“To one is given a message of wisdom through the Spirit, to another, a message of knowledge by the same Spirit, to another, faith by the same Spirit, to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another, the performing of miracles, to another, prophecy, to another, interpretation of tongues. One and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as he wills.”
– 1 Corinthians 12: 8-11 (CSB)
Many Christians know about spiritual gifts yet many misuse them and do not fully understand them. In his letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul sought to enlighten the church regarding spiritual gifts. He thought it important enough that he needed to correct their misunderstandings and shed light on what spiritual gifts were really all about. If it were important for Paul that the church should not be unaware of these gifts, then it is just as important that we should not be either.
Every good gift comes from God who imparts these gifts to every believer through His Spirit. There is only one Spirit just as there is one Lord Jesus. It is that Spirit of God that distributes God’s gifts freely to every believer according to God’s desire. While the Spirit imparts to one believer the gift of knowledge, he gives to another the gift of faith, to another the gift of healing, etc. Every believer is empowered with different gifts, which God desires to be used for His glory and to profit the entire body of believers.
“And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son…” – Ephesians 4:11-13
Spiritual gifts are not given to us by the Spirit for our own personal benefit only but are given to strengthen the body of believers, to encourage one another. Though these gifts were given to the apostles in New Testament ages, they are not restricted to the apostles only as some may believe but extended to all believers. While the gifts may differ and ministries can be different, it is the same Spirit that acts through each believer using each gift given. As their name states, these gifts are spiritual in nature and are meant to first nurture and build one’s spiritual life.
What’s more, God gives spiritual gifts so that the Gospel may be effectively preached in the entire world. It’s not about us; it’s about Him. In order to fulfill the great commission, each believer needs these gifts to teach, heal, prophesy, perform miracles, interpret languages, pastor, and more. These gifts are like arsenals or tools necessary for the church to accomplish its mission: the work of Jesus’ ministry.
Each believer is responsible for the gifts he or she has been given. It is our obligation to nurture and cherish these gifts by making full use of them in ways that honor God. The more we honor God with our gifts, the more powerfully these gifts are manifested in and through us. Understand that spiritual gifts were not given to us to be hoarded but rather to magnify God and let him be known wherever we are. Honoring God with our gifts is not restricted to using them within our church community but also outside. If you can teach, teach all men in church and outside of the church. Our stewardship of God’s spiritual gifts matters. A good steward looks for every opportunity to make use of his gifts for the benefit of others.
Friend, identify your spiritual gifts and begin using them now so your Father may be glorified. He has entrusted you with them believing that you were the best person to use them combined with your personality and where he has planted you. So do not make excuses saying you are too busy to serve the Lord with what He’s given you. He’s not calling you to use gifts that you do not have but to be a good steward of what you do have. Make him proud and encourage others by being an example of a good steward.
Dear God, thank you for all the gifts you’ve given me. Teach me to use them in ways that honor you and encourages your church. Teach me to share your truth with the world using my gifts and help others to use their gifts wisely.
In Jesus’ Name,
1 Corinthians 14:1; 12