Tag Archives: Ministry Gifts

Do You Ask Amiss?

14 Oct

It’s time to switch our focus a little to some of the other gifts given by the Holy Spirit. We have been talking about motivational gifts which are given to individuals so they can be used of God to meet the needs of others. I have summarized them below:

Motivational Gifts found in (Romans 12:6-9)
  • Leadership/Administration – organizes and guides God’s people to attempt great goals –
  • Service/Helps – enables pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc., to have more time to study and leaders and administrators time for giving the church body purpose and direction
  • Prophecy – Proclaimers/God’s Loudspeakers
  • Exhortation – Encouragers – “How to” Persons
  • Teacher/Pastor  – Guardians of the Flock/Explainers
  • Mercy – Reaches out with genuine love which uplifts, soothes and  heals those who are hurting

Discovering the gifts God has given us is a process. We aren’t mature, spiritually sensitive overnight. God is progressive. He will always be working with us and grooming us. We will be continually running our races until He calls us out of this world. We should be sensitive to the gifts God may have given us,  listen for confirmation from others. We should make the practice of our gift(s) a priority in our lives and be willing to work at the process of understanding ourselves.  We should be content with the person God is shaping us to be and careful not to  compare ourselves to others or covet the gifts and callings God has made evident in their lives. Keep in mind that to desire the gift or calling of another is to keep us from what God has planned for us and would keep them from the call of God upon their lives.

We should expect a constant discovery of all that God has placed within us. We need to yield to Him as He guides us to the work He is preparing for us and should not isolate ourselves from others. We must be alert, not imitating others or trying to model ourselves after anyone other than our Creator. We have to be honest with ourselves about our likes and dislikes and be willing to face the areas in our lives that God wants to help us change. He doesn’t expect perfection from us. He wants our submission and our willingness to let Him lead us. He wants our friendship and our fellowship. He isn’t in a hurry. After all, we have an eternity with Him!

We can be  hindered in finding our gifts or what God has for us. James 4:2,3 says, “You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you gt on your pleasure.” Our motives must be to honor God by edifying others, not to build up ourselves.

Christians and non-Christians alike have been gifted with abilities and talents. Natural gifts usually edify the person and draw attention to them and their particular talent. Gifts from God are not inherited or earned. They are given freely by Him as He chooses and are evidence of the Holy Spirit being present in their lives. They have experienced the gift of salvation and made Jesus their Lord.

God is the source of all gifts. He weaves them together with our personalities – our temperaments –  as we yield our lives to Him. God can use our natural abilities, and/or talents as a path for a spiritual gift.  He will make it clear as we follow Him.

There are differing gifts, but one Spirit. Following are the Ministry Gifts found in Ephesians 4:11-13 which will be discussed in  our next series.
  1. –Apostle
  2. –Prophet
  3. –Evangelist
  4. –Pastor
  5. –Teacher

There are also Manifestations of the Spirit – Operational Gifts as seen in I Corinthians 12:7 (listed below):

REVELATION GIFTS
  • Word of Wisdom
  • Word of Knowledge
  • Discerning of Spirits
POWER GIFTS
  • Faith
  • Healing
  • Miracles
UTTERANCE – INSPIRATIONAL GIFTS
  • Prophecy
  • Tongues
  • Interpretation of Tongues

In addition to my own material I have included quotes from the following:

  • C. Peter Wagner “Your Spiritural Gifts”
  • Gordon Lindsay “All About the Gifts of the Spirit”
  • Adult Education and Discipleship Ministries – FBC – Garland “Gifts are for Giving”
  • Biblesoft Libraries
  • Sandy Trice
  • David Francis
  • KJV
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About Spiritual Gifts. . . I Do Not Want You To Be Ignorant! I Cor. 12:1

11 Aug

SPIRITUAL GIFTS (13)

The words “Gifts or Spiritual Gifts or Ministry Gifts” as they relate to Scripture can cause some to squirm. These terms, along with others from Scripture, can cause confusion and bring up uncomfortable feelings. Some just don’t want to hear anything about them at all. Truthfully, I can relate. I was brought up around these things and I was uncomfortable much of the time.

I want to dispel some of those fears and misunderstandings, to the best of my knowledge and with the help of others who have written about these things.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  God does not want us ignorant concerning these things. (1 Cor. 12:4) Because of all the confusion and fear surrounding the mis-use of these gifts and the fear surrounding the unknown, we allowed the enemy to steal some of God’s most valuable resources for our edification.

If you have had any of these experiences or have heard of them please realize that God never forces Himself on us. His gifts are given freely and are to build us up and to heal us physically, emotionally, spiritually – and in every other way.

The fears that have kept us from God’s best should be dealt with in prayer and in reading God’s Scriptures for clarification. I am going to do my best to explain these gifts, the way they differ and the way they are used today. There are many who believe that God’s gifts were only for Bible times and are not effective today. That is a big lie of the devil to prevent us from receiving God’s best for our lives.

  • There is no evidence whatever that the Gifts ceased because the Lord withdrew them. (Gordon Lindsay, All About the Gifts of the Spirit)
  • A Scripture that has been commonly used by those who hold the position that the Gifts of the Spirit have ceased is I Cor. 13:8-10.
  • Here we are told that prophecies, and tongues, and knowledge shall cease, or pass away. Just one glance at the Scripture shows however, that the period referred to is not this age at all, but the perfect age which is yet to come! (Lindsay)

The gifts we are discussing in this series are the Spiritual Gifts from Romans 12:3-8:

  • Rom 12:3-8
  • 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body , and each member belongs to all the others. 6 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. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. NIV

Following are Scriptures relating to the other gifts God has given to us and we will discuss them in a future series.

  • Eph 4:9-13
  • 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets , some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. NIV
  • 1 Cor 12:1-13
  • 12:1 Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
  • 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
  • 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 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. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
  • 12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free — and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. NIV

The next Motivational Spiritual Gift we are going to discuss is the gift of PROPHECY. That’s one that turns some off. Many believe that prophecy is no longer relevant today. However; God still gives this gift to many and it is His will that they use it properly. To use it in any way other than directed by God is a very dangerous thing to do.  There are characteristics you will recognize by those with this gift and you will be able to discern whether they are using it properly or not.

We are not speaking of “Prophet” as in the ministry gift or  the gift of prophecy found in   I Corinthians 12, we are learning about the gift found in Romans 12:6-8.

The Gift of PROPHECY:

Today this gift is primarily associated with powerful preaching, however; all preachers do not have the gift of prophecy nor do all persons with the gift of prophecy preach.

The person with this particular gift goes “out of their way” to exercise one or more of these basic points:
  • An analysis of the current situation from God’s perspective
  • The consequences of continuing in that path
  • The need for change/repentance
  • The promise of God’s grace and restoration if the change in direction is made

I believe a person given this gift is tested to the max. They cannot be used effectively unless they are well versed in God’s Scriptures and have learned strict obedience to God.

God knows how to train us for the gift He has given us. That is one of the duties of God’s Holy Spirit. He teaches us to “hear” His voice as He speaks to our hearts. This is for everyone, not just a select few. God’s Word tells us that if you are one of His sheep, you hear His voice and the voice of another you will not follow.

  • John 10:26-27
  • 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. NIV

Some of the characteristics of the gift of PROPHECY are as follows:

  • Prophecy does not usually involve foretelling – predicting the future – as much as it does forthtelling – forcefully speaking the truth. Forcefully is a strong word. What it means here is that the Prophet motivated person wants to make sure God’s Word is understood and that there are consequences to disobeying it.
  • The word proclaim is perhaps a better word than preach to describe what a person with the gift of prophecy does
  • Typically their ministry is a public one
  • They are not as comfortable in smaller groups as others
  • They prefer speaking to larger groups than ministering one on one as do those with other gifts
  • They are tuned in to how God views situations, especially if evil or hypocrisy is present
  • The are Issues-oriented; usually have an opinion about everything! Not fearful to tackle tough issues
  • They proclaim God’s truth with a passion, even if they must do so alone
  • Their message is one of urgency; tend to expect an immediate decision or response (Repent NOW!)

Natural Ability or Gift From God?

20 Jul

Spiritual Gifts (6)

Everyone of us is gifted and/or talented in some way. I want to write a little bit about the differences between natural abilities and God-given gifts.

One of the easiest ways to recognize a natural gift or ability is that it usually edifies the individual and brings honor and attention to them personally. A Spirit given gift edifies others and gives God glory.

Natural gifts and talents can be inherited skills or skills that can be learned. For example, music, sports, art – even speaking abilities.

Spiritual Gifts are given by the Holy Spirit of God and are only available to people who have accepted Jesus Christ. These gifts, if administered properly, will edify the Body of Christ, benefit others and give glory to God. As believers, we can possess both Spiritual Gifts and natural abilities/talents. We can also use them selfishly if we are not careful.

This is a good place to introduce some of the other Spiritual Gifts mentioned in the Bible. We have been learning about Motivational Gifts and now we are going to begin to learn how to recognize the differences between the individual Motivational gifts and the Ministry gifts that God has given us.

Motivational Gifts
(Romans 12:6-9)
Prophecy
Serving
Teaching
Exhortation
Giving
Administration
Mercy

Ministry Gifts
(Ephesians 4:11-13)
Apostle
Prophet
Evangelist
Pastor
Teacher

The following terms are also used when speaking about God’s Gifts. These are the manifestations of the Ministry Gifts.

REVELATION GIFTS
Word of Wisdom
Word of Knowledge
Discerning of Spirits

POWER GIFTS
Faith
Healing
Miracles

SPEAKING GIFTS –
Prophecy
Tongues
Interpretation of Tongues

God’s Gift To You For Him

17 Jul

Discovering Our Spiritual Gifts (5)

It’s time to discover the characteristics of the individual motivational gifts. God’s Holy Spirit gives good gifts to His children, born-again believers in Jesus Christ. He gives these gifts to us so that we will use them for His glory, to build up the Body of Christ. We need to pray that God will reveal our gift to us and listen for confirmation (or lack of it) from others. As we discover the characteristics of each gift in the future Blogs, we will recognize some of the traits in ourselves and in others.

Begin the process by being more sensitive to your own self. Get to know yourself by looking back and discovering the things that you really enjoy and the reason for it. Also, consider the things that don’t interest you very much – the things that don’t really get you motivated.

There are some things that can hinder the progress. If there are sins in our lives that we won’t let go of – sin that God has convicted us of again and again – we will need to resolve those issues in order to be in a position where God can use us as He wants. This doesn’t mean we are perfect, nor can we be. However, there are things in our lives that hinder us from moving forward with our Lord. God is long-suffering – He will give us plenty of time but He does expect us to walk in the light He gives us and He will help us to work out the unacceptable issues in our lives.

The recognition of the gift God has given us won’t manifest if we are isolated from others in the church. His gifts are for others, not for our own benefit.

We admire and respect others we observe in our midst. We can’t discover our God-given gift if we decide for ourselves we want to do what we see someone else doing. It is important that we understand our personal likes and dislikes and is helpful to know why, if possible.

There may be a hindrance because we don’t understand the difference between motivational gifts and ministry gifts. Or, we may be confused about the differences between spiritual gifts and natural abilities. (Stay with me as we learn about all these subjects and as we learn to clearly identify them in our lives.)

Our own feeling of not being good enough, a lack of interest, or improper motives will also hinder this process. Our proper motive is to bring honor to God by building up others.

We can identify some of our traits as we continue through this teaching and we can identify others in the process. But, just because we can identify them does not mean we can be used of God without His Holy Spirit and our obedience to Him.

This is a good stopping place for now. This subject is deep and wide. You will gain insight in each Blog Post, so stay with me as we go deeper into it so that God can use us as He has planned from the beginning.

I will leave you with the following Scripture for meditation as we continue our study.

ph 4:11-16
1 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
NKJV

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