Saturday, May 24, 2008

spiritual gifts follow up #1

this goes with the gift inventory handed out in church on sunday

What Is a Spiritual Gift?

Is there a difference between a spiritual gift and a talent? Is it important to recognize the difference? Will it help me discover my own spiritual gifts if I can distinguish between the two?
The answer to all three questions is yes. And recognizing the differences between talents and spiritual gifts can be one of the keys to finding those spiritual gifts God has given to you.
Let's look first at talents, or natural abilities. A natural ability may be something you're born with, like physical co-ordination. Or it may be a talent you've developed through the years, such as playing a musical instrument.
These natural abilities or talents may be useful or entertaining but they deal primarily with the surfaces of life. The root concern of one's relationship to God is left untouched. Abilities and talents affect people on a temporary basis, not an eternal basis. And spiritual growth isn't necessary for their development.
A woman who frequently opens her home for dinner guests and social gatherings may not have the gift of hospitality. Why not? Because spiritual gifts differ from natural abilities in two important respects.
First, the motivation for the gift is based on love for God and love for humanity. Self-glory or gain can never be the incentive. Paul tells us that one's communication, knowledge, and faith might all be perfect, but they are worthless unless love is the motive (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
Second, the goal of spiritual gifts differs from that of natural abilities. Spiritual gifts are granted "for the common good...... to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up the body of Christ" (1 Corinthians 12:7; Ephesians 4:12).
Keep in mind this motivation and goal as you seek to discover your gifts. Ask yourself, "What is my motivation and goal in this area?" Remind yourself that these gifts form the basis for our individual and collective service for God.
Remember, too, that hardly anyone discovers all his gifts at the beginning of his Christian experience. A period of time, or a special set of circumstances may be required to bring your gifts to light. Be willing to try your hand in new areas. Your spiritual gifts can be confirmed only in the actual setting where they are put to use.
What you find in the next few pages should not be used merely as an assessment.
Rather, use this guide to provide a focus for future service to God and to your fellow man.
Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts

This guide in discovering your spiritual gifts should not be viewed as a test. The only right answers here are honest answers. The answers you provide will help you find your areas of strength within the realm of Christian service.

Before You Start
Follow These Four Steps:

§ Step 1 - Print out the answer sheet from the next page. Go through the list of 125 statements on the questionnaire in part four. For each one, mark on the answer sheet to what extent the statement is true of your life: MUCH = 3, SOME = 2, LITTLE = 1, or NOT AT ALL = 0.
Warning! Do not score according to what you think should be true or hope might be true in the future. Be honest and score on the basis of past experience. If you are a young Christian or new in the faith, the results will need extra care in interpretation.

§ Step 2 - When you are finished, score the questionnaire according to the instructions on the scoring sheet.

§ Step 3 - Study the gift definitions and Scripture references.

§ Step 4 - Complete the exercises to gain a tentative evaluation of where your gifts may lie and to explore the implications for your ministry in the Body of Christ.



blogger templates | Make Money Online