We are gifted. We are all gifted. God has gifted us all. Every person on the planet has talents, gifts and abilities given to them by God. And every follower of Jesus Christ has spiritual gifts as well.
Are you using your gifts to serve the body of Christ and advance Christ’s kingdom?
6 According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the standard of one’s faith; 7 if service, in service; if teaching, in teaching; 8 if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness.
Insight #1: We are gifted by God (v6). Every good gift comes from God. He is the one to decide which gifts are to be given to each person. Now certainly we are to develop and utilize those gifts, so we have a hand in improving and utilizing them. However, we should never forget that God is the source of our spiritual gifts.
Let me illustrate. Some people are very naturally gifted with athletic or artistic abilities, and we often refer to their “God-given abilities.” Such individuals should thank God for their gifts, put them to good use, and fully utilize them in a way that glorifies God. They should never forget that God is the source of their gifts.
The same is true with spiritual gifts. We should thank God for them, put them to good use, and fully utilize them in a way that glorifies God. We should never forget that God is the source of our gifts.
Insight #2: We have gifts of grace (v6). God shows His grace to us in many ways. The most important way is through salvation, where His saving grace is shown to us in Christ. Such grace is poured out upon us when we repent of our sin and place our faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, trusting in His death and resurrection as the payment for our sin and our hope for eternal life.
God also shows us His grace by giving us spiritual gifts. These gifts of His grace are given to us so that His grace can flow through us as we minister to others. Some of the gifts are “speaking gifts” and others are “serving gifts.” Speaking gifts such as encouragement and teaching allow people to hear and feel the grace of God in their minds and hearts. Serving gifts such as serving and showing mercy allow people to see God’s grace in action.
Insight #3: We have different gifts (vv6-8). There are seven different gifts mentioned Romans 12:6-8. This list is suggestive, not exhaustive, meaning that there are many more gifts than these in this passage. We have different gifts than each other. And you may notice that you have more than one gift. We should be grateful for the gifts given to us, and also be grateful for the gifts given to others. Our different gifts compliment each other, and working together form a strong body of Christ.
Prophecy — speaking the truth for God, always in line with the Word of God. People with this gift see things in “right” or “wrong” terms without many gray areas.
Service — helping others in very practical ways, anything from setting up tables at the church for a fellowship meal to mowing the lawn for a widow in the community to serving people in a million other ways.
Teaching — communicating God’s Word in a way so that people understand what the Bible says and they know how to apply the Bible to their daily lives.
Exhorting — encouraging others. A person with this gift brings a positive energy and outlook to situations. People feel encouraged after spending time with them. They seek to use their words to inspire, encourage and build others up.
Giving — sharing resources generously to meet needs and advance Christ’s kingdom. These people know that God is the source of their earthly resources, and they have an intense desire to wisely and generously use their resources in Christ-honoring ways.
Leading — administrating and leading others to fulfill God’s mission on earth. Those with this gift lead others well. They cast vision, equip, delegate and encourage their team. They keep the team focused on the mission and vision that God has placed before them. Others follow where they lead.
Showing Mercy — loving others by showing compassion and mercy to them. These people deeply feel the hurts of others. They show mercy by listening to them, caring for them, crying with them, praying with them, and showing compassion in a host of other ways.
Insight #4: Use your gifts! (vv6-8) The Bible tells us that we are to use our gifts to serve others. When we use our gifts, the entire body of Christ is stronger. When we use our gifts, everyone sees what it looks like to live in God’s kingdom and people are drawn to faith in Christ.
Let’s take an example. Suppose a couple is struggling in their marriage. Here is how the body of Christ coming together helps them to work through their struggles and to come out stronger as a couple, more in love with each other than ever before. Someone with the gift of leading will assemble a team to help this couple in many ways. A teacher will teach a message from God’s Word on the beauty of marriage, and they begin to see what that could look like. An exhorter will encourage them both, helping them to see how God can work in the situation and helping them to feel encouraged. Someone with the gift of prophecy can articulate the truth of God’s Word into the situation, reminding them that their marriage is to be a picture of Christ and the church and reminding them that the book of Song of Songs can guide them into a passionate pursuit of showing love to their marriage partner. A person showing mercy will listen to them, understand the situation, pray with them and for them, and help in other ways. A person with the gift of giving may pay for them to attend a marriage retreat. Someone with the gift of serving may prepare and deliver a nice meal for them, volunteer to babysit their children, and give them a nice evening at home alone.
If you are unsure of what your gifts are, here is a free online Spiritual Gifts Test. God has called us all to serve Him. One of the ways we do this is by utilizing our spiritual gifts through our local church. If you are not currently serving in a ministry of your church, contact your pastor or ministry leaders to discuss what ministry might be the best fit for you. If I can help you, feel free to contact me!
When we all use our gifts, God is glorified, needs are met, people grow closer to Jesus, people walk in obedience, and others come to faith in Christ. Let’s use our gifts!