Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Discover Your Gift

Part 2 of the series Gifted Christians

You can listen to the sermon here.



And [Christ] gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love (Eph. 4:11-16).


A Servant's Heart 

God has given spiritual gifts to Christians. A spiritual gift is a God-given ability for service. 


As there is diversity within unity in the Godhead (one God, three persons), there is also diversity within unity in the church (one body, many gifts). 


In part one of this series, we learned five truths about spiritual gifts: (1) every spiritual gifts is important; (2) spiritual gifts are expressed in unique ways; (3) spiritual gifts do not determine spiritual maturity; (4) spiritual gifts do not limit you to only one kind of service; and (5) spiritual gifts must be developed through constant use. 


And [Christ] gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ
(vv. 11-12). 

In churches, there are generally two types of people: consumers and servants. 


Consumers say: “I want a church that__________. I want a place where I can __________. The church is supposed to do __________ for me.”  


Servants ask: “How can I help this church to be __________? How can I make this place where people can __________? How can I give __________?”


Don't go to church with a shopping list. Go to church with a to-do list.


We must have a heart of a servant, not the heart of a consumer. 

“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant” (Phil. 2:4-7 NIV).

We should not ask, “What can I get?” We should ask, “What can I give?”

How Can I Discover My Gift? 

 
…when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love (v. 16). 

It is essential that every Christian is using his or her gift(s). Here are five suggestions for discovering your spiritual gift(s).


1. Find out what service is needed. 

Why not start where your church has a need? If you find out that this is not the best fit for you, you can move on to something else. But it’s important to begin your search with a servant’s heart.


2. Consider what you enjoy doing. 

Don’t assume that doing God’s will is going to make you miserable. (A
spiritual gifts inventory can help you determine your gift. One note about this inventory: apostleship and pastor don't refer to the offices, but gifts. Apostleship, in this context, is cross-cultural ministry.)

3. Ask God for wisdom. 

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God” (James 1:5). If you are willing to serve, God will eventually reveal to you your area of giftedness.


4. Seek godly counsel. 

Church leaders or trusted Christian friends can help you determine what gift(s) you have. Of course, it’s essential that those giving counsel speak “the truth
in love” (Eph. 4:15).

5. Don’t just sit there; do something. 

Don’t wait until you discover your gift. Start serving.