‘However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. ‘ – Ephesians 4:7
God gives gifts to all of His children. Christ gave spiritual gifts to us all but has also made a way for the five-fold ministry to exist by giving the body of Christ the gift of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip it for the work of service so that they may be built up until the entire body reaches the unity of faith and the knowledge of the Son of God to become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the stature of Christ. We must harness the gifts that God has given us to edify and build up His church.
GOD GIVES GIFTS TO ALL OF HIS CHILDREN
You have a part to play. You have a job to do. You are a gift from heaven. Romans 12:4-8 says, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Paul wants you to understand three important things about your spiritual gifts. They are given to each of us, they are different, and they are all very important. Whether it’s giving, serving, leading, prophesying, administration, or evangelizing (and much more), all of these are essential! You are a gift given by God that is valuable and essential.
1 Corinthians 12:16-18 says, “And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact, God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.”
God gave each of us different spiritual gifts for a reason. We can’t all be pastors, or evangelists, or prophets. We all have unique roles to play for the great commission.
1 Corinthians 12: 27-28 says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.”
Paul is saying that we are all different parts of the body of Christ but we need every single one of them and every part of the body is different, but vital. This is the beauty of diversity and we would be incomplete without it.
The church has become hyperfocused on one part of the body but diversity is an absolutely essential component to the church. Worship, serving, and preaching should not look like a specific standard across the body. Because we are diverse, they will look different across the body. God doesn’t just paint in yellow or white, He paints in many colors because He is a diverse, multifaceted Savior. He has gifted the body of Christ with so many beautifully wrapped spiritual gifts and He wants every single one of them to be used to advance His kingdom on earth.
GOD GIVES GIFTS SO WE CAN SERVE ONE ANOTHER
1 Peter 4:7-11 says “The end of all things is near. therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’ Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.”
You have to use the gifts that God has given you not to serve yourselves, but to serve your brothers and sisters so that Jesus Christ will receive the glory. You have to serve through love, otherwise, it’s impossible. The greater the gift, the more you should be a servant.
When you don’t get your way, you need to serve through love. When others are exalted over you, we need to serve through love. When somebody rubs you the wrong way, you need to serve with love. And the tools God has given you are the basin and the towel, just as Jesus washed his disciple’s feet.
It’s not always about getting your way–it’s about letting the love of Jesus shine through us. No matter how difficult it is, you have to embrace the towel. The gift and the towel go hand in hand. One hand is the towel, and one hand is the gift. You can’t have one with the other.
Romans 12:10 says, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:13 says, “ Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
Romans 12:16 says, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”
The gifts are not given to impress other people, they are given for a purpose. The gifts are not given so you can feel good about yourself or exalt yourself.
GOD GIVES GIFTS SO WE CAN USE THEM NOW
You have a gift. You may or may not know what your gift is but by the Spirit of the Lord you have a gift to contribute to the church of Jesus Christ. You have a purpose and a destiny that needs to be fulfilled that only you can fulfill. Sometimes, you take these gifts and put them on shelves and have forgotten about them. You may come to church and spectate but the gifts of God are not for inaction. Do not bury your spiritual gifts.
Your time is now. It’s not time to retire. If you’ve buried your gifts, it’s time to dig them up. Don’t throw in the towel.
God gives you gifts to use them by serving others in love.
God sees your service. He sees when you humble yourself and you serve. It is the one who humbles themselves that God will exalt in due time.
It is the one with the towel that God lifts up.
How are you using your gifts? Are you using them to serve one another with love?
How often are you using your gifts? Are you hiding them? Or are you using them now?