April 20 I Monday
2 Samuel 9-11
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” —1 Corinthians 12:4-6
What are spiritual gifts and how do we know which gifts we have? Spiritual gifts are distinct from natural abilities or acquired skills. A natural ability is something we are born with and an acquired skill is something we learn as we go through this life.
In essence, we can define “spiritual gifts” as God empowering His people by His Spirit to do His work; they are guaranteed sources of power that are determined by Jesus, enabled by the Holy Spirit, given for the building up of the body of Christ and establishing the kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. We can read a list of different spiritual gifts from Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesian 4.
In Dr. J. Robert Clinton’s Unlocking Your Giftedness, he takes the spiritual gifts and creates a framework for us to understand them. (Keeping in mind this is only a framework and not the framework; in other words, this is just one method of defining the spiritual gifts and their purposes.) Clinton organizes all the spiritual gifts into one of three categories that he describes either as love gifts, power gifts or word gifts. I renamed “love gifts” as “compassion gifts,” since every single spiritual gift is God’s love in action according to 1 Corinthians 13. Nonetheless, Clinton defines love gifts––compassion gifts––as manifesting God in practical ways that can be recognized by the world around us that needs love. Power gifts reveal the authenticity, credibility, power and reality of the unseen God. Lastly, word gifts clarify the nature of this unseen God and His demands and purposes; they communicate about and for this God. We will find that there is some overlap, where some gifts occur in more than one category.
The question we might be asking ourselves is, how do we know what our own spiritual gifts are? The best way to discover them is to begin by serving, whether at the church or in the community; when we serve others, our gift will inevitably show up. At the start, it might be a prompting that we feel. If it happens only once, it might be a coincidence, but if it happens two or three times, it is evident that God has placed something in us that is distinct and different from others. God has given every believer a spiritual gift. When we cultivate our gifts, we not only experience increasing levels of joy but also a nearness to God as we use our gifts to bring about His kingdom and His purposes in the world.
Prayer: Lord God, thank You for giving me spiritual gifts. May I become increasingly aware of how You have gifted me to serve, that I may use my gifts in a manner to bring about Your kingdom and purpose in the world. Amen!