Jan 14 8:00 AM
Jan 14 8:00 AM
Jan 14 8:00 AM
Thursday, January 14, 2021
1 Corinthians 12:7
Hi, everybody. Thanks for joining me for this Thursday edition of Life Lifters. This week, we're talking about what I think is a very interesting subject: spiritual gifts. It's amazing that in 1 Corinthians 12:1 Paul talks to the Corinthians, saying, "I do not want you to be ignorant." Truthfully, today a lot of people are ignorant about spiritual gifts. So, we're answering five of the most foundational, important questions about spiritual gifts. So far, we've answered three of them. First, what are they? They are supernatural abilities to do unique tasks. Second, who gives them to us? The answer is the Holy Spirit gives them to us. Third, when do we get them? We receive them the moment we become Christians.
Today, I want to answer the fourth question, which is, Where do we use our spiritual gifts? There is a certain sense in which you could say we use them everywhere, and you would be right. But the Bible seems to focus our use of spiritual gifts in two primary areas. We use them primarily in the church and around the world. The Bible talks more frequently about using your spiritual gifts in the church than anywhere else. In 1 Corinthians 12:7 (TLB) Paul says, "The Holy Spirit displays God's power through each of us as a means of helping the entire church." God has given you spiritual gifts to help the church. We live in a day in which things have changed, largely due to the 2020 pandemic, and a lot more people are watching church online. I have mixed feelings about that. In one sense, if watching church online is something you're going to do over nothing at all, then it beats that. Also, watching online is great if you're sick, or if you're out of town or something, but I think there's something better. One of the reasons why God wants you in church in person is because you can't encourage and be encouraged unless you're with people. There's a reason why solitary confinement is one of the worst things you could do to a human being. We need each other. But the other reason it's better to be in church in person is because you can't use your gifts in your pajamas. Or, you can't use your gifts just watching online. You have to be with people to help people. There's no impact without contact. The Holy Spirit gives us gifts to use in the church.
You know, in this church, we have about 25 ministries. When we're at full strength, we have over half of our average attendance involved in serving somewhere. It's a beautiful thing to see. And you love it when you find the right place to serve. I wish 100% of our attenders served, but it isn't always 100%. Here's the thing, you can't be fulfilled unless you're using your gifts in the church. Now, the Bible does not exclusively say that spiritual gifts are used in the church. Although they are used in the church more often than not, the second place you use them is in the world. I get that from Matthew 28:19. "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations." In other words, go out into the world. Go to different parts of our city, different parts of our state, different parts of our country, different parts of our world, and find people to serve with your gifts. You do this mainly to bring glory to God and bring attention to the good news of Jesus Christ. That's the second place. But even then, you use your gifts in the world, usually through the church. As a church, we've sent people to Ukraine, to Mozambique, to Nicaragua, other parts of our country, New York City, and to other places in our own city. You go to different places to serve and minister, and that's where use your gifts. But the church is often the vehicle in which you accomplish that. So here's my point: God has given you gifts to use in the church and in the world. Are you using them in the church? If not, you're being disobedient to what the Scriptures say. Are you using them in the world? I encourage you to do that as well. But gifts are given to you, not to be admired, but to be administered in the world. And we need them here at Lakeshore Community Church. If you don't attend this church, your church needs them too. Will you use them?
Let's pray. Father in heaven, thank you for giving us gifts. Help us to use them in the church, and to help the church. Help us know where we should use the gifts, the unique gifts you've given us. And help us to use them in the world to make disciples. Help us not forsake them, take them for granted, or underappreciate them, for we only appreciate them when we apply them. I thank you for this in Jesus' name. Amen.