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God's Free Gift

Christianity >> Gifts, Talents, and Opportunities

God has given every believer a gift. In fact, many have more than one. Are you using yours?


According to Paul in 1 Corinthains 12, the Holy Spirit bestows upon each believer one or more spiritual gifts. These are supernatural characteristics or traits that have a single purpose -- promoting the Kingdom of God to bring glory to God.

I just finished an excellent commentary on this book of Paul's in which the author took a slightly different position than most authorities. Many conservative scholars believe that our spiritual gifts are bestowed upon us when we are saved and that it is our task to discover these gifts through experience.

The author I just finished believes that God provides the gifts to us based upon our situation and His needs. So, we may exercise several gifts during our Christian life. Some will stay with us, others will come and / or go depending upon our circumstances. I tend to like this position.

Paul makes it clear that the Holy Spirit determines our gifts based upon His needs and desires. Someone may be a great teacher or preacher, but not possess other  gifts. Then, one day in the middle of nowhere, they may encounter a situation that calls for the gift of healing or tongues or the interpretation of tongues. The Holy Spirit gives them this gift for that one occurence, in order to draw someone to Jesus.

In 1 Corinthians 14 Paul states that he speaks more tongues than any of the Corinthian church members. Yet, I cannot find a single example in the New Testament where Paul speaks in tongues. Apparently that is not a gift that was particularly important to him. We do know that on a few occassions he healed people. But, he could not heal himself (2 Cor 12:9). This suggests to me that Paul's gift of healing was not a permanent gift, but rather was one that the Holy Spirit gave as God desired.

So, are you using your gifts? Do you know what they are? I have found that if your church has a ministry need, assuming it fits with your time schedule, volunteer. In most cases, God will give you the gift(s) to fit the situation. If you ultimately find no joy in that ministry, it is the wrong one for you and you should move on. But, do not stay away from experiencing opportunities because you do not believe you have the gift needed for the occassion. Trust God to help you out. That is what faith is all about.

In fact, this idea of faith as a gift is one that I believe provides the perfet example of receiving a gift from the Holy Spirit well after your salvation experience. If you have not done so, read Foxe's Book of Martyrs. It is a wonderful collection of stories about those who would appear in Hebrews 11 if more verses were added to the chapter each year.

Most of these martyrs have a common trait. They are good Christians, but in general, no stronger than you or I in their overall faith. However, when faced with death for being a Christian, God provides each of them with an amazing abundance of faith to face death cheerfully and joyfully, bring praise to God even as the face flames or the blade severes their heads. This can be nothing but the gift of faith, yet, their life stories generally do not demonstrate the existence of this gift at any other time in their lives.

Ministry is fun. When I get up to teach a class, God takes away my pains and for that hour or so, I am filled with joy and peace, without the suffering of my pains. This is the way ministry should be. Give something a try today. You, too, can experience this great joy. So, find a need in your church. Try it out. If it works, great. If not, ask God to point you in the right direction. You will really enjoy the experience.

Jim A

 

Posted On: 2006-07-18 13:23:18 || Comments (0 ) || Add a Comment
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