April 21 I Tuesday
2 Samuel 12-13
“We have different gifts….If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” —Romans 12:6-8
After Paul’s sight was restored in Damascus, it cannot be said of him that he sat around, hoping for some kind of spiritual gifting from God to suddenly pop up and help him. He took immediate action and began preaching in the synagogues. In 1 Corinthians 14:1, he tells us to “…eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit….”
Spiritual gifts are those skills and abilities God gives to His people to enable His church to fulfill its task. It is the same task for us as it was for Paul––to reach our world for Christ. We first accomplish that by bringing our lives under the authority of Jesus, allowing Him to take our weaknesses as well as strengths, and corporately, through the body of Christ, work towards fulfilling His purpose on earth.
When Paul says, “eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit” the underlying meaning is to eagerly desire to serve others. We are to actively seek our gifts by getting involved. Whether it is in the front lines or behind the scenes, it is humbly and faithfully doing whatever God has given us to do. In the process, we will discover where God has gifted us and feel energized and motivated by what we are doing, as well as encouraged by discerning men and women of God who begin to recognize God’s enabling in us. We need not feel intimidated if something seems beyond our reach because the Holy Spirit is our empowering and spiritual gifts are often discovered by taking risks.
The New Testament lists about 22 spiritual gifts in all; among them are healing, prophesy and teaching, but it is not a comprehensive list. There are other spiritual gifts in widespread use today such as music, writing, technology and counselling that are recognized as an important and valid gifting from God for His church. Many of us also have natural gifts, which God may prosper to further His agenda. The best time to develop our spiritual gifts is early in our Christian faith; otherwise we risk becoming complacent, especially concerning activities we think do not involve us.
We mature in our faith as we engage and serve. God has uniquely gifted every Christian but we do not have the right to insist on any particular gift. God gives as He wills and every role is needed in order for the church to function well. Paul said to Timothy, “I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6). We do this by actively getting involved, and the guidance of God will ultimately place us in the role He has for us within His church.
Prayer: Gracious God, I trust Your promise that every Christian is uniquely gifted by You. Help me to discern where my gifting lies and enable me to fulfill my role within Your church. Thank You, Lord.