Unwrapping Spiritual Gifts
The Holy Spirit Gives Gifts
I Corinthians 12:7-11, II Corinthians 1:4
January 19, 2020
Intro: Angel, sent me a Family Feud after-the-show video, of Steve Harvey speaking to his audience. He was encouraging the people to use their gifts. He said that God gifts everyone of us with a gift to be used. He told them to “jump” to put their gift into action. Like jumping out of a plane with a parachute on. He said when you first jump that chute doesn’t open immediately. But it will open. I agreed with everything Steve Harvey said but I would add this… our gift is given for the benefit of others. It is easy to use our gift for our benefit. That is just the blessing of God but He gave it to us to bless and impact others.
Franklin Graham posted this story about 16-yr-old, Brianna Farris, who is using what the Holy Spirit gave her. She acted on a great idea from her gift from the Holy Spirit. She saw a lot of needs at her high school in Pell City, Alabama, and she knew something she could do to help—She could pray. She went from praying to creating a “prayer locker”. Students could drop prayer requests off at her “prayer locker”. Fellow students could leave their prayer request and know that she and others would being praying for them and their need. . A teacher warned her that she might get some ugly letters, which she has, but she said the good that she could do by praying far outweighed the negative comments. She even prayed for students who left bad comments. Students have asked for prayer for sick parents, for help with tests, and all kinds of things. She believed in the value of prayer in people’s lives.
God has gifted you and today we want to pursue what that gift could be and how it might be used.
7 The Holy Spirit displays God’s power through each of us as a means of helping the entire church.
8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; someone else may be especially good at studying and teaching, and this is his gift from the same Spirit. 9 He gives special faith to another, and to someone else the power to heal the sick. 10 He gives power for doing miracles to some, and to others power to prophesy and preach. He gives someone else the power to know whether evil spirits are speaking through those who claim to be giving God’s messages—or whether it is really the Spirit of God who is speaking. Still another person is able to speak in languages he never learned; and others, who do not know the language either, are given power to understand what he is saying. 11 It is the same and only Holy Spirit who gives all these gifts and powers, deciding which each one of us should have.
I Corinthians 12:7-11 (TLB)
Let me first highlight verse 7 and then 11.
Verse 7 says gifts are given to individuals, as a means to help the entire church. To you for all of us!
Same Holy Spirit giving gifts as He decides which one of us should have them. The Message says it this way…11 All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when. (Message)
All gifts come from the Holy Spirit, who is God in us. He decides who gets what and when. I love this phrase from the Message. Who gets what and when.
We get the gift and then through areas of our life and experiences in our lives we discover what they are and discover how to use them. God brings them to the surface for a specific time and for a specific place. If you are here it is now and for this particular community and for you particular pathway.
Look at your 5 circles and these on the screen.
*Life Experiences – having children, loss, crisis and even successes
*Vocational Experience – jobs, responsibilities, interactions
*Leisure Interests – these are things you do for fun or enjoyment
*Church Experience – classes, studies, leadership or mentoring
*Education/Training – courses, seminars mentoring
Now here are 5 more circles with kinds of gifts. They may fit into one or more of the first set of circles. Lets go a little deeper now.
Spiritual Gifts – (Ephesians 4:11-13)11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
A church would be lost without these kinds of leaders. A church would be lost without people like the list from I Corinthians 12. There are nine gifts listed here.
Ability to give Advice
Studying and teaching,
Discernment of spirits
Speak languages or tongues
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
Spiritual Gifts are for training and development of believers. It is great to be taught, trained or mentored by someone who has refined their gifts. While not everyone will have these gifts because we are partners with God for the Kingdom of God it is important to be developing our Bible knowledge and understanding. We need to know what we believe and we need to be equipped for walking our pathway with folks who don’t know what to believe or believe things that will not help them know Jesus.
Do you have one of these gifts? I bet someone who has these gifts has helped you be ready to use yours.
Gifts Of Compassion – Do you know of the Macedonian call from Acts 16? Paul had a vision of a man in Macedonia crying out for someone to come and help. That man had a passion for his community. When Paul came they were able to help Lydia’s household be saved, a slave to be freed of a demon, a jailer and his family to be saved, then they encouraged many believers in that community before they moved to a new ministry area.
There are things that will touch you to your very core. These are areas that the Holy Spirit can use. The Holy Spirit is giving and developing this passion in your life. What will you do with it? The teen I told you about at the beginning took her compassion for her fellow classmates and found a way to minister. What are you compassionate about?
Abilities and Talent Gifts – what do you do well or have been trained to do? In Acts 18, we meet Priscilla and Aquila who are described as tent-makers and disciple makers. That ability was the means to their ministry.
Using abilities and talents may be as simple as connecting with people who have similar interests as you and sharing Christ. You may like to make greeting, sympathy or birthday cards, like working in your garden, enjoy woodworking or be great with taxes. You may be into sports, crafts, fitness, classic cars or music. How can these be used to bless another’s life? How bold can you be? What need could you meet by seeing your interests and abilities as God given for the purpose of meeting needs of people like you?
I know you have talent and ability!
Personality Gifts– what makes you, you Acts 18 Apollos a great speaker, especially when he learned more about Jesus. The more he learned about Jesus teachings and the power of the Holy Spirit, the better he became as a preacher. He could speak from the authority of God. He found that in surrender to the Holy Spirit he could do even greater works for the Kingdom of God.
Are you outgoing? A wall flower? Never meet a stranger? Never ask a question? Have lots of friends? The life of the party? A take charge kind of person?
What if like Apollos you learned more about Jesus and how to help others know about Him? What could your personality do for people on your pathway. How could you help people follow Jesus or learn to follow Jesus?
Do more that just light up a room or empty a room with your personality.
Experience Gifts– what have you learned from “Hard Knocks” Peter is the everyman or everywoman kind of Apostle. I mean, he was impulsive, first to volunteer and first to run, first to speak and first to put his foot in his mouth. He became a great speaker and leader because of his experiences all given by and used by the Holy Spirit for the Kingdom of God.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. II Corinthians 1:3-4
In the midst of our crisis God is with us. He blesses us, He comforts us, He provides for us. He helps us see His hand in our healing. And then this…
According to William Barclay’s commentary on II Corinthians- Christian Comfort brings courage and enables person to cope with all life throws at them. Paul was sure that God never sends a person a vision without the power to work to work it out and never sends him on a task without the strength to do it.
Then we are equipped to demonstrate and communicate with another how God can be seen in the middle of a crisis.
Who else knows the hurt of a divorce better than someone who has experienced it. Who knows the struggles of a parent better than one who has struggles. Who knows the seemingly hopelessness of a cancer diagnosis?
People who hurt want someone who knows hurt, beside them. While you won’t have all the answers you have empathy and Jesus. The person may not have Jesus, yet or may not have learned to trust Him, yet but the Holy Spirit has gifted you with both.
My goodness, Jesus experienced worse than we will ever experience and through it all He trusted in the faithfulness of His Father. I know you want to say, Well of course He did. He knew when it was over He would be back home in heaven.
Let me just say, “Hello”! Where will you be, when this life is over? Who is indwelling you? The Holy Spirit. Who is … God! Now what did Jesus have that you don’t?
Share your life on your pathway with a fellow traveler.
Challenge: Have you been adding to the 5 circles? I have given more things to think about as you add to these circles.
What are some actions that you can take that will minister to this body or the people on your pathway? Don’t miss next week I will give the key to all of this.
January 26 – Romans 1:1-21