Gifts for the Common Good

To each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
—1 Corinthians 12:7

When you were saved, the Holy Spirit came into your life and gave you a unique spiritual gift. A spiritual gift is a desire and ability that God gives every Christian to fulfill God’s purpose. The Bible says when you were saved, you received one of the seven gifts outlined in Romans 12:6–8. And although you may have many ministries, and those ministries may change throughout your lifetime, you only have one spiritual gift.

We have talked about each of the seven spiritual gifts: prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, giving, leadership, and mercy. To demonstrate how these gifts work in a local church, I want you to imagine that seven people are seated around a table, and they have decided to start a new church. Each of these seven people has one of the gifts mentioned in Romans 12. So there is somebody with the gift of prophecy, somebody with the gift of leadership, somebody with the gift of giving, and so on. And the question they are discussing is: “What is the most important thing to have in the new church we are about to form?”

Now, how would people with the various gifts answer that question? “The most important thing in our church is . . .”

The person with the gift of prophecy would likely say, “I think the most important thing is sermons that expose sin and warn of judgment to come.” The person with the gift of giving would say, “We need to provide financial assistance to church ministries and missionaries and other Christian causes.” The person with the gift of leadership would say, “I think it’s important that our church is a smooth-running organization so everything is done decently and in order.” The person with the gift of service would say, “What we really need is a program to assist every member of the church in a practical way.” The person with the gift of exhortation would say, “We need a church that centers on personal counseling and helping people solve their problems with scriptural principles.” The person with the gift of teaching would say, “The most important thing is in-depth Bible teaching.” And the person with the gift of mercy would say, “We need to help people with their concerns and hurts in life.”

Now, which person would be right? They are all right. A well-rounded church has all those functions. And the fact is, the church will not be the kind of church it needs to be until every member is exercising his or her gift. God wants the church to exercise all of the gifts, not just one of the gifts. And that’s why He put us with other Christians in the body of Christ.

***
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Discovering and Using Your Spiritual Gift — Message 3” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

 

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