A loving dad
Imagine a father waiting at the airport gate for his children to arrive.
They’ve been separated from one another for a long time. He has never stopped loving them or thinking about them. His heart is full of love – and his hands are full of gifts.
And it’s entirely reasonable to expect that God, our Heavenly Father, is the same. He promises to give us good gifts. And usually, they come through the Holy Spirit.
The New Testament talks about three different types of gifts of the Spirit. And in this series, we’ll take a look at them together.
Each one of us has a deep motivation to express God’s love in a way that seems natural to us.
We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness. (Romans 12:6–8)
Now, none of those are ‘spooky’, ‘airy-fairy’ gifts. They are straightforward. So let’s take a closer look.
We sometimes think of ‘prophesying’ as predicting the future, but most often, it’s about speaking God’s will, encouragement or admonition into a present situation. Other people have the gift to minister to others. Some people have the gift of teaching.
Other people have the gift of exhortation, of encouraging, of lifting others up. Some are motivated to be givers – they are very good at giving their own possessions and wealth into needy situations. Some people, when we meet them, prompt us to say, “There is a naturally gifted leader.”
And other people are gifted in compassion and mercy; they are pastorally gifted. They are the ones who will hang with someone who is sick or in need for as long as is required. Each one of us has one or two, or maybe even three of those gifts in our makeup.
You might think, “Well, you don’t know me. I don’t have any real gifts.” Let me assure you, my friend, that God has gifted you.
It’s His role, His desire, to gift each one of us. It’s our role – yours and mine – to discover our gifts, nurture them, grow them, and use them to take the blessing of God into others’ lives.
LIFE APPLICATION QUESTIONS
- Even if you’ve previously identified the gifts God has given you, take a moment to ponder the motivational gifts listed above. Which ones resonate in your heart when you read through those descriptions?
- A simple way to start identifying your gifts from the Spirit is to ask yourself: What are the things I really enjoy doing? What am I really good at, better than most of the other people I know? Invariably, we enjoy doing the things that God made us to do.
- If you’re still not sure, ask some people who know you well – close friends or family members. Why? Because these are the people who benefit most from your natural giftings and will have seen them in action.
- Ask God to help you determine or confirm your motivational gifting. And don’t stop there! Ask Him to begin to reveal to you how you can use those good gifts to reach others with His love.
Devotional courtesy Youversion
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