By Bethany Lashbrook
This Week’s Verse: 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. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully."
This past week in Sunday school class, we talked about these verses. Afterwards, I was desperate to find what was my “gift” that I contribute with, or could work on. I came home and first thing Monday morning, I was on the computer doing a Spiritual Gifts Inventory Sheet that had been emailed to me long ago.
Was I the Teacher? Did I have the “Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by motivating other’s to action by urging them to pursue a course of conduct”? I love teaching the smaller children at FCC. I work at a handicap day camp during the summers with children. I have children of my own that I am teaching! Surely, I am a Teacher.
Or, was I a Server? Did I “desire to serve God and render practical help in both physical and spiritual matters”? I love helping others. I try to help older and younger ones in the church. When something is needed – just ask me – I will help! Surely I was a Server!
Was I the Giver? Did I have a strong “desire to serve God by giving our material resources, beyond our tithe, to further the work of God”? I was sure this would be at the top of my list! I love to give. OR I LOVE TO THINK ABOUT GIVING EVEN IF WE CAN’T AFFORD IT! I love to help others in time of need. I try to support local missionaries in their field. I just love the feeling of giving! Surely I was a Giver!
Nope. Nada. What appeared at the bottom of my screen was a word that I just barely gave a thought to…it was THE PROPHET. Can you believe it? I am classified as a Prophet, with “the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by proclaiming God’s truth or the hell-fire-brimstone preacher who points out sin”.
The preacher what??? How could I point out sin to others when I have sinned so much myself? It all boils down to this. The Lord gave me a story so I could tell it to others. The TRUTH is that I have lived through a lot during my short time here on Earth. Some days it’s amazing to look back and think that I am even alive, let alone thriving in my Spiritual Life with a husband, two beautiful children and a wonderful supportive family behind me.
TRUTH is that God told me “Bethany, use your story to help others and if that means pointing out sins, then point them out.” I guess I just feel blessed to have sinned (as silly as that sounds) so that I can say loud and clear to others “YES I have sinned,” and if others know that and recognize that – maybe they can come to Christ just as I have. So, today, I will continue “prophesying” and asking God to help me further understand the spiritual gifts he has laid upon me to help others reach him.
Second on my list was Serving – thank goodness!
Lord, help us to fully understand our spiritual gifts given to us specifically by you. Help us to let the Holy Spirit guide us daily with these gifts, so that we may serve you better. Guide us and direct us in all areas, all gifts, and all walks of life. Lord, clarify to us what you want us to use our gifts towards and help us to attain our goals for your satisfaction and glory. It’s in Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
*Discover your spiritual gift(s). Go to http://buildingchurch.net/g2s.htm. All you have to do is read the directions, click which “number” fits you best and find out what gifts you have.
*Pray about these gifts that God has given you. We are each powerfully blessed with them, but just because they are God-given doesn’t mean we don't sometimes slip into misusing them for our own glory and satisfaction. Make sure to use them wisely.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6, "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men." (NIV)
Joel 3:28, "Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. You old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions." (NLT)
Acts 15:8, "God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us." (NIV)