As we continue to FOCUS on Spiritual Gifts, lets take a look at each one in a little more detail. If your just now joining this series, you can catch up by looking at the last three AUMC Family Ministry newsletters or go to our Facebook page and look at the last three posts titled “Spiritual Gifts”.
For review, spiritual gifts come from God, manifested through the Holy Spirit. In order to receive this manifestation of “spiritual” gifts, the Holy Spirit has to be present in the life of a believer in Jesus Christ. Again, it doesn’t mean that non-believers can’t do good, or even great things, but according to 1 Corinthians 12 and some interpretations there is a difference between our normal talents, abilities, or skills and “spiritual” gifts. Even though there are some spiritual gifts that seem to have “greater” importance due to their supernatural qualities, like healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, and speaking in tongues; Spiritual gifts are equally necessary and important. Spiritual gifts are also described or linked to “service” or “working”.
“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 NIV
It is interesting that the last three words of this passage are “God at work”. We’ve seen signs on the highway that say “Men At Work” or “Men Working”. The sign may just have an image of a stick figure digging. These signs let us know to be alert and cautious when driving because there are people working on the highway or close by. God’s spiritual gifting in and through us is a sign that God is “AT WORK”. We can literally be “God Working” signs or LIGHTS, as we serve and do ministry. If we are serving and doing ministry for the right reasons, God is seen and glorified.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NIV
Okay, so lets dig a little deeper into these spiritual gifts. Here is the list of Spiritual Gifts from last week and a description of each:
ADMINISTRATION: The ability to help steer the church, or a ministry, toward the successful completion of God-given goals, with skills in planning, organization, and supervision.
APOSTLE: A person sent to new places with the gospel, church planters or a missionary for example. An apostle can also provide leadership to other churches or ministries and offer advice on spiritual matters. They are influencers and entrepreneurial.
DISCERNMENT: The wisdom to recognize truth from untruth by correctly evaluating whether a behavior or teaching is from God or another, ungodly source.
EVANGELISM: The ability to successfully communicate the message of the gospel, especially to nonbelievers.
EXHORTATION: Competence in offering encouragement, comfort, and support to help someone be all that God wants them to be.
FAITH: People with this gift have such great confidence in the power and promises of God that they can stand strong in their belief, no matter what may try to shake them.
GIVING: Those who have this gift are particularly willing and able to share what resources they have with pleasure, and without the need to see them returned.
HEALING: A capability used by God to restore others, be that physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.
HELPS: Someone with this gift is able to support or assist members of the body of Christ so that they may be free to minister to others.
HOSPITALITY: A natural ability to make people—even strangers—feel welcome in one’s own home or church as a means to disciple or serve them.
KNOWLEDGE: This is the gift of someone who actively pursues knowledge of the Bible. This person may also enjoy analyzing biblical data.
LEADERSHIP: This aptitude marks a person who is able to stand before a church, to direct the body with care and attention, and to motivate them toward achieving the church’s goals.
MERCY: This is the defining trait of a person with great sensitivity for those who are suffering. It manifests itself in offering compassion and encouragement, and in a love for giving practical help to someone in need.
PROPHECY: The ability to speak the message of God to others. This sometimes involves foresight or visions of what is to come. This skill should be used only to offer encouragement or warning.
SERVING: A talent for identifying tasks needed for the body of Christ and using available resources to get the job done.
SPEAKING IN TONGUES: The supernatural ability to speak in another language (one that has not been learned).
TEACHING: The skill to teach from the Bible and communicate it effectively for the understanding and spiritual growth of others.
WISDOM: The gift of being able to sort through facts and data to discover what needs to be done for the church.
So there is the list or a list. I’m sure it’s not exhaustive and you may still have questions. I know I do, but at least it gives us something to go on. I’ll be honest that the speaking in tongues gift still messes with my head. I obviously don’t have that particular gift because I can’t speak a language that has “not been learned”. Also, the description of the HEALING gift is a little more practical. Restoration of others can take many forms and doesn’t necessarily require miraculous powers or ability, but that doesn’t mean that God can’t or won’t heal miraculously. Sometimes, we can restore others through kindness and encouragement.
Next week, I will try and finish this series and reveal the GREATEST GIFT OF ALL! You probably already know what it is, but I’m trying to build some suspense. Are you hanging on the edge of your seat?!!
Love y’all! Have a great weekend!
Weekly Devotional by Robby Morris, Director of Family Ministry & Facility Coordinator @ Andrews UMC.