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  • Writer's pictureGODVERSITY

Discover God’s Unique Calling For Your Life - Part 1



"Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness." Romans 12:6-8.

PRAYER: LORD, please remove from us now anything that would distract us from encountering You and Your Word. Holy Father, speak to each of us personally so that we will all know Your calling in our lives. We understand LORD that it is Your Will, not ours that will prevail and we ask you to give us confirmation as we begin to follow You, in Jesus mighty name, Amen.

PAUL continues to illustrate his teaching concerning the importance of not thinking more highly of yourself than we ought, but thinking soberly according to the measure of faith God has given us. He has opened up to us the analogy of the human body and how the human body illustrates the nature of the true believing church of God. In these verses before us he takes us a step further, explaining how the church, the body of Christ, is made up, and joined together. We need to keep firmly in our mind that each believing Christian is grafted into the body and appointed to fulfil a definite function, which the body, the Church, needs for its health and vigor.

As we do this it is good to look closely at the words used by Paul and the ideas they convey. Unless we do this we will not get a true picture of the nature of the Church, the body of Christ.

God prepares you for this particular purpose by GIVING YOU CERTAIN SPIRITUAL GIFTS.

In order to discover God’s unique purpose in your life, you must IDENTIFY YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS. Spiritual gifts are special abilities God gives YOU to do His work in the world. When you become a follower of Jesus Christ, God gives you at least one spiritual gift—and usually more than one.

You may not know what yours are or how to use them. Spiritual gifts are NOT natural talents or acquired skills. You can’t learn or earn spiritual gifts by any effort of your own; they’re GIFTS from God. Spiritual gifts are NOT for your own private benefit but for the common good.

All of us are to use our unique spiritual gifts to serve God and others in specific ways both in the church and out in the world. Spiritual gifts are only given to believers. No one gift is given to everyone, and no one has all the gifts; that’s why we need each other. We all have different gifts--that’s just the way God made us. All of us are to use our gifts to glorify God, to help others, and to build up the church.

You are given certain spiritual gifts for three reasons:

(1) To glorify God;

(2) To serve others; and

(3) To build up Christ’s church.

GIFT.

Spiritual gifts are NOT the “fruit of the Spirit”--love, joy, peace, patience, and all the other fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 6. These fruits are the same for every Christian. They are Christ-like characteristics that reveal Your SPIRITUAL MATURITY; your SPIRITUAL GIFTS, on the other hand, reveal our MINISTRY, that is, what God wants you to do specifically to serve Him. Spiritual gifts are NOT roles or positions in a church. By office, I am your PASTOR; the word “pastor” means shepherd or caregiver. Some of you who have the spiritual gift of shepherding and caring for others, but that doesn’t mean your calling is to be a pastor. You don’t have to be a pastor to exercise the gift of shepherding and caregiving. In fact, there are members of this church that are better pastors than I am.

Don’t expect everybody to have your gifts and to serve and do things the way you do. My wife has the gift of administration and organization. After we were married , she expected me to be as organized as she is; when I wasn’t, she became angry and frustrated. Over time she realized there was a snowball’s chance in hell of my ever becoming as organized as she is, so she began extending grace to me. We’ve gotten over this hurdle, and our marriage is better. Every spiritual gift is absolutely important. The Apostle Paul compares the different gifts of the members of a church to the different parts of the human body. What if one day your lungs cried out, I’m tired of all this huffing and puffing; I’m going to let some other member of this body do all the breathing. Or what if your kidney said, I’m tired of cleaning up all the mess around here; I’m going to take a vacation; some other members will have to start cleaning up. Of course, THE RESULT IN BOTH CASES WOULD BE YOUR DEATH.

ACCORDING TO THE GRACE GIVEN US.

Then we need to notice and take to heart the fact that the gift is a product of God's grace.

Grace here has two applications which run into each other.

The first is the fact that by God's free and unmerited favour in Christ, we have be joined to Christ by faith, and made partakers of his saving work, and by this favour have been joined to Christ by faith, so that in death with him we have been raised to new life in him, and made part of his body. This grace is the foundation of Christian life. We owe all to the grace of God in Christ“ that grace that made Christ our Saviour, substitute, representative, and head, and graciously gave us grace to believe on Jesus unto forgiveness of sins, and the gift of eternal life.

This leads us into the grace of God, His unmerited favor, that goes before us and follows by the ministry of the Holy Spirit, which enables us to be and do what we are called to do in Christ's body, and glorifies Christ thereby. No Christian could be faithful or persevere in faith and living for Jesus, without such permanent gift of grace, guiding, equipping, enabling, strengthening, sanctifying and so on.

DIFFERENT GIFTS.

My strongest spiritual gift is ENCOURAGEMENT. In my work as a pastor, I deal with a lot of discouraged people in a lot of discouraging situations: divorce, disease, depression, disability, death, and so on. God has given me a capacity to go into almost any situation with any person or congregation—no matter how dark or discouraging—and be a positive person and give encouragement and hope for the future. I don’t have a degree in this; no one taught me to do this; it is a SPIRITUAL GIFT from God.

How can you identify YOUR own spiritual gifts?

There are multiple ways:

(1) through study;

(2) through experience;

(3) through others who affirm your gifts; and

(4) through tests that you can take to discover your spiritual gifts.

The best way to discover your spiritual gifts is TRIAL AND ERROR.

EXPERIMENT and try different ways of serving God and others in the church and in the community. In time you will learn what you’re gifted to do. The best way to identify your spiritual gifts is ministry, not just studying—GETTING INVOLVED, not reading a book.

The next thing to take to heart is to realize the nature of the gift. Because it is a gift it is given by God for our joy and satisfaction. The possession of our gift is a wonderful privilege. Only by exercising our gift or gifts will we realize joy in the Lord which you have inherited. By knowing that God wants us to be engaged in His service for the Glory of His great Name, is a wonder of grandest proportions. We need to realize this and glory in this, and by so doing we shall be more motivated to praise God for His goodness.

APPLICATION.

First, there are spiritual gifts that COMMUNICATE GOD’S WORD—preaching, evangelism, missions, and apostleship. You might think that the only apostles were the original twelve disciples of Jesus. That’s not true; there are apostles today.

The church needs APOSTLES in every age. These are God’s entrepreneurs who are willing to try something new and start new ministries for God.

Then there are spiritual gifts that EDUCATE GOD’S PEOPLE—teaching, encouragement, wisdom, discernment, and knowledge. Those with the gift of encouragement are often good counselors. In today’s world with so much secularization and so many ideologies and religions, the church desperately needs individuals with the gifts of wisdom and discernment to keep the church grounded in the scriptures and from moving in wrong directions.

Next there are spiritual gifts that DEMONSTRATE GOD’S LOVE like service, mercy, hospitality, pastoring, and giving. Every church needs people with the gift of serving or helping—those behind-the-scenes people who do whatever it takes to help the church accomplish its mission and vision.

Then there are spiritual gifts that CELEBRATE GOD’S PRESENCE like music, arts and crafts, intercession, healing, miracles, and praying in the Spirit. These gifts when employed correctly enable us to worship and experience God personally.

Finally, there are spiritual gifts that SUPPORT ALL THE OTHERS—leadership, administration, and faith. If the church is going to fulfill its mission, it must have people with the gift of faith.

These are people who are willing to take risks and go out on a limb for God. As Rick Warren reminds us, that’s where the fruit is—out on the limb. The church also needs oak trees today— little nuts who refuse to give up.

All of us must have faith; that’s how we’re saved. But those with the spiritual gift of faith pray and believe God for things that others think are impossible. And when people see these things become a reality, people will say, THIS IS A GOD THING. GOD IS REAL. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

SPIRITUAL GIFTS are one way God equips us to carry out the unique calling and special ministry He created us for. You don’t want to make your primary way of serving God something for which you are not gifted. If you have ever sat under the teaching of someone who doesn’t have the gift of teaching, you know what I mean. Likewise, there are people who have the gift of teaching who are not teaching. This isn’t the will of God either.

When some members of a body of Christ doesn’t do their part of the Lord’s work that God has called them to do, everybody else has to work harder and can become burned out. IT PUTS A DRAG AND DRAIN ON THE WHOLE CHURCH-- HOLDING THE COMMUNITY BACK FROM FULFILLING ITS MISSION.

1 Timothy 4:14 says, Do not neglect the spiritual gift that is within you.

Let us remember and take to heart that there is no place in pridefully seeking a place and regard in the body of Christ which we have not been given in the mercy and love of God. If we do, not only do we make ourself unhappy, but we bring discord and disharmony within the fellowship, and become a source of wounding of the body of Christ, which brings pain to other parts of the body.

Lastly let us be humbly dependent on the Holy Spirit for his grace to be what we should in Christ's body, and to use our gift in a gracious and holy way.

If every one of us here today were to begin serving in a way God has gifted you, this community, our country, would be transformed; and the Kingdom of God would become a reality here on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen.

 

Reference: Pastor Rob Marsh holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a Master of Divinity from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. He is an U.S. Air Force and N.C. Air National Guard veteran having served during Operation Enduring Freedom.

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