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Summary: Each believer has been gifted for service in Christ's earthly body the Church. God has gifted you & expects you to use your gift as a good steward. Though the gifts are diverse each of them & each of us is needed to bring a lost world to Christ.

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ROMANS 12: 8b

THE GIFTS OF GIVING, LEADING & MERCY

A biting wind was blowing as Bill walked home late in the day. Then suddenly he heard them-SCREAMS IN THE DISTANCE, desperate yells, life-threatening cries. With instantaneous reaction he ran faster and faster to the side lake, dove in, and swam to the boy who had just given up the struggle and was going under for the last time. With his arms he pulled the boy to the surface of the water and swam back to the shore. Then with his mouth he gave mouth-to mouth resuscitation until the boy began to breathe again.

Which part of Bill's body was the most important for saving that boy's life?

Was it the ears that heard the screams? The brain that interpreted the screams? The glands that pumped energy into Bill's body? The legs that ran to the lake? The arms that swam? The hands that grabbed the boy? The mouth that gave mouth-to mouth resuscitation?

In the same way the different parts of Bill's body worked together to save the drowning boy, so should the different parts of Christ's body, the church, work together to save a drowning world.

We are far off base to believe that some people are more or less valuable than others. God needs us all-and we need each other. Every member in the church, Christ body on earth has an important function to perform if we are going to save any of those drowning in sin all around. Nobody is a nobody in Christ's body.

Each believer has been gifted for service in Christ's earthly body the Church. Each believer is a unique creation and recreation of God. God has no duplicates. God has gifted you and expects you to use your gift as a good steward. Though the gifts are diverse each of them and each of us is needed to bring a lost world to Christ.

The next three ministries and their empowering gifts are giving, leading, and mercy. Each of these just like any of the others are essential for the body's proper functioning. If you are uncertain what your gifts is, try using one you suspect you might have or one where your interests lie and ask others to evaluate over time whether your gifted in that area.

I. THE GIFT OF GIVING, 8b.

II. THE GIFT OF LEADING, 8c.

III. THE GIFT OF MERCY, 8d.

The next spiritual gift is the virtue of giving. "He who gives, with liberality;"

A fifth category of giftedness is that of giving. The word here is intensified with a prefix (meta-didome) and could be translated; "sharing or imparting what one has." Giving is necessary so that the work can not only be done but expanded. Giving with "simplicity" means giving with no strings attached. All Christians should give but there are those who have a special gift of giving and they should take extraordinary care to see that their special ability is exercised liberally or with above-average giving.

Many Christians whom God gave the ability to make money He also gave the gift of giving. Christians like J. C. Penny. Mr. Kraft, Mr. Cromwell founder of Quaker Oats, Mr. Colgate, A.A. Hyde of Metholatum, John D. Rockefeller, R.G. LeTourneau, Wallace Johnson founder of Holiday Inn, and Stanley Tam founder of United States Plastic. All started tithing and God prospered their work and business abundantly so that they could give even more to the cause of Christ.

The Lord blessed them abundantly so that they could be a blessing to His work. Most of these folk went on to give God more than 50% of their income.

But this gift is not reserved for the wealthy. Philippians 4:10-16 and 2 Corinthians 8 indicate that those who were poor gave liberally. [Persons with this gift have the ability to give abundantly not "out of" their possessions but "according to" them.] Clearly the issue is not the amount, but the ability do it abundantly out of our little or much.

When this faculty is properly functioning, it will be without secret reluctance (2 Cor. 9:7), without false pretense (Acts 5), and with an eye single to God (Rom. 12:8).

God began to expand one Christian man's BUILDING BUSINESS in a phenomenal way early in his career. As it mushroomed, he developed the conviction that his spiritual gift was giving. The more the business expanded, the more he gave. In the subdivisions he was developing, valuable prime property was sold to evangelical churches for one dollar. God alone knows what has been accomplished through his giving. Untold thousands of souls have been saved and blessed.

Dorcas may have been just this kind of woman. We read that this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity, which she continually did" (Acts 9:36).

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