North Church is about the conclude a series of teachings on the Holy Spirit (tonight we end with teaching and discussion on Spiritual Warfare). Last week, we centered around spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts are hard to understand. The teaching in scripture is very vague. There are lots of different lists that appear in scripture. Some gifts overlap from list to list; but most appear in only one of the lists. Some are gifts for church leaders, some are gifts for all Christians. It is really confusing even for pastors to sort them out. Then, there are all the different English translations of the Bible that use different words for the same gift and that adds to the confusion.
Among all of the confusion are a few facts. First, if you have asked Jesus to save you from your sin and received his grace, then you have Spiritual Gifts. Do not think otherwise. You have them.
The second confusing thing is, what do we do with them when we have them? Well, simply put we just be. A person with the gift of faith does not have to run around looking for a place where you need to apply that gift. You simply plug into a body, seek to give yourself away and be you. Its not complicated.
Here is an example that I witnessed today. Among my wife’s gifts are hospitality and service. A friend of ours posted on Facebook today about her. Find the post here. There are so many great things about this post. One is that Jen is using her gifts. She is using them by just being her and wanting to give herself away. She does not wake up and decide to serve or be warm and giving to other people. She just is Jen and the body of Christ is infused with God because of it. The world is infused with God because of it. Val Stine (The the author of the FB post) is infused with God because of it. God gives us Spiritual Gifts so that world can be infused with his goodness.
Another great part of this is a bit harder to see. I know Val Stine fairly well, but mostly on a surface level. I have not gotten a chance to to know her on a deep level. But, I am guessing she has the gift of encouragement. She infused that into me and my bride today.
You see, Jen has struggled lately with working. She feels difficulty in working because she thinks that she is less of a mom or a wife because of the demands on her time and such. But this FB post Val made was the voice of God infusing courage into my bride. My wife has more courage about working at an elementary school because of Val using her gift. The kids and teachers at the school can see the warmth, love and goodness of God because Jen serves there.
So what is the takeaway? Just go be. Just go give your life away. You are infusing God into the world and into people.