Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spiritual Gifts 101.2

As I said in my post, Eagerly Desire the Greater Gifts:

"The way I understand it, each member of the body of Christ is given a special gift from the Holy Spirit.  The gift is not just for the individual to soak up in their own life, but to be shared with others members of the body.  In this way, if every member is living out fully what they were called to be--obeying and trusting God with every spiritual move--then the entire church would be functioning as a body!  

If those who were called to evangelize would go and evangelize, and those who were called to pray would pray without ceasing, while those who are called to teach would teach faithfully, I think every member in the body would benefit from unity, working together, and therefore grow closer to Christ in love (Ephesians 4:16.)"

Do you understand what this means?  You were given a specific role to play in this great big story about God and his love for creation.  He CHOSE you to play out a distinct part in His grand scheme!  

What are you gonna do about that??

Well, as Paul puts it, "...If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.  If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 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." --Romans 12:6-8

In other words: GO DO IT!!  Let the love and grace of Christ bubble up in you so much that it has to flow out of you all over the place, or else you are going to explode!  As a true believer in Christ, you should desire to do this already!  Yes, sin gets us off course from these desires, but if you truly understand grace you will come back to your senses, crave God, and serve him.

That's the trick.  If you aren't fully sold out to God, you aren't going to want to use your spiritual gift all the time, because you will be operating out of your own strength, which is an instant fail.

In fact, the one rule we are given in exercising these gifts is this: It must be done with love.  1 Corinthians 13:4-7 tells us that exercising our gifts and preaching and teaching and everything else is absolutely WORTHLESS, have we not love.  

And 1 John 4 tells us that God is love, and therefore we must put him first and foremost before everything else.  Matthew 16:33, 27:39-40.