“The other day,” Stan commented, “a friend from church and I had coffee and a scone over at Betty’s Bakery.”
How was that?” I asked.
“Great conversation,” Stan said. “We got on the subject of spiritual gifts and I think we had a good talk about exercising the gifts that God gives to each one of us.”
“Each one of us?” I replied. “We all have spiritual gifts?”
“That’s exactly where my friend was coming from,” Stan replied. “He had the somewhat common feeling that he did not have any spiritual gifts. His view was that God had passed right by him when gifts were being handed out. He figured he was either passed over or he wasn’t there at the right time.”
“I’ve felt like that, too,” I responded.
“A lot of people feel that way, or at least have felt that way at some point.” Stan replied. “I know I did. However, the apostle Paul, in his letter to the church in Rome, with an excellent choice of words, presents the truth that we all have gifts that are to be exercised.”
“All? You sure?”
“I am,” Stan said. “Just look at what Paul wrote to the church in Rome, as well as to each one of us today. He used the word ‘since’ not ‘if’ when he was writing about gifts given by God. Had Paul written, ‘if,’ there would be some room to argue that a person was not given any gifts.”
“But,” he continued, “that’s not what Paul wrote. He wrote ‘since we have gifts’, we are to do such and such.”
“Well,” I responded, “if that’s true, how does a person go about discovering the gifts that have been given?”
“That’s another subject for another day, probably several days,” Stan replied, “but the essential first step for me with this whole subject was to accept as true that gifts had been given. I had to surrender to that truth and ask the Holy Spirit to open me to see what I had been given. After that it was a process of learning how to develop and exercise those gifts.”
“First recognize, and then go on from there, is that what you’re saying?”
“It’s not just me who is saying that,” Stan replied with a smile.
Bible verses to consider:
And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly; if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:6-8.
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.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you have given spiritual gifts to each person, gifts that you intend to be exercised for your purposes in helping to build and strengthen your church. Please open me to see, understand, receive, embrace, and exercise the gifts you have given to me. I ask you to open each person to the same truth, that each one will be open to recognizing that you have, indeed, gifted him or her with exactly what you have for them to exercise. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: All people have been given spiritual gifts to exercise. Do you believe that? Why or why not? Have you identified your spiritual gifts? If no, why? If you have, are you exercising those gifts for the church as fully as you think God intends. If you sense there is more you could be doing with those gifts, do you know how to pursue that?