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I’m a firm believer that it is important for us to know how the Holy Spirit has gifted us and called us to serve God and the Church. So over the past few weeks, I’ve asked everyone to take a spiritual gifts survey to identify what our spiritual gifts might be.

The test was kind of long. Some of the questions were pretty tough. When we finished the test, the computer spewed out our results. It listed the top three scoring gifts, as well as our overall scores for the various gift areas. Then, if you were like me when I first took one of these tests, you sat there and stared at the results, and wondered something like, “I have WHAT gift?” Really?


Remember, spiritual gifts are those talents and ability that GOD gives to US to use to glorify Him and serve the Church. So, those results you got, you’ve been gifted in that area for a reason. And something else to remember, God knew what He was doing when He gave you that gift! It wasn’t by accident. You didn’t win some supernatural lottery. You were given this gift for a purpose. And your job is to figure out how to use it the best you can.

If you remember, 2014 is our Year of Discipleship- we are focusing on becoming better followers of Jesus Christ, and I, and your church, are seeking to give you every possible resource we can to make you a better disciple. Part of that is in discovering, strengthening, and using your spiritual gifts. If you haven’t taken the spiritual gifts test yet, go do it. It is a great way to start this process of figuring out how you’ve been gifted by God to serve.

Once you have your results, here’s what I want you to do with them this week:

       -   Take your top two gift areas and write them down on a piece of paper and put them somewhere you                 can see them throughout the week. It’s important to remind yourself of what your gifts are.

       -   Pray about them. Ask God to show you what these mean for you, and how He wants you to use them.

       -   Read about those gifts. Do some research to figure out what it means and what it looks like. Check                    out the document: Spiritual Gifts Descriptions. In it are definitions, examples of the gift in scripture,                     and questions for digging deeper into that gift.

                  -  Read and re-read the definitions

                  -  Look up the biblical references to see how these gifts are spoke of and used

        -  Talk to someone you trust about these gifts: do they see them in you, do they have any insight to                         offer you about how you can use them?

        -  Jot down some ideas for how to use them to benefit the Church and serve God. Make sure to stretch                     yourself, thinking of ways you haven’t tried before. Look at our church’s list of ministries if you need                 some ideas

         -     When you have your list, start doing one of them this week. The best way to grow your gifts is to                     start using them. Don’t wait for a better time. Right now is the best time!

You need to start using your gifts to serve God and the church. That’s why we have these gifts. So start using yours today, even if you aren’t too sure what the best way to do that is. Just try. I guarantee that when you do, God’s going to do some pretty amazing things in and through you! And this church will not be the same!

Sermon Notes for “Spiritual Gifts: I Have WHAT Gift?” from Mar 30, 2014

 
Spiritual Gifts are those talents and abilities that come from God

            They differ from our natural talents- those things we are good at from birth

            Spiritual gifts come to us at our New Birth- when we receive the Holy Spirit

                        They are given according to what we can handle

                        They are meant to be used to glorify God and benefit the church

Scripture passages about the purpose of spiritual gifts

            Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:7; 1 Peter 4:10; Ephesians 4:12

As believers, we have been given these gifts, and it is important to know what they are, and to use them!

There are various gifts, and various levels of gifting:

            Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, 27-28; Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Peter 4:10-11

            Some of the most widely accepted and spoke of are these:

                        Administration, discernment, evangelism, exhortation/encouragement, faith, giving, healing,                             hospitality, knowledge, leadership, mercy, miracles, prophecy, pastor, serving, teacher, tongues,                         wisdom

It’s important to know our gifts

            That’s why we have been taking the spiritual gifts surveys

                        If you haven’t taken it, please do (spiritualgiftstest.com)

                        Remember that these surveys don’t test for gifts of tongues, healing, or miracles because they                             are not easy to discover with just a bunch of questions

                                    These gifts are often seen and verified by others

                                    If you feel you may be gifted in these areas, make sure you talk with someone about it

What do we do now that we have an idea what our gifts are?

            Pray about them

                        Need to seek God’s guidance and help in knowing and using our gifts

                        Because it is the Holy Spirit that gives these gifts and enables us to use them, we need to seek                             out God and His will through prayer

            Seek counsel of others

                        Ask others what they see as your gifts

                        Seek affirmation for what you see, and how you could best use your gifts

            Serve!

                        Serve in lots of places; serve in ways you never thought of before

                        You may be surprised to find a ministry you never thought of may be the perfect place for your                         gifts

            Be willing to grow in strong and weak areas

                        Just like any skill, you need to develop and strengthen your gifts

                        You will be called on to serve in areas that you are not very gifted in

                        Remember that your gifts are for you to serve God and others, not to serve yourself

            Don’t be afraid of your gifts

                        Even when we are scared of our gifts or how we are called to use them, we have them for a                                 reason

                                    Remember the Parable of the Talents from Matthew 25: talents are given to us as we can                                     handle them to be used to serve our Master

                                                the servants who used their talents to produce more for their master were                                                         rewarded and given more; the servant who chose to hide his talent in the ground                                                 out of fear was punished by losing even that talent and was cast away from his                                                     master as lazy and wicked

So what are your gifts?

            How are you being called to use them?

            When you use your gifts to glorify God and benefit the church, you too will hear from God, “Well done!”

 


Comments

rossconran@yahoo.com
04/01/2014 8:45am

A noted Methodist Pastor commented to me Sunday on his way out of the worship service, “I’ve never met a person who had all the gifts. You must be a special person.”
“But,” I responded, “You have all the gifts, too.”
He disagreed with me despite my urging that he was as special as I. Perhaps I can explain my assertion in such a way as to reclaim my point of view and while expanding yours. I hope you will accept a wider appreciation of how the Holy Spirit has prepared you for discipleship.
The United Methodist website writes this: “Spiritual gifts are not our talents or skills. They are the grace of God at work within us, empowering us to match our deep passions with the world’s deep need. The gifts are given to individuals, but they are given to build and strengthen community and to meet the needs of those around us.”
The Spiritual Gifts Test for adults (www.spiritualgiftstest.com/test/adult) identifies and self-assesses fourteen gifts. The test requires the user to rank their own sense of degree (zero = “never” while five = “always”) to which a certain ability or tendency can be sensed within themselves.
Most persons familiar with these sorts of self-assessments recognize that the absolutes “never” and “always” are claims that cannot usually be justified in real life when applied to beliefs, actions, or motives. So, most persons who use these assessments generally will select the number one (1) to represent “almost never” and the number four (4) to represent “almost always.”
The upshot of this normal human behavior is that every one of the fourteen gifts assessed will be scored with a number larger than zero. No matter how accurate and truthful you intend your response to be, you will be shown to possess some degree of each gift.
In my own case, the largest positive number I obtained was 27. It was followed in rank order with two twenty-sixes. These gifts would be thought of as my strongest spiritual gifts. None of the 14 gifts were rated ZERO! The least positive number I received on the testing feedback was 11.
Regrettably, these gifts, when identified on this sort of assessment, are delivered in such a way as to reason that the three highest scores are my spiritual gifts because they were ranked as the strongest.
But what of the other eleven gifts that were tested and received positive numbers? Am I to ignore them? It seems to me that my task is to accept their presence, work on strengthening the weaker gifts, and apply them “to build and strengthen community and to meet the needs of those around us.”
If God through the power of the Holy Spirit has gifted me at any level with a grace, I cannot be in denial without denying the power of the Most High. Thus, in my judgment, it is wrong to deny or excuse myself from how God wants to work through me. This is not a matter of personal pride. It is bending to the will of God. It is taking to your knees in acceptance. It is raising your hand to the question of “whom shall I send?” It is taking the response of “here I am Lord. Send me.” It is simply being willing to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I believe that I can fully and accurately express that the Holy Spirit has gifted me with all the graces to some degree. I think you can also.

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