Last Wednesday, I discussed the gifts of the Holy Spirit that are given to all who repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Today, I want to offer some more observations on this topic and provide some practical resources.
As I neared the end of the Bible study portion of the class I gave last month, I encouraged attendees to take a spiritual gifts test. There are several good resources out there, but I particularly liked gifts.churchgrowth.org and spiritualgiftstest.com. The first test works a little better from a phone, but the second test offers a youth version. Both take about 12 minutes to complete and about 6 minutes to review. Parents, I highly recommend testing your kids and then following up by encouraging them to use their gifts in the life and ministry of your church. There are usually ample opportunities for kids to serve the body of Christ (breakdown/set up for events, ushering, greeting, worship ministry, media ministry, etc) with parental or other adult supervision.
Spiritual gifts are designed to strengthen the faith of other believers or to help fan the flame of faith in outsiders. Life is hard. We struggle and grow discouraged. We must guard against the idea that our gifts give us the power to endure. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit says the Lord Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6). We move forward in faith, but the battle of strengthening the body of Christ and reaching our communities belongs to the Lord. If we are faithful, God is going to work through our gifts and through our sacrifices to advance His Kingdom.
At the beginning of each day, we should ask God to help us strengthen someone’s faith by being an instrument of grace. I believe the Holy Spirit will answer that prayer and bring opportunities for you to exercise your gifts to advance the Kingdom. And if you ask your church leaders or pastors, believe me, they will know where you can serve and strengthen others through the church community.
Use your spiritual gifts to give to others what God has given to you. Gifts are meant to be given. The church needs you. God has positioned and formed you into a church community, so there are not too many ears, too many feet, etc where He has placed you. He assembles each part of the body needed to advance His Kingdom in a given area. Your address is not an accident. God in His sovereignty brought you together with other Christians to proclaim the Gospel to your community.
Scottish Olympian and Christian missionary Eric Liddell said, “God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.”
As you serve your church, where do you find yourself serving well and where do you most feel His pleasure? When you find it, go all in. Use your spiritual gifts to strengthen the church community for God’s glory and His pleasure.