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Summary: Paul names 7 of these spiritual gifts and I like to refer to them as motivational gifts. They are what motivates you; what drives you and makes you who you are and if you use these gifts throughout your lifetime you will be very effective in God’s work.

UNWRAPPING YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS”

“Give Till it feels Good”

Romans 12:3-8 and 2 Corinthians 8:1-7

So in our series titled “Unwrapping your Spiritual Gifts” we are talking about 7 spiritual gifts that Paul mentions in Romans 12. Listen now. Now in that list we have already covered the spiritual gifts of leadership, mercy and encouragement which is also known as exhortation. We have been talking about what it means to be a part of the Body of Christ....what it means to be connected and to find and use the gift that God has given to you. Remember we either use it or lose it. Now we cannot lose our salvation. God does not save us and then take it away. But in Matthew 25 Jesus tells the parable of the talents. A talent in that day was an amount of money. In the parable of the talents Jesus describes 3 men; to one he gave 5 talents, to one he gave two talents and to the last one he gave one. And then he tells us that he gave those talents according to each one’s ability. In other words Jesus knew in advance whether that individual would handle the talent/money properly or not. The man to whom Jesus gave 5 talents invested in and when he came back he had ten instead of 5. The man to whom Jesus gave two talents put his to work and came back with 4 instead of two. But the one to whom Jesus gave one took his and dug a hole in the ground and buried it. The conclusion to the story is that Jesus takes the one talent away from the man and gives it to the man who has ten. Why? Because he wise with what he had received. He didn’t waste it. So with you spiritual gift you can choose to use it or you can choose to lose it. I talked one day with a guy I knew in high school who was an excellent trumpet player. Best in our county. I said I guess you must great by now. He said “Oh I doubt I could even play it anymore. “ I said “how do you forget to play a musical instrument?” He said well I just put it away and didn’t pick it up anymore. Use it or lose it.

So Paul names 7 of these spiritual gifts and I like to refer to them as motivational gifts. They are what motivates you; what drives you and makes you who you are and if you use these gifts throughout your lifetime you will be very effective in God’s work. The scripture is very clear that all of us have at least one of these gifts. 1st Peter 4:10 says “each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others.”

Today we want to talk about the spiritual gift of giving. Now giving is not always the most popular topic for pastors to talk about. But all of us have to understand that just as it takes money to fund the business where you work, it takes money to do God’s work. Let’s get started with a definition of the spiritual gift of giving: The spiritual gift of giving is the supernatural ability to contribute one’s material resources to the needs of others and to the work of the Lord in a sensitive, effective, generous and cheerful manner.

So Paul writes to the church in Macedonia to tell them …. You are really doing a good job in the area of giving! Listen to what he has to say to them: 2 Corinthians 8:1-15. They had excelled in giving and Paul wants them to know he is proud of them.

When we excel in something...whether it is sports....in a certain subject in school or in our jobs ... when we excel it usually means that we do that one thing better than we do other things and it also means that we often do it better than others. Paul is saying to all of us that we must learn to give and that we must learn to give generously. The Bible also gives us some principles for giving...some rules to live by.

1. Jesus says when you give don’t make an announcement about it. Do it in secret. Privately. He says if you do it for praise from others you will miss your reward in heaven. In Matthew 6 he says don’t announce it with trumpets. Now they weren’t literally using trumpets but they were calling attention to themselves.

I’ve always thought it interesting that the last public act of the ministry of Jesus was not a sermon or a miracle but He spent the day evaluating someone’s giving. Jesus visited Herod’s temple and sat down by the treasury, the place where they collected the offerings. Jesus spent the last day of his public ministry observing those who were giving their offering. Mark 12.

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