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Spiritual Gifts 4: How to Use Your Spiritual Gifts

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Reading: Romans 12:6-8
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. Romans 12:6 (NIV)

I.   God gives us Variety

     A.  By grace God gives Different gifts

           1.  These gifts are distinct from each other

                 a.  Don’t gloss over the distinctions!

                 b.  The differences make a difference!

           2.  The gifts are given by grace

                 a.  We don’t deserve them (a privilege!)

                 b.  They are earned for us by the Cross

     B.  This bears Repeating

           1.  Because we talk as tho we’re all the same

                 a.  Not every good X’n is a good SS teacher

                 b.  Not all good leaders, encouragers, etc.

           2.  Because we prefer busy-ness to ministry

                 a.  We’d rather do churchy stuff than follow God’s will for us

                 b.  It’s easier, it looks better, it doesn’t require much Faith.

           3.  Because we forget!

                 a.  And gravitate toward sameness & mediocrity

II.  How to exercise gifts in the Spotlight

     A.  Prophecy: Proportionately

           1.  In proportion to the faith of the ‘prophet.’

                 a.  This is (too) easy to not do!

                 b.  A prophet speaks by God’s authority

           2.  A ‘prophet’ must prophecy!

                 a.  No choice–God’s message is to be shared with those God intends!

                 b.  Just do so within this guideline!

           3.  Prophecy is for building up (1Cor.14:3)
But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. 1Cor. 14:3

     B.  Teaching: Pedagogically

           1.  Lit. “Instructing—in instruction”

                 a.  Probably the manner (not content) as in the other descriptions of gifts/uses.

           2.  ‘Teachers’ must teach

                 a.  But in a way that helps learners to learn

                 b.  Good content isn’t enough for teaching!

     C.  Leading: Attentively

           1.  Leading = ‘supporting’ ? Lit. ‘stand before’

                 a.  Maybe preside – but ‘give orders’ !!!

                 b.  All Christian leadership = service

           2.  ‘Diligently’ maybe ‘urgently’ or attentively.

                 a.  Do this conscientiously/carefully

                 b.   make others follow!

           3.  Leaders must lead (by supporting others!)

III. How to exercise gifts in the Background

     A.  Serving: Beneficially

           1.  Serve in a way that serves/benefits others

           2.   to make the server feel better!

           3.  Servers must serve – just make sure that in serving you actually serve others

     B.  Encouraging: Supportively

           1.  Encourage so that others are encouraged.

           2.   to make the encourager feel better!

           3.  Encouragers must encourage!

                 a.  Just remember who’s supposed to be encouraged!

     C.  Giving: Sincerely

           1.  Perhaps ‘generously.’ but a lot of stuff.

                 a.  Freely, no strings attached, simply

           2.   give to get your way with people or organization (NO: You owe me . . . !)

           3.  Givers must give–just let the gift stay given!

     D.  Mercy: Happily

           1.  Mercy=compassion for those who suffer

                 a.  But also just general ‘loving-kindness’

                 b.  God is full of mercy (same word)!

           2.  Cheerfully: gladly, happily => hilarious!

                 a.  Easy to get depressed along with the suffering–they don’t need that!

                 b.  One can be overcome to the point of not being able to help

           3.  The merciful must show mercy–just do so with joy in your heart!

The Bottom Line:

We Will use our gifts in the Way God Designed them to be used.

I will respond to God today by: ____________________


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