What Is a Spiritual Gift?

As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
—1 Peter 4:10

Many times I will ask somebody, “What do you think your spiritual gift is?” Some people will say, “I have the gift of speaking.” Or, “I have the gift of singing.” Or, “I have the gift of making money.” Those are all natural abilities, but they are not spiritual gifts.

Let me give you the definition of a spiritual gift. A spiritual gift is the desire and power God gives you to fulfill His purpose.

First of all, notice a spiritual gift is a desire. If something is really your gift, then you enjoy doing it. If your spiritual gift is serving, then there is nothing you would rather do than meet the practical needs of people. If you gift is showing mercy, then you find real fulfillment in identifying with people who are in distress. If you have the gift of exhortation, then you love to sit down with people and give them spiritual insight that will help them solve the problems they are facing.

Second, a spiritual gift is also a power. It is something God uniquely enables you to do. Your gift is something you do that God seems to empower and bless above anything else you do. Philippians 2:13 says, “It is God who is at work in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

Third, a spiritual gift is something God gives to each Christian. First Corinthians 12:7 says, “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” While these gifts vary among believers, every Christian has one. Sometimes people tell me, “Pastor, I believe in spiritual gifts, but I think you can have more than one gift.” Well, the Word of God doesn’t teach that. First Peter 4:10 says, “As each one of you has received a spiritual gift.” That word is singular. Now, some of the things people call spiritual gifts are really ministries. Sometimes they are manifestations of ministry. But there is only one spiritual gift that God has given to you.

Now, that does not mean we are only to do what our spiritual gift is. For example, if you have the gift of serving, when there is a need to give, you don’t say, “Well, I’d love to give to that project, but God hasn’t given me the gift of giving.” The fact is we are to do all of the gifts. We are to exercise all of the gifts, but there is one special gift you have that is a desire God has given you, and it’s a unique power He has given you to connect to His purpose.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Discovering and Using Your Spiritual Gift — Message 1” 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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