SPIRITUAL GIFTS: PART 1

Romans 12:6-8
“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”
Have you ever wondered what your spiritual gifts are? It might be the most common question that I hear as a pastor. I love getting these questions, because it shows a real desire to be used by God, and, what’s more, to be used in the way He designed us to be used! Since this is such a prevalent area of questioning, I thought it would behoove us to intimately study each of the gifts that are listed in Romans 12.

Before we start looking at each individual gift that is found in this glorious chapter, it would benefit us to lay down a little ground work. (Author’s note: all that will be said is of the opinion of the author. Nothing that will be said in this series of devotionals is in any way to “pick a fight”; rather, it is simply to help those looking for guidance.) It is my belief that the gifts are relevant today, for many reasons, but mainly because the Bible never told us that they were only for a specific time. I believe that each generation and each nation will experience these same gifts in different ways.

 Before we unpack each one of these gifts, let me begin this series by explaining why I chose Romans 12 for our discussion on spiritual gifts. There are three main sections in the New Testament that directly deal with spiritual gifts (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4). I chose Romans 12 because I believe that these gifts are ones that you can permanently possess. Each gift listed above can be used regularly by someone and hopefully we will uncover that as we dig deeper. On the other hand, in 1 Corinthians 12, I believe Paul gives us a list of the manifestations of the Spirit. It is my thought that these are not something that can be permanently possessed. For example, I don’t believe anyone has “the gift of miracles” at their constant disposal. Instead, I believe that these are ways in which God can manifest Himself in the life of a believer, some more regularly than others (e.g.. Tongues). I also believe that the verses that deal with spiritual gifts are interconnected. Meaning, when someone is walking in the gifts of Romans 12, they will experience one or several of the manifestations of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12, and they will be easily identifiable in an office of Ephesians 4.

 The last comment I have before we embark on the sojourn of the individual gifts of Romans 12 is to notice the first phrase of verse 6. The gifts are given to us through the grace of God! In short, we can’t earn any of these and none are given because we are “worthier or better” than anyone else, and a quick reading of Romans 12 will make that abundantly clear. So whatever gift you discover you have been generously given, be thankful for that gift! Do not make the mistake of the masses and complain about what God has so graciously extended to you! It is my prayer that we will all come to love and embrace the gifts that God has given to each of us, and not view any of them as greater or lesser than the others.

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