Are you ready?

Today, we want to connect with the Gift of Service. Before you push back, keep in mind that every believer is spiritually gifted. 1 Corinthians 12:7~But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: (NKJ) Jesus reminds the disciples that they need to be empowered by the Holy Spirit so that each person who believes and walks with Christ needs the Holy Spirit to work on, in, and through their lives. So, what is the purpose of allowing the Holy Spirit to flow in our lives? 1 Peter 4:10~As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the multifaceted grace of God. (NASB) Yielding to the Holy Spirit helps us realize the fullness of God’s grace to a world that is desperate with need.

It’s critical to discover, develop, and use our spiritual gifts so we can fulfill the purpose for which God placed us on this planet. Our gifts are not just what we do; they are a vital part of who you are. Now when it comes to spiritual gifts we have placed them in 3 categories of gifts: Serving Gifts, Speaking Gifts, and Sign Gifts. As we move down the gangway of the USS Gospel Ship this week we are going to consider 2 of the serving gifts as we look at You’re In Training: Service, and To Lead.

So, what are you asking God to do in your life? Are you focused inward or outward? That means are we seeking the Lord to work inside of us to change us or are we seeking Him to utilize us for the Gospel. Take time to pray today and ask the Lord to help you be a better resource for the people you meet along your journey through life and faith. Ask God to empower you by baptizing you with His Holy Spirit. 

Gifts for the common good

So, tell me if you have ever heard this one before. How Many Spiritual Gifts Are There? Well, I certainly do not want to put a limit on our great God who has created with such diversity and variety. Just turn and look at the people around you. I mean He really does have a wonderful sense of humor, am I right. Look no further than the mirror to know this for certain. Each one of us looks a little different, has a unique fingerprint, more hair than others, a different voice, personality, and complete makeup all our own. God’s love of variety and diversity is also witnessed in His Spiritual Gifts.

In the Bible, we know that there are at least 20 gifts or categories of gifts, that we can read about in 6 different New Testament passages. So, let’s take a couple of minutes to list them out, without any duplication. Many Gifts, One Spirit. We find 7 gifts listed in Romans 12:6-8~Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. (NKJ)

Now, the gifts Paul has listed here in Romans 12 are #1—Prophecy (προφητεία prophēteia), #2—Ministry/Service (διακονία diakonia), #3—Teaching (διδάσκω didaskō), #4—Exhortation (παρακαλέω parakaleō), #5—Giving/Contributing (μεταδίδωμι metadidōmi), #6—Leadership (one who leads, or rules well) (προΐστημι proistēmi), and #7—Mercy (ἐλεέω eleeō).

Turning over to 1 Corinthians 12 Paul is again in a discussion concerning the diversity of Spiritual Gifts all of which emanate from the one and the same Holy Spirit, which is God’s Spirit working on, in, and through our lives. Listen as Paul shares insight on 8 other Spiritual Gifts. Beginning in 1 Corinthians 12:4-6~There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. (NKJ) Remember, there are many gifts, but only one Spirit. Drop down to 1 Corinthians 12:8-10~for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. (NKJ)

So, here in 1 Corinthians 12, Paul shares Gift #8—Wisdom (σοφία sophia), #9—Knowledge (γνῶσις gnōsis), #10—Faith (πίστις pistis), #11—Healings (ἴαμα iama), #12—Miracles (δύναμις dynamis), #13—Prophecy (προφητεία prophēteia), #14—Discerning of Spirits (Discernment) (διάκρισις diakrisis), #15—Tongues (γλῶσσα glōssa), #15—Interpretation of Tongues. (ἑρμηνεία hermēneia). Again, dropping down to 1 Corinthians 12:28~ And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles…(NKJ) Thus,  #16—Apostles (ἀπόστολος apostolos). 

Two more Spiritual Gifts are shared by Paul in Ephesians 4:11~And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, (NKJ) #17—Evangelists (εὐαγγελιστής euangelistēs), and #18—Pastors and Teachers (Think shepherds, feed my sheep, John 21:17). Our next Spiritual Gift mentioned by name Biblically comes with the caveat of not doing it while grumbling. That in and of itself should make it a Spiritual Gift favorite for mean to be sought by all. It is found in 1 Peter 4:9~Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. (NKJ) #19—Hospitality (φιλόξενος philoxenos)

Our final Spiritual Gift is an ancient practice performed by many. It is a gift that requires being called and being willing to accept the call. It is found in 1 Corinthians 7:8~But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; (ESV) Here the Apostle Paul tells us he is single. This final gift is not for everyone, but it does require the Lord’s empowerment. Gift #20—Celibacy, or being single. That is the full list of 20 different gifts listed in these passages.

Take straight from the Biblical text the diversity of gifts can be divided into 3 Categories: Serving Gifts: Service, Leadership, Giving, Mercy, Hospitality, Faith, Discernment, and Singleness, Speaking Gifts: Knowledge, Wisdom, Prophecy, Exhortation, Pastor, Teacher, Apostle, and Evangelist, and then there are the Sign Gifts: Miracles, Healing, Tongues, and Interpretation of Tongues. 3 Categories of Spiritual Gifts: Serving, Speaking, Signs.

Today, I want you to grasp hold of the categories Spiritual Gifts and understand our perspective, of these categories. That Spiritual Gifts are revealed in the lives of believers in different ways, from the one and only Holy Spirit. They can be revealed in one on one moments, in large or small groups, or events through media such as music. So, How Many Spiritual Gifts Are There? (At least 20). Why not take time to pray and ask God to reveal to you how He has created you with purpose and who that purpose can be realized through the empowering Holy Spirit. Then read over the list again and listen as He speaks to you.

Heaven’s gifts

Have you ever seen the Lord work through someone’s life and thought wow, that was the coolest thing ever? It may have even caused you to ask yourself, Who Has Spiritual Gifts? That’s a really good question right? We all know some who say they have a particular gift but, in light of their praxis of life, it’s really not their gift. 1 Corinthians 12:7~But the manifestation (φανέρωσις phanerōsis) of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: (NKJ) Notice Paul says our Spiritual Gifts are (φανέρωσις phanerōsis) the manifestation of the Spirit. This means there’s evidence of the Spirit’s presence in the life of a believer. This manifestation, or Spiritual Gift, is given to each believer and bears witness as we minister to one another. 

Ministering means that we must cultivate our gifts, yes the word is written in the plural. Even if you have no idea what your gift may be, we obey God’s commands in the Bible to share, encourage, serve, study, and witness, as we pray, worship, and live our lives wholly devoted to God. As we walk out our faith, seeking the Lord, the Holy Spirit will help us gradually discover our spiritual gifts. But, we must seek the Lord and all that He has for us, asking Him to help us cultivate and develop these gifts. Every Christian has been assigned Spiritual Gifts by God through the Holy Spirit as He sovereignly chooses. 

Today, as you take time to pray over your life and all of the good things that God has planned for you, consider the Many Gifts, and the One true Spirit who wants to empower you to do all that God has planned and our world is in need of today. Ask yourself, Who Has Spiritual Gifts? (Every believer), now take time to ask the Lord to reveal how He wants to empower you to do His holy, pleasing, and perfect will as you help others. Ask the Lord to put people on your path to whom you can share His love with and to whom you can encourage and to fully align your life with the plan He purposed long before your first breath. Then, when the moment arises, respond.