Summary: How we can use our spiritual gifts for service to the Lord in his church.
"Unwrapping Your Gift For Service"
Rom 12 : 1-8 / Matthew 25:14-30
Have you ever given someone a gift …….. used it recklessly, carelessly, or destructively?
Can you remember when you gave a gift ……………tossed it aside and didn’t bother to open it?
Can you think of a time when you gave a gift …………… and they didn’t thank you for it?
How did that make you feel?
Then you may have given gifts ………..and they were excited about opening it. Their eyes lit up when they took it out of the box, they said, “Thank you” and used it as you hoped they would.
How did it make you feel?
This is the way it is with God who has already given us a gift or gifts.
Think of pleasure bring to His heart as He sees your use and appreciation for what he has given you.
On the other hand, what if He saw that we just tossed our gifts aside unopened and unappreciated?
Let us Pray ...
Some of us may think ……………I don’t have any gifts! I can’t sing, teach, cook. I can’t really do anything!"
You want to know something? You’re wrong! Not only because I say you’re wrong. But because God says you’re wrong! You know how I know that? Because 1 Corinthians 12:7 says that "To EACH ONE, the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good." In other words, every Christian has something
that they can do for Jesus Christ.
Listen to this reading from Matthew 7:9-11: "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Of if he asks for fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to
those who ask Him!" So if I’m understanding this scripture correctly, Jesus is saying that it’s God’s desire to give you these gifts! And all we have to do is ask Him!
How many of us are eager to know what our gifts are, but have never actually sat down and talked to God about it.
So then, what is a Spiritual Gift ??? = 1.God given special abilities, 2.Distr by Holy Spirit, 3.To be used for svce.
This morning we’re going to see that in unwrapping our gifts for effective service, we must make sure that a) we have a desire to serve, and that b) we have surrendered to Christ.
Wanting to be used of God is the first step in unwrapping our gifts. I Corinthians 14:1 says, “Eagerly desire spiritual gifts.” When our priorities come ahead of God’s, we leave His gifts unwrapped and in the box. We will not value or appreciate them very much.
If we have identified our gifts, then what are we willing to do with them? In the parable of the Master & servants in Matt 25, there was one servant who was afraid to run the risk of investing his money because he knew the master was a hard person. Let’s read the parable………. Matt 25: 14-30
Would some of the reasons we don’t unwrap our gift be FEAR ?? We fear what people will say, we fear looking stupid, we fear failure. Rather than experiencing that we leave our gifts wrapped up.
The master didn’t say, “because you have been very SUCCESSFUL in a very small matter--but because you have been TRUSTWORTHY, FAITHFUL--I will put you in charge of many things.” (v. 21).
What else can we get out of this parable concerning unwrapping our gifts that have been entrusted to us?
Unwrapping our spir. gifts requires Faith. As the Lord finds you TRUST and FAITHFUL, he will add more.
If he gives you a word of knowledge or a word of wisdom and you apply it to the situation, then he will be able to use you again. This is where your faith comes in.
As we walk in faith with our eyes and ears open to the leading of the Holy Spirit, IDEAS will come.
The idea comes and you step out in faith to do it--to speak or to serve.
If you are teaching--you prepare as best you can and then just go ahead and do it.
If singing, practice as best you can and then JUST DO IT. You do your best, God takes care of the rest….
In the parable, the servants who were actively doing something with the talents were blessed with more.
2nd dimension in unwrapping our gifts, is
B. FULLY SURRENDERING TO GOD :
We see in Rom 12 vs 1-2 that we must fully express our surrender to God. Before God wants your service He wants a guarantee that He really has you: Example of car going for service …