Paul writing to Timothy exhorts him with these Words, “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
Are we being good stewards with the gift or gifts that God has given us for the building up of His Church?
Are we even aware of the existence of the gifts of the Spirit?
Or maybe we haven’t really given the necessary attention to this subject in our Christian walk?
One of the things I’ve noticed is that it’s very easy sometimes to become complacent with the work we have done for the Kingdom of God.
Many times we tend to slow down and relax. In some cases, we decide to take a pause in our service to God.
It’s like taking an indefinite vacation from the ministry where we are called to serve.
However, it’s important to recognize that this tendency of slowing down and relaxing in our service to the Lord could be the beginning signs of backsliding.
I’m not including inevitable circumstances in which someone has no control over, that cause you to have to take a break from serving.
Be Careful of Taking Indefinite Breaks From Serving God
In 1 Timothy 4:14-16, Paul continues telling Timothy to:
“Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”
Notice how in these verses Timothy is told to give himself entirely to his call.
He’s also told to show progress in the things of God.
Ultimately, Paul tells him to continue in them.
It becomes clear as we read the Bible more and more, that when it comes to serving the Lord, God is interested in our continuance, in our pressing on, and in our moving forward.
Another group of believers that are not involved in the service to God, are those who are ignorant or have not paid the necessary attention to the subject of the gifts of the Spirit.
I’m not including those who are new believers, but those who have been believers for a while, and should be mature enough in the things of God.
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12:1: “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant.“
In my experience, especially when it came to leadership, I’ve run into a lot of believers that fall into this category.
God made me realize that I had the responsibility as a fellow believer to teach them about the spiritual gifts, and to give them a little push to apply them in their lives.
If we have come to the same realization, let’s not hesitate to do the same.
We’re all given at least one gift of the Spirit, and we’re all called to at least one ministry. Tweet
Believers aren’t excluded from the manifestation of the Spirit and the work of God on this earth.
1 Corinthians 12:1, 4-11 says:
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
“But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
We should never feel as if God prefers some people over others.
Even though some are entrusted with greater things, our work for God is not going to be measured by quantity, but by faithfulness.
Every Christian is Called to Serve
It’s important to recognize that nobody is exempt from serving the Lord. He equips us all with everything we need to fulfill His calling.
God will never be pleased with us spending our Christian lives, merely sitting under the teaching of the Word.
Even though this is an indispensable part of our daily walk with Jesus, God also wants us to minister to one another through the Gifts of the Spirit.
As I mentioned in the previous verse, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.”
In Mathew 25:14-30 we find what is called, “The Parable of the Talents.”
In this parable, we’re told about a master who is leaving on a trip, and who gives his 3 servants each an amount of money, according to their abilities.
To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one.
When they’re called to give account of what they did with their talents, the one that received five, and the one that received two, both gained double the amount they were given.
It says that their master was pleased with their service, and gave them their reward.
However, the one that received one talent, dug a hole in the ground and hid it.
When he is called to give an account, he tells his master that he hid his talent because he was afraid to invest it and lose it.
The master’s reaction to this was great disappointment, and he calls this servant “lazy” and “wicked.” He then orders his servants to take the talent away from the lazy servant, and to give it to the one that had the most.
Let’s not be afraid to step out in faith so we can be fruitful for our Lord with the gifts that He has entrusted to us.
4 Important Lessons About the Gifts of the Spirit
In order to put the Gifts of the Spirit in operation, there are a few things that are important for us to know:
1. It’s essential that we know the will of God in our lives.
The Gifts of God must not be used at our own will. That’s why we have to find out where God wants us to serve Him.
In the book of Romans, chapter 12, before addressing the Gifts of the Spirit, Paul makes an introduction to the Christians in Rome. He tells the Romans how to get to know the will of God.
Romans 12:1-2 says:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
2. The Gifts are not for our own profit or glory.
The spiritual gifts that we receive are for the edifying of God’s church, and for the Glory of God.
1 Corinthians 12:7 says, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.”
3. There are different kinds of gifts, and various different ways in which they operate.
Not all of us receive the same Gifts. Those that do, they operate differently in each person.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6 says, “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.”
4. Like in a human body, the body of Christ has different members.
Each member has a function in order for the body to operate.
For example, the ears are for hearing, and the nose is for smelling. Though both have different functions, our body wouldn’t work properly without either one of them.
Likewise, in the body of Christ, we need each member to exercise their gifts. In doing so, nobody can claim to be of greater importance in the body than the other.
For example, the Pastor needs the deacons so they can collect the offerings. He needs the greeters to greet the people and pass out fliers.
The pastor also needs those who clean to help with the cleaning of the church. That will in turn help the Pastor to devote himself to the studying of God’s Word, and to prayer.
Can you imagine the chaos that would come, if the pastor had to fulfill all the other functions around the church?
The Word says in 1 Corinthians 12:27-28, 30:
“Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
“Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?”
To finalize let’s conclude with this verse that encourages us to serve our faithful Lord Jesus Christ:
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
– 1 Corinthians 15:58