An Encouraging Word on Spiritual Gifts
Do you remember the children’s song ‘This Little Light of Mine’ that we sang at VBS years ago? Now, I might be aging myself, but I know that it runs deep and you can STILL sing the lyrics verbatim. “This little light of mine // I’m going to let it shine...Hide it under a bushel? No! // I’m going to let it shine.” In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus is preaching His sermon on the mount and declares that we are lights. I think this scripture gave the songwriter some inspiration because in this way, believers in Jesus Christ are to use spiritual gifts (and our lives) to be lights in this world, giving all glory to God.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 NLT says, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” Paul declares where our giftings are from and what their purpose is.
Your gift is valuable to the body of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 12 each one of us is likened to a part of that body. Is your gift to be a foot? A leg? An eye? Whatever the part, you are worthy of it and the significant role you play in the body of Christ. You are empowered and called to build up the body and the world with your gifts to point others to the cross of Christ. Is your gift service? Wisdom? Hospitality? Discernment? Encouragement? Evangelism? Teaching? No matter the gift, your end goal is to encourage and build up the body and glorify God with them.
The Holy Spirit has united and called us to encourage and love one another. Exhibiting, exercising, and calling out the gifts we see in one another is doing just that. 1 Corinthians 13 says that if we do all these things but we don’t have love, it means nothing. Our love for God and for others must be at the center of our gifts.
“God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God Himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to Him forever and ever! Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 NLT By stewarding our gifts well, we give others a glimpse of God. They’re an opportunity for us to point others back to His saving grace! The Creator of these good gifts will sustain us as we display His glory in them.
My gifts of encouragement and hospitality are part of who I am, and it brings me great joy to be disciplined in their use. Discipline requires work to be faithful and obedient to use my spiritual gifts in love. At times, I have a tendency to turn inward and serve myself. My prayer for us, Sisters, is obedience. I pray that we would be obedient and faithful in our giftings, independent of our feelings and emotions. I also pray that we’d look for the many opportunities to turn outward, using our gifts to build up the body of Christ and love others.
If you’re unsure about what your spiritual gift is, be reflective for a moment.
Pray and ask the Lord to show you.
What lights your soul on fire?
Ask your close friends that are believers about what they see in you.
What is life giving for you?
Something my pastor always says is: “I’m just the pastor, you are the minister.” If you believe in Jesus Christ, your life as a whole is ministry. This begs the question: what ministry are you living? Are you stewarding your gifts well in that ministry? My prayer for us is that we would live lives that glorify the Lord with our spiritual gifts.