Discover Your Gift
Rom. 12:4–8 (NIV) For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Paul says we are all part of the same body, and we all have something to contribute to the common good—our gifts. We all have a gift, and we are to use it in the church.
• Do you know what yours is? Are you using it? Or are you letting it go to waste.
Story: A friend's wife once put his lunch money in his Bible cover, because she knew he read his Bible every day at lunch. But he didn't know she had put it there, so he went all day without eating.
• He had what he needed all the time, he just didn’t know it.
Can I let you in on something? God has given us what we need to serve Him, but many of us don’t know we have it.
• We carry it around with us, completely unaware we even have it.
I’m talking about the gift God has imparted to you.
• Yes, salvation is a “gift” and we should be ever grateful for it. But God doesn’t save us just so we can go to Heaven. He saves us so we can live lives of service to Him using the spiritual gift He has given us.
• John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—.”
Paul writes in Eph. 2:8-10 that we are saved by grace, through faith, that our salvation is a gift from God. He says we are not saved because we do good works, but we are saved in order to do good works
Eph. 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, [the result of what God has done] created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
• Did you know God has work for us to do? It is not to sit on the pew and wait for Jesus to come, but to serve in God’s kingdom with the gifts He has given us.
When God gives us work to do, He provides us with what we need to get it done. Where God guides, He provides. How many believe that?
Chip Ingram says: “We must learn to BE the church, rather than just go to church.” In order to BE the church, we need to utilize the gifts God has given us, so that we can accomplish the task He has given us.
That task is to reveal God to the world; to be an expression of His love. God gives us a spiritual gift as a particular way to express Himself to the world through us.
Now each one of us who are believers has a spiritual gift.
• Paul writes (vv. 5-6) we all belong to the Body of Christ, and we each have a spiritual gift that we are to use to do what God has called us to.
Now, Some of you ARE operating in your area of giftedness. Great! But often people say, “I don’t know what God has called me to do. How can I even tell what my spiritual gift is?”
First, God will call you to do different things throughout your life.
• A man started out doing youth ministry in his twenties, but now he is fifty-five, and he wonders why he doesn't experience the same results he once did. God wants you to grow in your service to Him!
But if you don’t know what your spiritual gift is, then you are most likely not fulfilling God’s purpose for your life. Your spiritual gift is the best indicator of God’s purpose for your life.
• If God gifts you with an incredible singing voice and the ability to touch people’s heart through song, then He most likely wants you to get up and sing!
First Question: What exactly IS a Spiritual gift?
• Spiritual Gift: A Spirit-driven ability that God endows believers with for His purposes.
Second Question: How do I find out what my spiritual gift is?
Start by identifying your strengths and weaknesses.
• Take inventory of your traits
• Do a Spiritual Gifts Inventory exercise
• Rom. 12:3 “make a sober assessment” of yourself.
Ask: What am I good at, and not-so-good at? Be honest! Get input from your spouse or friends. Chances are, if you are NOT good at something, you won’t enjoy doing it, and God’s not going to receive any glory from you doing it.
Ask: In what ways does God use me to be a blessing?
Your spiritual gift will be something you are . . . .
• good at
• you enjoy doing
• is profitable for the kingdom of God in some way
• provides some benefit to the Body of Christ
• is only possible with the Spirit’s enablement
Some General Categories of Spiritual gifts:
• administration, craftsmanship, evangelism, exhortation,faith, giving, helps, hospitality, prayer, prophecy, knowledge, leadership, mercy, music, serving, shepherding, discernment, teaching, wisdom, writing, listening
The list given in Romans 12 vv. 6-8 is not exhaustive, but examples.
See also 1 Cor. 12 and Ephesians 4 for more lists.
Third Question: How do I begin using my spiritual gift?
Start by taking a look at your “resource mix.” Your “resource mix” is the combination of all that God has invested in you:
• life experiences, acquired skills, natural talents, passions, the tangible things you possess, and your Spiritual gift
• all that has gone into making you “you” that can be drawn from in doing God’s work
Here’s a breakdown of what your “resource mix” contains.
First, your resource mix contains life experiences:
• Have you traveled a lot? Experienced other cultures? Do you have contacts in other countries? You could be a big help to mission organizations.
• Have you been in the military? You can appreciate the special challenges disabled veterans face. The VA office needs someone with patience and understanding to drive Veterans to medical appointments.
• Maybe you’ve been through some particular crisis. You know what heartache, turmoil, and despair are like.You can help someone else who is going through the same thing with their healing.
Second, your resource mix contains the skills you have acquired. Through your education and vocation you’ve learned:
• organizational, clerical, technical, mechanical, business, domestic, verbal, and writing skills. Non-profit ministries can use you!
Third, your resource mix contains your natural talents.
• Music (not forced lessons that you hated!) art, dance
• Nice clear speaking voice that people like to hear (Em-Cee)
• Personality that people are drawn to (Receptionist, greeter)
• Detail oriented; Problem solver (special events coordinator)
Fourth, your resource mix contains your passions.
• What have you always wanted to do? Always dreamed of?
• What is it that has caused you to say, “Someday, I’d like to . . .”
• What do you derive the most enjoyment from doing now?
• motorcycles, classic cars, horseback riding, camping, traveling, working with kids or the elderly, cooking, sewing, shopping
You would be surprised at how God can use your hobbies!
Fifth, your resource mix contains the tangible things you possess or have access to.
• property, special equipment, vehicle, finances, a building or facility
• Ask: What do I possess that can be put into service serving God?
All of these things form your resource mix: your life experiences, your acquired skills, your natural talents, your passions, and your tangible possessions.
Now, throw into the mix your Spiritual Gift.
You now have the sum total of all the work God has put into you. You see that God has a sizeable investment in you. He is expecting a return on it.
Now . . . . . here’s how you begin using your spiritual gift.
Look all around you: at your family, your church, your community. What areas of need do you see?
•Needs for food, needs for rent, needs for school clothes
• needs for car repairs, needs for home improvements
• Needs for emotional support, for consolation, for encouragement, for a shoulder to cry on, needs for understanding, for love, for compassion
• Needs for tutoring, for babysitting, for someone to sit with
• Needs for a ride to work, to the drug store, or a Dr. appt.
• Needs for grass-cutting, painting, plumbing, wiring
• Needs for teaching, mentoring, witnessing
The world around us is filled with needs. Those needs are like pieces of a puzzle that are missing. The world you’re looking at is a picture with holes in it.
So then, take a look into your resource mix . . . . sift through all that God has deposited there. And find something that can meet one of those needs, and then go and fill that hole. That’s how you put your spiritual gift into operation.
And when the Body of Christ begins putting their gifts into operation, the holes will get filled, the needs will get met, people will experience the love of God, and many will come to Christ.
Rom. 12:6 “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given us, let us use them.”
Pray: Father, help each one here who is a believer to identify what it is You have gifted them with, so that they might begin to use it for Your glory. Amen.