I have been wanting to write this for about a week now, but it kept getting set aside. Finally my deadline came, I only had an hour to finish. Here it is, the third part to “His Body”. Stay tuned, there will be a fourth part…
Back again, with another message about the body of Christ. What I originally thought would be one article, has turned into three. My hope is that this article will be a bit more personal as I walk through the Word of God concerning spiritual gifts. Hopefully you will begin to see your unique place in the body of Christ.
“As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor].” ~1 Peter 4:10 (Amplified Bible)
First I would like to discuss the motivational gifts (now, don’t get hung up on language here, people may call the types and the gifts by different names, but let’s just stick to what the Lord is trying to communicate and not get controversial about verbiage). If we look at the Greek word for gifts in the above verse and in Romans 12:6-8 is “charisma” – meaning gifts we posses. “These are gifts that God has built into us, made part of us, to be used for the benefit of others and for His glory. They are gifts that shape our personalities.” (17, Fortune, Don and Katie).
Here is a breakdown of these gifts that God has so graciously given to us, where you can find them in the Word, and some of the weaknesses of these gifts…
Perceiver (Prophecy) – according to the portion of his faith. Those with this gift can clearly perceive the will of God. If we look in the Old Testament you will see examples of this personality in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Moses, and Deborah…In the New Testament John the Baptist as a forerunner telling of the coming Christ. Weakness: Need to remember to offer grace and mercy to others when speaking truth.
Service – let him give himself to serving. A servant will frequently work behind the scenes taking care of tasks and people. They don’t need to receive recognition; they just want to get the job done. One woman sticks out to me in the New Testament with this gift – Martha, Mary’s sister. She served our King Jesus while He was visiting. Weakness: Remember to abide in Him and work with Him, not just for Him.
Teaching – People with this gift have the unique ability to understand the Word of God, break it down and communicate it to others. They are looked at as scholars, researchers, and lovers of the Word. New Testament teachers: Timothy, Thomas, and Luke. Weakness: Remember ask the Lord for humility and meekness.
Exhortation – Exhorters often see the best in people. Encouragers want everyone to have a full and meaningful life. They are the people you often go to for a listening ear, advice and prayer. Biblical Exhorters: Weakness: Remember to speak truth in love. It is more important to speak the truth than to flatter someone.
Contributing to Needs – People with this gift love giving: friendship, love, time, talents, treasures, resources, whatever, they just want to give. They have a strong understanding of being a steward of the Lord. Biblical givers: Cornelius (a Gentile) was known for giving alms to the poor, in honor to God, before He even knew Jesus. Weakness: Remember
Leads – Leaders have the ability to see each unique role within the body of Christ and placing them together in a way that best glorifies the Lord. God gives them a strategy from heaven to organize groups of people. Biblical Leaders – Moses and Joshua lead the Hebrews to the Promised Land as they were lead by the hand of the Lord. Weakness: Remember to keep yourself humble and submit to your authority.
Acts of Mercy – People with this gift offer an abundance of compassionate love to people All people. Their heart breaks with the things that break the Father’s heart. They show their love through listening, prayer, and advice. Biblical examples: The Good Samaritan, Ruth, Rachel and Rebekah. Weakness: Remember to please God rather than man. People with this strong compassionate heart often find themselves covering up sin issues in order to please people.
Jesus Christ is the fullness of ALL of these gifts. His desire is display His personality IN us.
While discussing the beauty of these gifts with a friend, she commented on the goodness of the Lord, “They are totally free, we didn’t even do anything to get them!” Yes, that is right…totally free, His grace offered to mankind.
Fortune, Don and Katie. Discover your God-Given Gifts. 1987. Grand Rapids: Chosen Books