Summary: This sermon is the tenth in a series of ten on Motivational Spiritual Gifts which purposes to encourage hearers to apply their spiritual gift in ministry to others.
This is the final message in a series of sermons I have been preaching on “spiritual gifts.” We began this series by talking about the 3 Categories of Gifts and they are Motivational gifts, Ministry gifts, and Manifestation gifts. The texts we will consider in applying Ministry gifts today will be 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 and verse 27.
Our emphasis has been focused on the 7 Motivational Spiritual Gifts listed in Romans 12:6-8 – Prophecy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Giving, Administration and Mercy. Characteristics of each of these gifts is listed on a handout for you to take home as well. I believe every Christian, every believer, every born again child of God is given one of these 7 gifts. Your heart gift is a desire, a drive, a motivation which the Holy Spirit gives and activates at salvation for the purpose of enabling you to help other Christians grow up spiritually. Most of our time has been spent seeking for the Holy Spirit to reveal to each of you what your motivational, spiritual, heart gift is because that’s who you are!
In this final message for the present time, because we will not get to touch on the Manifestation Gifts, I want to look toward utilizing these gifts in MINISTRY because the Ministry gifts is what you DO. As the Lord Jesus Christ calls you and you cooperate with Him, a ministry is performed by you from the point of view of your motivational gift. There are different ways of serving as J.B. Phillips translates verse 5. A ministry gift is the gift of a person to the Body of Christ. You are a love gift to other members of the Body. Verses 27 says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” And verse 12 also emphasizes that each of us has a unique and different function.
A lot of you that I have talked to about your spiritual gift have said to me, “I’m not sure. It could be one of two or three of the gifts.” Or you’ve said, “I’ve narrowed it down to a couple, but I’m just not sure.” I heard the testimony of a lady who said she had sat under the teaching of the 7 spiritual gifts and after hearing the first 3 or so, she said, “I didn’t think that was mine. Then when the last one was taught I knew it was mine. MERCY!” She said, “It was like the teacher had put my name up on the screen and said, ‘Now I’m going to tell you about her and he began to describe me. It’s like someone looks deep down inside of you and sees the you that you’ve known was you for a long time and that’s how I knew it was mine.” You may be saying, “I listened to all of those messages and I’ve read all of the characteristic sheets and none of those fit me.” One of them fits you! Well, today let’s look at:
I. Applying Motivational Gifts to Ministry
Let’s take the Ministry of Teaching for example. Think about which motivational gifts would be the most effective in the Ministry of Teaching. The obvious would be the gift of teaching, one who instructs, clarifies and preserves the truth. What about Exhortation? Sure, one who urges another to pursue a course of conduct, or encourages and admonishes another to choose a particular pattern of life towards growing spiritually. What about Prophecy – proclaiming God’s message? Without a doubt any one of these motivational gifts could be an effective teacher even serving or mercy or administration. What about a Sunday School Secretary – which gifts would be most effective in this ministry? Administration - maybe? Perhaps, mercy or serving? What about on the Baptismal Committee? Serving, Exhortation and on and on we could go.
The reason I mention this variety is to prod your thinking about your life and the fact that there is a place of ministry and service for every child of God. You have a gift God’s given you that can be exercised in one of many, many ways. You have one motivational gift, but there may be several ministries in your life through which God may manifest evidence and bring about results that He wants accomplished in the church and in His Kingdom.
But say you have filled out your “Ministry Commitment Form” and indicated your Spiritual Gift. Then we call you and say that there’s a ministry or task to be done and we indicate you have a certain gift. I want you to be honest enough and pray about that, asking the Lord if that’s a place you can serve Him. Many of you have discovered your spiritual gift and that excites you about how you can serve God. But some of you just don’t know what your gift is. I invite you to come and talk with me about it. For that reason let me talk about: