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  • Pastor Jill

5.4.2020 God-Given Gifts

Word for the Warrior May 4, 2020

Here’s a song for us today: The Gifts God Has Given You & Me by Ilsa Grant

This morning at the Listening Post: Be thankful for all the gifts I (God) have given you.

Soon thoughts flooded my soul—gifts so precious like my hubby, parents, sisters & their families, our daughters, sons-in-law, granddaughters, dear friends, extended family, neighbors, parishioners-—how they have enriched my life—in each their own giftedness! Then I looked around—at the beautiful, cozy home God gave us, the birds flying around, the many types of trees, clouds, animals, flowers, air we breathe! The list was endless!

Then thoughts flooded my mind of how God has gifted us each differently—and how they enhance my life—Jerry (an outdoorsy man) who has neat abilities I don’t have—like cutting down trees, running a saw mill, operating equipment, carpentry, a good saver, & has so much compassion in his heart. He is encouraging, helpful, loving, kind. Then I think of our girls, each so different—but with gifts which enhance my life in so many ways. I could not imagine living without their love, their generosity, their sweet caring-ness. All these may be natural, physical gifts—so valuable--but each of us have spiritual gifts as well! Next, I thought, some of us don’t know what they are!

1 Corinthians 12: Spiritual Gifts Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way--1 Cor. 13—Love.

Romans 12:6-8 More gifts!

6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

But what are mine, you might ask? Spiritual gift inventories can help us understand. Confirmation from others also gives light to our spiritual giftedness—ask! Other people who see us serving the Lord can often identify a spiritual gift in us that we might take for granted or not recognize. Prayer is also important. The one person who knows exactly how we are spiritually gifted is the gift-giver Himself—the Holy Spirit. We can ask God to show us how we are gifted in order to better use our spiritual gifts for His glory. God calls some to be servants and blesses them with the gift of helps. However, specifically knowing our spiritual gift does not excuse us from serving God in areas outside our gifting. Is it beneficial to know what spiritual gift(s) God has given us? Of course it is. Is it wrong to focus so much on spiritual gifts that we miss other opportunities to serve God? Yes. If we are dedicated to being used by God, He will equip us with the spiritual gifts we need.

Prayer: Abba Father, we thank you for the gifts you’ve given us so we can serve the body of Christ, our families, neighbors, friends..but we thank you the most today—for your precious gifts to us—our Lord Jesus Christ & the Holy Spirit. And thank you Abba, for creating & loving us & giving us the gift of life!In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.

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