Well it’s the new year! So, what are you all going to do with the gifts you received? Leave your gifts in their packaging and store them away not to be used? I know that many parents get their kids things for them to grow into. I know that we did. Is that what you are waiting for, to grow into your gifts?
According to today’s passage of scripture, we all, as believers, are gifted by the Holy Spirit for the common good of His Church, which includes the congregation you are now a part of, even if it is virtually.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast,” our Spiritual gifts start with the gifts of Grace and faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). The gift of faith is the foundation of the other spiritual gifts; they grow out of faith in Christ.
We are justified by faith. That faith is a gift as is the grace we have received and are receiving. Our faith comes by the message of faith.
The fact that you and I claim Jesus as our Lord and Savior is proof that we have been given the gift of faith by the Holy Spirit.
We all have God given abilities and talents that we use in our everyday lives. The difference between the spiritual gifts and our natural abilities and talents should be clear to every Christian. Spiritual gifts are given only to believers, Christ followers; the saved, justified, and sanctified.
Whereas the abilities and talents we obtain, either at birth or though learning, are received by those of the world as well. The one similarity is both are blessings from God. “He who causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain for the righteous and the unrighteous” also gives abilities and talents to all in this world (Matthew 5:45).
Those abilities and talents are to also be used for the common good of all people. But are all too often, horded, misused, or not acknowledged by those of the world. And to our shame, like the spiritual gifts we are given in the Church.
Listen, if God called you to repentance and you answered that call and are now justified, then you are a part of His Church, the Body of Christ (as we will soon find out in verse 13). We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body. That being said, as part of His Church in the local congregation you are Spiritually gifted for that congregation and God’s Church.
The spiritual gifts are gifts of the Spirit, “a manifestation of the spirit,” as vs. 7 says. This manifestation is the working of the Spirt to enable you to obey what God has asked you to do. God has a habit of not calling the equipped, but of equipping the called! Thus, through this gifting His will is accomplished. The gift is not just a list of things, abilities, and talents; the gift is the Holy Spirit who enables you to do what you are called to do for the common good of the local congregation and, thereby, His Church.
If you focus on what gifting you may or may not have, now, you will miss, or could miss, the blessing in the assignment God has for you. You must take that next step of faith and step out knowing that God will equip you for the task at hand.
None of us get to choose our gifting, or where, or how we are to serve as part of His Church. You can come alongside a ministry that is taking place, participate in reaching into our communities with us through volunteering at R&P or with CORE or with any of the ministries we do. Those are fantastic! But don’t stop looking and focusing on what God wants for you. It may be to continue to volunteer where you are, or it may be something different. Heed His leading. He has a plan for you to prosper you and to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
To claim that you are not gifted for ‘this’ or ‘that,’ or deciding on which ministries best suits you, or that you are not called or gifted at all, is a very self-centered approach in being the Church.
“Each one given a manifestation of the Spirit for the Common Good” (12:7)! If you are justified by faith then the Holy Spirt resides in you and you are gifted!
And why have you been gifted with the very Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit?
God gives us gifts. You and I both are gifted for the common good, and sometimes, sometimes, we have to grow into them just as our kids do, and did, with the ones we give to them. But that will never happen if you don’t even try to grow, if you don’t or won’t take your next step of faith for the common good of His Church; the congregation which you are a part of.
- How are you using your Spiritual gifts in serving God in His local Church?
- If you are not serving, why?
- How are you a part of God’s Church?