Summary: How do we go about developing our gifts after we identify them?

Iliff and Saltillo UM Churches

August 24, 2003

Spiritual Gifts #4

“Developing Your Gifts”

II Timothy 1:3-8

INTRODUCTION: Why are you doing what everyone else could do while you leave undone what only YOU could do?

Maybe it is because you haven’t developed the gifts God intends for you to develop. You may not be confident in your gift. If we don’t have competency, we tend to leave the gift buried.

In today’s scripture Paul was trying to encourage Timothy to develop the gifts he had been given. He says to him, “Fan into flame the gift of God which is in you...for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and of self discipline.” You may be more familiar with the KJV of this scriptures which says, “God has not given us the spirit of FEAR but of power and love and of a sound mind. He is reminding Timothy of his responsibility not to let the gifts lie dormant and grow cold. He was telling Timothy that there was a need to develop in the areas we are weak in. Timothy was a timid person. Paul says God has not given us a spirit of timidity or fear.

Let’s see what today’s scripture says to us about stirring up or fanning into flame the gifts that are already in us.

1. ACTIVE ROLE: We are to be ACTIVELY INVOLVED in the development of our gifts. Sometimes we think that because they are “spiritual gifts” that are given to us by the Holy Spirit that we don’t need to do anything--that it will just happen and that our gifts will AUTOMATICALLY be full blown when we need them. We wait for the Holy Spirit to do it all.

We need to change our thinking on this. Otherwise that may be why the gifts are still lying dormant . We have been waiting on God and He has been waiting on us.

How do we take an ACTIVE role? How do you stir up the gift of God that is within you? How do you go about fanning it into flame?

I Timothy 4:14-16 (Amplified Bible) gives us some clues.

Do not neglect the gift that is in you

Practice and cultivate and Meditate upon these things

Throw Yourself WHOLLY into them

Take heed unto thyself

Persevere in these things

He is saying pay attention to your gift. Don’t neglect to do something with it. Treat the gift as something of value that is important to you.

ILLUSTRATION: Someone once said we have garages at our homes where we store worthless junk and protect it from the weather and lock it up at night and then we leave our $30,000 new cars sitting out in the driveway to rust.

Our gifts should not be sitting out in the driveway. Pay attention to what you have been given and value it. Add to what you have been given by use, education, working with others, etc. Pay attention to how the Holy Spirit is wanting to use your gifts by looking for cues He gives you.

I believe we miss a lot of cues at times. We have to pay attention to be in tune with how the Holy spirit is directing us.

STORY: One day I was driving down Pine Street and “something” seemed to say, “Go see Peggy.” I didn’t have time to go see Peggy and didn’t have any thought of going to see her. She had found out she had cancer and was home from the hospital. I could have thought, “Maybe it’s not a good time. Maybe she doesn’t want a visitor today. I don’t know what to say. I will go another day.” But the feeling persisted and I went to see Peggy.

It was good timing and she needed a visit that day. She needed prayer and encouragement.”

We develop our gifts as we look for these cues of the Holy Spirit to open up opportunities.

How do you stir up or fan into flame the gift of God that is within you this week?

1. Pay attention to the gift or gifts you have already begun to identify

2. don’t neglect it and say I’ll get around to it later

3. look for cues that the Holy Spirit gives

4. Think about a way you can use it

5. add to your gift through education, workshops, etc.

In the I Timothy 4:14-16 verse it also says “be diligent in these matters, give yourself wholly to them so that everyone may see your progress.” As you are actively involved in developing your gifts, you will gain more skill and competency in putting them to use for the common good of all. People will be able to see your skill developing.

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