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Summary: Spiritual gifts to serve others. Can you find them out in a "spiritual gifts assessment?" Do you get one or two spiritual gifts and that's it? Or, are you immediately and obediently available to use whatever gift you have received at this very moment to serve others right now?

Using Your Gifts to Serve Others

Please stand as we read our newest memory Scripture together …

1 Peter 4:10

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

And our memory refresher verse(s) for today is(are) …

1 Peter 3:8-9

“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love one another as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.

“Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and He will bless you for it.”

Please open your Bibles to Romans 12:1-8

Last Sunday we took a look at our newest memory verse and saw that it instructs us to use whatever gift we have received to serve others as part of our responsibility to share God’s grace with others.

And, the gift that we looked at was the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.

When we receive the gift of salvation we come into possession of a life changing account that can be shared with those who need to be saved.

This is our testimony of salvation. This is our testimony of what Jesus did for us that no one else can do for us. All lost souls need to hear that what Jesus did for us He can do for them as well.

With that in mind let’s read: Romans 12:1-8

(Prayer for help)

These are generally what we think of as spiritual gifts

- Prophesying

o proclaiming God’s Word

- Serving

o Looking to see what needs to be done and doing it

- Teaching

o teaching God’s Word

? Sunday School

? Bible study

o teaching things needed in life

? a skill such as mechanics or carpentry

? how to balance a check book

? how to get along in marriage

? how to raise children in the way they should go

- Encouragement

o Encouraging the discouraged

o Comforting the disappointed or grieving

o Exhorting those who are complacent or who have stopped trying

- Generosity

o giving to others who are financially struggling through no fault of their own

o giving to hospitals and research

o giving to parachurch organizations like Choices

o giving to Bible translation organizations, etc.

- Leadership

o Lead with diligence; honesty, integrity, consistency

- Mercy

o Do so cheerfully

o We all do something we regret from time to time and when we do we sure do appreciate those who

show mercy! Amen? Amen!

There are also other Scriptures that teach us about spiritual gifts.

And, there are “spiritual gift assessment” tests you can take.

These are fine but there is also a danger that we might use those to limit ourselves to only what the assessment tells us! Watch out!

Imagine that you sent your child to a summer camp. At this camp were people with all sorts of spiritual gifts. The speaker had the gift of prophecy. The counselors had the gifts of leadership and encouragement. The kitchen workers and the custodians had the gifts of serving and the camp medical staff had the gifts of helping and mercy.

Now, imagine that your child fell, broke his leg and was unable to walk.

The speaker walked past your son and said “my gift is prophecy not mercy” and kept on walking.

The counselors walking by encouraged your son to get help but would not help because “the gifts of mercy and helping others are not my gifts”.

And on and on until the nurse came by the next day. She helped because mercy and helping were her gifts.

Sometimes, when we take a spiritual gift assessment we use the results as blinders. We might not come right out and say “that’s not my gift” but that may be what our actions say.

Spiritual gifts assessments are not gospel.

So, when 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” what does that mean?

“What is that in your hand?”

In Exodus 4 Moses is having an argument with Yahweh, the LORD.

Yahweh, the LORD, wants Moses to go to Egypt to say to Pharaoh, “Let My people go!” Yahweh, the LORD, says to Moses, “What is that in your hand?”

(briefly tell the rest of the story of the staff/snake)

Moses’ gift was not magic tricks or snake handling but the Lord used what was in his hand to demonstrate what was needed for that time.

What about you? What is your spiritual gift or gifts?

What is the greatest spiritual gift? It is one that is not even directly mentioned in the Bible. The greatest spiritual gift is obedient availability!

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