Summary: This sermon deals with spiritual gifts, identifying our gifts. We will see how we can make a difference using our God given gifts.
You can make a difference
Introduction: People are ambitions in life. If you ask children what they aim to be, they say doctor, engineer, pilot etc. As a small boy I was fascinated by the Kerala State Transport buses. The conductor signals the stop and start with a bell attached to a rope. My grandfather used to make big church bells, and I took a small bell, hung it in the window of our bedroom, tied a string to it, and stretched it all the way to the hall. Then I would take this bus in my imaginary drive from Trivandrum to Eranakulam, all the way picking up and dropping passengers. One day my uncle came to me and asked me, “Shine what is your aim in life?” “I want to be a conductor” I said. What I told as a 5-year-old boy was a spiritual gift hidden inside me. When I grew up I worked many jobs but nothing interested me, finally when I became a pastor in 2004 I found it satisfying. In fact, I am doing the same thing I did as a 5 year old. Those days I took people in my imagination from one destination to another. Now, I am a conductor for God, leading people in the bus to heaven; nurturing & teaching God’s people in the house of God.
God created you with a purpose. To fulfill God’s purposes He has given you spiritual Gifts.
Title: You can make a difference Series: Ephesians Ephesians 4:7-13
This morning we are going to study about spiritual gifts. We are going to identify our gifts today. We are also going to see how we can make a difference using our God given gifts.
Life is like a jigsaw puzzle. What you did yesterday may not have any connection with what you are doing today. What you are doing today may be completely different from what you are going to do in the future. I know of a man who was born a slave, grew up as a king. All of a sudden he was in the desert doing nothing. Then he became a shepherd for 40 years. His name is Moses. Finally he led God’s people out of Egypt. If you study the life of Moses carefully, God prepared him through every circumstances of joy and pain for the great ministry God intended in his life.
Our lives too are the same. Sometimes we do not know why we go through problems, sickness, pain, & rejection. We do not have an easy answer for all our troubles. But if we put all the pieces of our life together with wisdom we will know what happened yesterday, our today, and what is going to happen in the future all add up to make us the person God wanted us to be. Through all the process of joy and crushing we develop spiritual gifts. What may seem like a jigsaw puzzle is a perfect blueprint in the hands of God.
All is gifted and are gifted differently.
1 Corinthians 7:7 But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
God decides what He gifts you.
1 Corinthians 12:11 Mes All gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when.
We are gifted because of God’s grace, not due to our merits.
Ephesians 4:7 7But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
When did God give us spiritual gifts?
Ephesians 4:8 8This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men."
Jesus gave us spiritual gifts when he went to heaven after his death. Read Ephesians 4:8. This section is a quotation from Psalm 68:18 18 When you ascended on high, you led captives in your train; you received gifts from men, even from the rebellious— that you, O LORD God, might dwell there.
The Psalm describes a king’s conquering return. In the OT times after a king wins a battle he brings the surviving enemy solders as prisoners of war. People would gather on either side of the road and the winning king would parade the prisoners of war showing them that he has won on their behalf. People would praise the king. Some plunder from the enemy nation will be given as gifts to people and the winning soldiers and people in turn gave gifts back to the king.
In the NT Paul refers to Jesus as the king who conquered sin, death, and grave on the cross. The Bible says Jesus Christ on the way to heaven gave gifts to men.
Ephesians 4:8-10 8This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men." 9(What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)