USE YOUR DORMANT GIFTS

WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL

MAY 29, 2024

TOPIC: USE YOUR DORMANT GIFTS

BY T. O. BANSO

Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership” (1 Timothy 4:14 New King James Version).

The Bible tells us about the spiritual gifts God has given Christians. These gifts are diverse and perform different functions in the body of Christ. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 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; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness” (Romans 12:4-8 New King James Version).

From this scripture, we see that each believer has been given a certain gift or gifts. The emphasis is on each believer to use the gifts God has given him; they should not become dormant. Because a Christian does not use his gifts, it may appear as if he has no gift. But there is no Christian to whom God has not given a spiritual gift just as there is no person who has no talent.

Many Christians have dormant spiritual gifts and talents – gifts and talents that are lying asleep or are quiet and inactive. They come to church, sit down, sing, dance, hear the Word of God, and go back home. They come for the next service and do the same thing. Some do that for years. They don’t play any role in the church yet God has given them spiritual gifts they are supposed to use to serve in the church or the body of Christ. They need to wake up their sleeping (dormant) gifts and become contributors instead of consumers.

What are your dormant spiritual gifts and talents? God gave you spiritual gifts and talents to help or bless others, not for your benefit. Thus, if they remain dormant, you deny those who are supposed to be helped or blessed by them. Dormant spiritual gifts and talents do not profit anyone. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Be good servants of God’s various gifts of grace (New Century Version). The gift refers to spiritual gifts. The Amplified Bible uses the phrase “a special gift [a spiritual talent, an ability graciously given by God].Notice that these gifts are to serve or help others; they are not for the benefit of the persons given the gifts. They should, therefore, not allow the gifts given to them to be dormant. They must identify, acknowledge, develop, and deploy their gifts. This is how they can serve or help others.

The New King James Version puts 1 Peter 4:10 this way: “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” The Apostle Peter, who said this, continued in verse 11: “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).  

Many people have gifts and talents lying unused for different reasons. It could be because of ignorance, fear, rejection, insecurities, laziness, carelessness, or procrastination. But everyone must overcome whatever is hindering him from using his gifts and talents. There is no excuse for anyone’s dormant gifts and talents. Everyone will give account to God for what He has given him to serve or help others. Use your gifts and talents; don’t let them be dormant.

Paul told Timothy, his son in the ministry, Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership” (1 Timothy 4:14 New King James Version). Paul told Timothy to use the gift God had given him through His prophets when the elders of the church laid hands on him. Lack of use of gifts will result in dormancy. Do not neglect your gifts and talents. Use them maximally. Don’t use one gift and let the other or the rest be dormant. Use all the gifts God has given you.

We see an example of a dormant gift in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. Each of the three servants was given talents according to his ability (verse 15). The servant given five talents invested them and made a profit of five talents, and the one given two talents invested them and made a profit of two more talents. However, the servant given one talent did not invest it and, therefore, made no profit. He went to dig the ground and hid his talent. His talent was dormant. Dormant gifts and talents don’t yield profit.

In that parable, each servant was called to give an account of the talents he was given. The same will happen concerning the use of your gifts and talents. Don’t let your gifts become dormant. Use them to serve or help others. Not everybody has the gifts and talents you have. Therefore, don’t compare yourself with anyone or refuse to do something with your gifts and talents because others are not doing it. God will not hold others accountable for the gifts and talents He didn’t give them.

The Bible describes the servant with the dormant talent as wicked and lazy. Hear what he said when his master called him to give an account of the talent he had given him: Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours” (Matthew 25:24-25 New King James Version).

This is how his master decided his case: “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’ Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’” (verses 26-30 New King James Version). Don’t let your gifts and talents become dormant. If you neglect them, they will become dormant. Use them to serve or help others, especially in the church. That is why God gave them to you.

In another parable in Luke 19:11-27, one of the ten servants who was given a mina did not invest his mina. He wrapped it in a handkerchief and hid it, and so made no profit. His mina was dormant.Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow” (Luke 19:20-21 New King James Version).

While the master of these servants rewarded the servants who invested their minas and made profits, he collected the mina given to the servant who didn’t invest his, and gave it to the servant who had ten minas. And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas’” (verses 22-24 New King James Version).

Verse 26 says, For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him” (New King James Version). When you use your gifts and talents, they are developed. It is like physical exercise. When you exercise, your muscles become stronger. When you use your gifts and talents, you get better and become a greater blessing to others. Don’t let your gifts and talents become dormant. If they are currently dormant, use them, and keep using them. Be a faithful steward of the gifts and talents God has given you. And say to Archippus, ‘Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it’” (Colossians 4:17 New King James Version). God is saying the same to you. Use your spiritual gifts; fulfil your ministry.

Most Christians are not ignorant of their dormant gifts. They only need to start using them. If you don’t know your gifts, ask the Holy Spirit. Don’t be intimidated, ashamed, afraid, or careless using your gifts. Remember that God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). God’s gifts and His call can never be withdrawn. You will give an account to God. Therefore, use your gifts. Let them not become dormant.

TAKE ACTION!

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 must 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: I shall use my spiritual gifts and my talents; they shall not become dormant in Jesus’ name. Holy Spirit, help me to overcome whatever is hindering me from using any dormant gift and talent in my life.

(For over 900 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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