Okay? Now, I'm not telling God what he has to do. But on the other hand, to say that one bundle of gifts is the sort of thing that God  ought to be doing. And the other bundle is the sort that he ought not to be doing is already to 

quench the Spirit and to fail to desire, the full range of gifts. And even if God were not to give  me those gifts, I probably think I'm some great hot shot if I could actually do some great  healing or miracle, and maybe he'll give it to somebody who's more humble than I am. You  know, for the good of our congregation, even if I'm not the one because I'm probably not fit to bear such a gift. I don't know, you know, these are things that the Holy Spirit surprises people, but you have to be open to the surprises. Maybe that's the only point I'm making here, what  I'm talking about desire, be open to the surprises of the Holy Spirit, gifts that you might not  have even thought were in operation in the churches today, that God might want to give  desire for yourself, but desire that the congregation as a whole will be a gifted congregation.  And not one that in all too many cases, churches have kind of slid into where the pastor is  kind of expected to be not only a teacher, but a superb encourager, and a fantastic person of  mercy. And he just, you know, the the list of what a pastor is supposed to do and get paid to  do. That's what the church does, the staff is hired to do the work of the church. The Gifted  church has all sorts of gifts. And the job of those who are our leaders is in a sense, just to  leverage and coordinate and encourage and motivate those gifts and give opportunity to  exercise those gifts. Anyway, let's desire the gifts of the Spirit, and then discover, I'll just go  through the the list that we have of gifts. And let me say right up front, I believe these are  samples. I believe there are gifts that aren't explicitly mentioned in Bible passages about  spiritual gifts that are also out there. I don't believe that any of these passages is trying to  give the complete list. Or if you take all the passages and add them together. Now I've got the whole list of what the gifts of the Spirit are. In each case, the apostle is just giving a quick  sample of some gifts of the Spirit. For instance, there may the gift of music is ever mentioned  here or of being able to lead others in praise that is surely a great gift of the Spirit that  blesses many people, but it's never mentioned in any of the list. I could give many other  examples but let's let's just take the samples They are given. prophesying, serving, teaching,  encouraging. That's the kind of gift that doesn't get a lot of PR does it? Yeah, Paul's always  going to be more famous than Barnabas. Paul was the great genius, the great preacher, the  great thinker who outlined doctrine, all Barnabas. It's not all Barnabas was good at. But he  was known as the Son of Encouragement, because he was great at lifting people up. And  without him there may have been no Paul. Nobody else wanted him very bad and Barnabas  vouched for him, when nobody else was in listening in ministry, and Barnabas went and got  him and put him to work. So that gift of encouraging, if you just have the gift of coming  alongside people and putting your arm around them, when nobody else has any confidence in them anymore, when either they've sinned so badly that nobody wants them back. Or when  they've just failed or their gifts don't seem too great. And you have the ability to encourage,  just remember that the Holy Spirit's name given him by Jesus is the encourager, the  paraclete, the one who comes alongside. So that is a tremendously valuable gift of the Spirit  contributing. Now, when we go through this list, let me just say, again, a spiritual gift is  something that you're kind of exceptionally or specially good at, it doesn't mean that you can  say, I don't have the gift of encouragement, my job is to go around and be a jerk. And to tell  people how stupid they are, and how ugly they are, I have the gift of discernment. I discern  what's wrong with you, I count on other people to have that gift of encouragement. Now,  there are people who have a special gift of encouragement. But all of us are called to be  encouragers. And the same was contributing you say, Isn't it wonderful that contributing is a  spiritual gift, and woohoo, I don't have it. I get to keep all my money, I am going to hang on to all my stuff, because God has gifted others with that marvelous gift of contributing. Well,  that's not what these gift lists are meant for to say, well, somebody else got that gift. And  thank God, I don't showing mercy yeah I get to be mean and sock it to em. Because I don't  have that gift of mercy. You know, in all of these, that we each have opportunities to influence for instance, we're going to have an exceptional gift of leadership, but we all have  opportunities for influence and for at least some leadership. So a lot of these gifts are gifts by  degree. And they are ones that, that perhaps all of us to some degree ought to be having  when it comes to serving, or teaching. You know, if you don't have the gift of teaching or  evangelizing, you might not have the exceptional supernatural gift for that. But I've said  before, when people tell me, I just can't evangelize, I can't talk to other people about Jesus. 

Well I say then you really shouldn't have kids, then you know, because you might not be the  great evangelist who preaches to everybody, but you've got to at least have some degree of  teaching and of leading others to Christ in the in the sphere of contacts that God gives you.  So again, when I say discover gifts, you might not be exceptional in various areas, but you  ought to at least have some element of it. Another list is Ephesians four. And some of these  seem almost to be connected with a position is as much as a talent or an activity apostles. In  one sense, there are no apostles, we still have the gift in Ministry of the apostles, because  their teaching is recorded for us in the New Testament. So in a sense, we always have the  apostles with us. But even then apostleship may refer also, you know, in a lesser, in a sense  context to people who who just are sending others are coordinating mission in great ways  around the world, the prophets, people with a special word from God. For that occasion, A  prophet is not just somebody who sees the future. That's one kind of prophecy. It's not the  only kind. Prophets are sometimes given insight into what's going to happen in coming times.  But very often a prophet is someone who just has insight into what's going on now. We need  people like that. It's not I know that 47 years from now, thus and such is going to happen.  Sometimes that predictive ability is given to prophets. But it's often hard to know what's  going on behind the scenes right now. To see what word from God is addressing us right now.  And a prophet is someone who has given that ability and insight to bring a word from God.  Now an evangelist is somebody who spreads the gospel and has a special knack for leading  people to Christ. There are some people who have that, you know, I I always think of Billy  Graham, if you were evaluating the man simply from his abilities as a theologian, he was he  was a sharp enough guy, but he wasn't exceptionally smart compared to some of the other  great thinkers. But he just had something from God, where if he said, Come to Jesus, they  came. And somebody else could mimic his sermon and preach the same thing. And they  might just stay. There was a gifting on him that was unusual, in just appealing to people to  commit their lives and to put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And another point then about  discovering your gifts, you say, Well, I'm not Billy Graham, therefore, I don't have the gift of  evangelism. Well, you know, there was one of him there. And there are some people in every  one of these gifts that are just phenomenal. Take Rich DeVos, you know, contributing to the  needs of others, it helps to be a multibillionaire, it just does. And you say, Well, I don't have  that kind of money. Well, maybe not. But you might still be a pretty good at making money,  and pretty generous in giving it away. So there's degrees of each of these gifts as well,  pastors and teachers. And notice here, what pastors and teachers are mainly to do to prepare  God's people for works of service. I said before, that pastors and teachers are not the hired  guns to do all the works of service. But they are to equip and prepare God's people for works  of service. And very often, a pastor and teacher, you know, in some congregations, just gets  bogged down with stuff that they're not especially gifted at, and that other people in that  congregation are more gifted at, for instance, helping in visiting the sick, or working with the  elderly. Again, that's not saying that a pastor should never do any of that. But somebody  whose primary gift is understanding and preaching the Word and might not be extra special at some of the Ministries of compassion. And yet, it can be a mistake to make somebody do  what they're not especially good at when a congregation might be bursting with people who  are fantastic at that. But it's all these positions apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and  teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service. In Peter's list of gifts, he mentions just  two, speaking, and serving two very important gifts. And then when we go to the more more  flamboyant, you know, from our point of view, gifts, of I Corinthians 12, there's someone with  a message of wisdom, they just have a specially wise message that fits that occasion. And  God gives it to them a message of knowledge, sometimes they know something that's going  on almost by supernatural means, they just know. And they can address that faith. Now here  faith as a gift, as a spiritual gift is not the faith that receives and trusts in Christ as Savior.  Obviously, that's part of every Christian, but faith is just a trust, that God is going to do  something and it is linked with the passages where Jesus said, If you believe something, it's  going to happen. God gives a gift of faith to, and it's very closely connected, I think, with the  healing, and with the miraculous powers. And, and they sound strange, but God doesn't give  everybody that same gift of faith. And maybe they're not all meant even to have to have that 

faith that brings a healing, or to have that faith that brings miraculous powers. But some are.  The gift of prophecy, of distinguishing between spirits or discernment, knowing what's of God, and what's of the evil one, and having a gift or an anointing from God to, to have a sense of  that sometimes, that sense comes even when you can't put it into words why you're ill at  ease with that you have to be a little careful about just equating your gut with the Holy Spirit.  And say what my gut instinct tells me that's off. But when you have an anointing from the  Holy Spirit, and a gift of discernment, sometimes you sense when something's off even before you can put your finger exactly on the what is wrong, or what's right. And then speaking in  tongues, interpretation of tongues, sometimes that can refer to the ability to speak different  languages as it was on Pentecost, and to interpret the meaning of those languages. It possibly also means that to speak things that are not in a human language, but are but a language  that God gives to express praise and to honor him. It's not a gift that I have. So I can't speak  with great knowledge from direct experience of that gift. If everything that I have to do as a  preacher is based on my direct knowledge of it. You're going to have some pretty poor  sermons. We'll put it that way because my life is much poorer than God's word is. And often I  have to speak about things that go beyond what God has given to me. So I'm not a miracle  worker, I am not a speaker in tongues, at least not yet. And so we need to allow that God has  many great things in mind beyond what any one individual has been given. And then the the  closing list apostles, prophets, teachers, workers of miracles, healing, helping administration,  tongues, all of these are gifts of God. And as I said before, the point of these lists is not to give the comprehensive list of every gift that is possible, it's to give a sample, and then to reflect  on your life and say, God, what am I especially good at? And, Lord, what are the opportunities that I have? What are the things I'm especially good at that are needed right now by other  people, and then don't sell yourself short. The Apostle says here a little bit earlier, don't think  of yourself more highly than you ought to think. But also, the Bible teaches us not to think  more low of ourselves than we ought to think. But to think with sober judgment, and realize  who we are, who God designed us to be, and what we're good at. So discover your gifts and  and then develop them. The point here in this passage says the body of Christ can be built up  and mature and, and part of the maturing of the Body of Christ is the expression of  everybody's abilities and talents working together. And part of it is your own gifts, develop  and mature. I'm better at preaching now than I was the first sermon I gave, that does not  mean I had no gift whatsoever back then. But you get better at it. If you're a musician, you're  not as good after one year of lessons, as you are after 40 years of playing and, and doing  various things with the instruments that God has gifted you with. And so over time, don't be  discouraged. By comparing yourself to the highest development of that gift, when you're just  a beginner, there will be people who are better at it, and always will be better at it than you  are, okay, gotta live with that. But you are one of those people who is going to be better at it  than you are now. And so we need to have a situation where in our own lives, we just start  somewhere. I always love Chesterton's statement, anything worth doing is worth doing badly.  Give it a shot. Okay? If it's worth doing, give it your best shot. And that's better than doing  nothing. And as you keep on giving it your best shot, your best keeps getting better. So let  your gifts develop. And when you're dealing with other people, be gentle. Because, you know, I know. And sometimes a young person would get up to speak here or a young person is  giving it their first shot on the instruments, they might make a mistake here or there and  they're deadly afraid and, and I'll tell him, hey you know, everybody here is on your side,  they're not going to boo. You know, when you when you make, most of us are so nonmusical  that even if you hit a wrong note or two, we're probably not going to know it. It's still gonna  sound pretty good to us. But, but to for gifts to develop, we need to encourage people who  are beginning at the beginning level of their gifts and I love another statement. This one from  CS Lewis, God is easy to please and hard to satisfy. Were even our beginning efforts please  him and then he said, Okay, now, we'll ramp it up a little more. And, and we keep developing  our gifts and part of developing your gifts then is studying the Bible's what the Bible says  about it, listening to what other people advise you who may be a little further along that  particular path than you are and finding out somebody who is gifted in the same area as you  are. If you find out how, how did you get so good at that I think I may have something of that 

but man, I'm not at your level, get their secrets. Find out what what they can advise you on.  And then as I said, the main point is deploy your gifts. If you've got it, use it. If you can  prophesy do it. If you can serve then serve if you can teach then teach if you can encourage  then encourage, if you're contributing the needs of others then do it generously. If you leave  then give your best to leadership. If you're showing mercy if you're the kind of person who's  always looking for the person who's, who's struggling, who's sick, who's down, who's  depressed, who's unemployed or just lost their job. Be that cheerful person who's always  looking to help somebody out. Those are some of the examples that the apostle gives. That  gets us back to where we started. What's your gift? Or gifts? And are you doing anything with  them, you've got gifts. If you don't believe it, start talking to somebody else. If you're a child,  talk to mom and dad about what they see in you. That's sometimes a starting point, or your  friends, or other grown ups. In the church, I always remember going home. You know, from a  summer, I was at college went home for the summer we majoring in computer science, I  never talked to my minister about ministry at all, he just kind of piped up and asked Well  David, have you ever thought about going into ministry. And actually I had, but I never talked  with him about it. But sometimes, if you see something in somebody else, don't just keep  silent, okay? If you see something in another young person or something in somebody else  you see, encourage them. But sometimes they might not even see it when they look in the  mirror, but you see it. And that's part of being a church that really appreciates, and  encourages and builds up gifts in others, when you see it in them, then comment on it, and  ask how that can be developed. Because as I said before, I know some people I know some  grownups who if I asked, What's your spiritual gift, they might look at me and say, they might  ask, what's a spiritual gift, but even they know what it is sort of, in its biblical definition, they  still can't answer the question, what's mine? That's what I want you to really reflect on if you  want to just forget everything else about this message, then think about this, What's mine?  What's my spiritual gift? Or gifts? And how are they being put to use because if you have the  Holy Spirit at all, and if you belong to Jesus, you do. If you have the Holy Spirit at all, then you  have at least some of his gifting in some important area where the church is going to be  poorer, if you're not using that gift, where the community is going to be poorer, and God's  Kingdom outreach is going to be poorer if you're not using that gift. And so what's mine? How  can I use it? Ask yourself those questions. And then use whatever gift you've received to  serve others faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms, you see that each one  should use. If you're speaking, do it like you're speaking the very words of God, because  remember, it's a God given gift. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God  provides. So that in all things God may be praised, through Jesus Christ deploy, use, the gifts  that God has given you. And then the final thing is just depend, first of all, depend on the Holy Spirit, to empower your spiritual gifts and to bless others. Because even if you're good at  something, without the anointing and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, it will fall flat. It's his  gift. And it's going to be effective and powerful only if he's in it. And if he's equipping you, so  prayer is a big part of the life of spiritual gifting, where you're constantly asking God to give  you gifts, and then also to really empower, empower and make fruitful, the ones that he gives you. And then we wouldn't be true to the passage, if I didn't also say, depend on others,  spiritual gifts as the spirits way to meet your needs. Remember, again, there's many different  parts, one body, one part can't say to the others, I don't need you. We all depend on one  another. So it is a wonderful thing, to know the gifts you have and to unleash them in the  Lord's service with the power of the Holy Spirit. And it is a wonderful thing to know. I don't  have it all. I need others. And God wants it that way. He wants us to be interconnected in love  where I can bless you, because I'm good at some things that you're not quite as good at, and  where you can bless me, because you're good at some things that I'm not so good at. And  we're together when we're trying to make an impact in our world and in our own community.  Where we depend on each other. Where we depend on each other as a congregation, where  we depending on each other more broadly in the broader fellowship of Christ. In the earlier  message I said that being one body doesn't just mean that this one congregation even is just  one body, but it means we're one body, with the church, throughout our community, with the  church, around the world and divisions in the body have weakened us by separating us from 

the strength of Christians from other traditions or communities who are strong in an area that  we're kind of wimpy in that where we can bless them because we may be strong in an area  and they're kind of wimpy in. And if we just keep up our divisions, then we all kind of go  around being a lot wimpier than we need to be. And when we're together, then we're  experiencing the strength of the Holy Spirit in the way that he means it to be. And so as a  congregation, let's be united in using each other gifts in encouraging the gifts of the young  are those who are just getting started in the exercise of what they're good at. Let's work  together with our fellow churches, in our community with our fellow believers. I'm depending  on the spirit, depending on each other. Let's pray together. We thank You, Father, for the great gift of the Holy Spirit. We thank You, Father, for choosing to send the very life of the Godhead  to live within your people, that Christ is in us in the Spirit indwells us and so we pray that as  you live in us your life and and your character may take shape in us but we also pray, Lord,  for your gifting, and for your empowerment. Lord, make us good at things that are going to  benefit others and bring Praise to you. And help us to, in turn be blessed by and benefit from  the gifts you give others. Lord give us wisdom in this area of spiritual gifts. In general, and  Lord in particular, I pray that you will help each person hearing this sermon to reflect on what  you've given them. That's extra special to bless the lives of other people. And that you will  help them to really rejoice in that and to use it effectively. Show them Lord the opportunities  that you're giving them. Lord even again, today we're thinking about opportunities upcoming  in our community in various ways of service. Help us Lord to seize upon those that are most  suited to our own calling and gifts and to be mightily used for You for Your glory in the lives of  other people. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.

Última modificación: lunes, 17 de enero de 2022, 09:44