WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 20, 2022
TOPIC: GOD HAS GIVEN BELIEVERS DIFFERENT GIFTS
BY T. O. BANSO
“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them” (Romans 12:6a New King James Version).
There is nobody who does not have gifts, in terms of natural gifts or spiritual gifts. But my focus here is on spiritual gifts. Some born-again people, filled with the Holy Spirit, don’t know they have gifts! Others are yet to identify their spiritual gifts. Therefore, the gifts are dormant.
Some are ignoring or rejecting their gifts instead of embracing them, using them, and developing them. Yet, others believe that they have certain gifts, which they don’t have, or they are operating outside their areas of gifting. Some people like that engage in competition and comparison. They are struggling to do something, but they don’t have gifts for it.
Having the zeal to do something is different from having gifts in that area. In ministry, don’t force yourself to do something that God has not given you gifts for. Don’t compare yourself or compete with anyone. Don’t start doing something because you’ve seen someone else doing it. You may not have the gift he has, and it may not be your assignment from God.
Whereas others can see that some people don’t have gifts for certain things that they are forcing themselves to do, they may not want to offend them by giving them proper counsel or such people may not be humble enough to receive advice. All children of God have spiritual gifts, but not the same gifts. Each person should identify his gifts and serve in the areas of his gifts. By this, we shall all be more productive and impactful. Nevertheless, as believers are growing in the faith, they may first be involved in different areas of service in the kingdom of God before they identify their spiritual gifts. There is nothing wrong with this.
Romans 12:6a says, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them” (New King James Version). The word “differing” in this context means different. Verses 4-5 say that as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so it is with Christ’s body; we are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, Paul also compares the body of Christ (the church) to the human body, which has many members (parts), and each member has different functions. God gives a variety of gifts because no single gift can perform all the functions in an assembly or the body of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-13 talks about the ministry gifts in the body of Christ and their responsibility. After Jesus ascended on high, He led captivity captive and gave gifts to men (verse 8). Men did not choose the gifts. Jesus gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers (verse 11). “No one chooses for himself the honor of being a high priest. It is only by God’s call that a man is made a high priest — just as Aaron was” (Hebrews 5:4 Good News Translation).
Jesus didn’t give only apostles, excluding the rest. We need all. Why did Jesus give these ministry gifts? – For the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:12-13).
Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 12:28, we see a variety of ministers (apostles, prophets, teachers, etc.) that God has appointed in the body of Christ; each has his place. But no single category of these ministers can do everything. If the apostles alone could do all, God wouldn’t have appointed the rest. The same applies to other categories of ministers listed in that passage. Ministers, and, indeed, all Christians, should identify and use their gifts, and avoid comparison or competition, which is foolishness (2 Corinthians 10:12). We should complement and not compete with each other.
Don’t neglect your gifts. No gift is inferior to the other. There are many people in the church today who just sit down and consider themselves as having no gift or look down on themselves in the area of service their gifts are best suited. No gift that God has given you is to be despised, even if the area of service is hidden. That does not make your service unimportant. Don’t be covetous of the gifts of others while you despise or hide your gifts. Use your gifts according to the ability that God has given you.
1 Peter 4:10-11 says, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (New King James Version).
The Living Bible puts 1 Peter 4:10 thus: “God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings.” Your special abilities (gifts) are not for you but for others. “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other” (1 Corinthians 12:7 New Living Translation). You are to use them wisely, humbly, and unselfishly to bless other believers and the body of Christ. “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing” (Matthew 24:45-46 New King James Version). Luke 12:42-43 says the same thing.
Paul wrote to Timothy: “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6 New King James Version). One of the benefits of church membership is that as members accept to serve in different areas, it can help them to identify their spiritual gifts. Whatever your gifts are, educate yourself in your area of service, and use and develop your gifts. Don’t be lazy. Be diligent. This is the way to excel. Gifts are not enough. I say again: use your gifts in humility. Your gifts don’t make you superior to anyone; they are meant for service and the benefit of other believers.
Paul sent this word to Archippus, “See that you discharge carefully [the duties of] the ministry and fulfill the stewardship which you have received in the Lord” (Colossians 4:17 Amplified Bible). He also told Timothy to make full proof of his ministry (2 Timothy 4:5). Fulfill your ministry, too. Use your gifts, and let others bless you with their gifts.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, help me to identify and use my gifts wisely and humbly to bless others and to the glory of God. Holy Spirit, help me to complement other believers and not compete with them. I pray that all the children of God will identify their gifts and use them for the glory of God and the good of others. Nobody will ignore or reject his gifts but will, under the control of the Holy Spirit, embrace, use, and develop them.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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