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Gifted to Grow the Church

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Gifted to Grow the Church

God has supernaturally gifted each one of us to serve others.

“God has given each one of us a special gift. Each of us must use the gift God has given us to serve others.” Ephesians 4:7 says, God’s favor has been given to each of us. It was measured out to us by Christ who gave it. And 1 Peter 4:10 says, Each of you as a good manager must use the gift that God has given you to serve others.

So, where do we use our spiritual gifts?

They’re not something we turn on/off at church. Our spiritual gifts ought to function at home, at work, and in the neighborhood. Basically, they should be in operation wherever we live life.

But I think it’s even more important we understand that our spiritual gifts must include the church.

  • Our spiritual gifts connect our heart to the church.
  • Our spiritual gifts strengthen and build the church.

My spiritual gifts as a pastor are meant to inspire and equip you so that God uses you to grow the Body of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-12 says, He also gave apostles, prophets, missionaries, as well as pastors and teachers as gifts to his church. Their purpose is to prepare God’s people to serve and to build up the body of Christ (GW).

If you are not serving in the church, in some capacity, you are stunting your growth and hindering the growth of the church.

Ephesians 4:13-15 says, This is to continue until all of us are united in our faith and in our knowledge about God’s Son, until we become mature, until we measure up to Christ, who is the standard. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed and carried about by all kinds of teachings that change like the wind. We will no longer be influenced by people who use cunning and clever strategies to lead us astray. Instead, as we lovingly speak the truth, we will grow up completely in our relationship to Christ, who is the head (GW).

Doesn’t verse 15 sound awesome! “We will grow up COMPLETELY!”

Maybe we’re not growing because we are not engaging our gifts.

I love verse #16 because Paul paints the picture of how effective and powerful our spiritual gifts really are. See Ephesians 4:16.

“He makes the whole body FIT together.” That tells us the church is like a jigsaw puzzle. Don’t you hate it when there’s one piece missing!

“He makes the body grow.” God’s desire is always to grow the church. Is that your desire?

In the next few blogs, I’ll share how we can help grow the church, because we know that church growth is God’s desire.

To listen to the entire message, click here. Watch this service on video here. 

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We Determine the Level of Ability our Gifts Become

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We Determine the Level of Ability our Gifts Become

You’ve been given talents. We have a responsibility to be the best us we can be. God’s going to ask us what we did with the gifts he gave us. We need do our best with all that God gives us.

In the story of the 5-2-1 talents, the first two people worked really hard! They grew themselves, and then they doubled the gift that God had given to them. Our gifts and passions are from God, some day He will add up all that we did with the things He entrusted to us and reward us accordingly.

“The servant who had received five thousand coins came in and handed over the other five thousand. ‘You gave me five thousand coins, sir, look, here are another five thousand that I have earned.’”[1]

He wasn’t bragging as he stood before God. He was rejoicing! “I have earned another 5,000 for you! I worked hard with what You gave me.”

Our passion and ability are God-given gifts to us, but what we do with them is our gift to God. We have to develop our gifts.

In the story of the five talents Jesus told, one servant came to the erroneous conclusion that his gifts were not very important, so he decided to buried them. Perhaps he felt his gifts paled in comparison to the 5-2 talents of his friends. Perhaps he lacked the faith to believe that God would help him develop and grow his gifts.

But I think it was something else. In my opinion he believed like a lot of people that God’s work will go on just fine without their gifts. His gifts were obviously not as strong as others. Maybe he believed God’s work would be done anyway, so why bother. He reasoned, Somebody else will step up.

When he brought God’s gift and laid it before Him, he actually told the Lord that everything belonged to God anyway. God would do what God’s going to do to do, He always does. And then he owned up and actually admitted that he was afraid to even try.

“But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’ Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”[2]

We determine the level of ability our gifts actually become. God won’t do for us what we have to do for ourselves!

Each of us have received spiritual gifts. Discover them. Develop them. And if we will do that, God will do something very powerful for us someday when we stand before Him.

 

[1] Matthew 25:20 GNT

[2] Matthew 25:26-28 NLT

How High Will You Go with Your Gift?

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How High Will You Go with Your Gift?

One of the worst things we can do is compare our gifts and talents with others. When we compare we suffer with either pride or insecurity, and both are wrong! The danger of comparison is found in 2 Corinthians 10:12 “We wouldn’t put ourselves in the same class with or compare ourselves to those who are bold enough to make their own recommendations. Certainly, when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves to themselves, they show how foolish they are.”[1]

We dare not classify or compare ourselves with others.

When we compare ourselves with others, we are not wise.

It’s not smart to compare yourself to other Christians. Proud rooster walked into the hen house. He had a big ostrich egg he’d borrowed. A farmer up the road raised ostriches. He says “Ladies, I don’t want to intimidate you—I just wanted you to see what they’re doing up the road.” He’s not a real smart rooster.

God determines the level of ability our gifts can become.  Jesus told the parable of the talents. Each one received a gift, but there were noticeably different levels of ability. One individual received five talents, another was given two talents, and third received only one talent.

My theory is that there are not that many five-talent people running around. There are a few more fours, and then more threes…. We deify the five-talent, Peyton Mannings of the world. God determines what we get. Many of us are in that one-talent capacity, and there is nothing wrong with that. I may want to be a five, but if God has given me the talent to be a one—I need to be proud to be a one-talent person.
Do the very best we can with the gifts we have been given—and not fall into the comparison trap.

 

[1] God’s Word Translation

Four Truths about Spiritual Gifts

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Four Truths about Spiritual Gifts

As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6-8 NLT

What did God put you on earth to do?

God gave each of us gifts—spiritual gifts—impartations from heaven intended to be used to make a difference in this world. Perhaps you don’t know what your spiritual gifts are and the purpose for them simply because no one has ever helped you discover them.

  1. Your spiritual gifts are tied to your passions. What are your passions?

God’s job is to give us a passion. Our job is to discover what it is!

  1. God determines the level of ability our gifts can become.

Jesus told the parable of the talents. Each one received a gift, but there were noticeably different levels of ability.

  1. You determine the level of ability your gifts actually become

Our gifts and passions are from God, some day He will add up all that we did with the things He entrusted to us and reward us accordingly.

  1. You will be rewarded for the way you grow God’s gifts.

We really have no idea what God has prepared for us to do in heaven. We will have purpose! We will live out our eternal destiny and it will be inexorably linked to our life on earth!

 

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