Adapted from the, “Discovering God’s Vision
For Your Life, You and Your Spiritual Gifts.”
By Kenneth C. Haugk.
Part 1 of 4.
Ephesians 4:11a (NRSV)
Ephesians 4:12-13 (NRSV)
Matthew 5:13a (NRSV)
Matthew 5:14a (NRSV)
Matthew 7:7-11 (NRSV)
Romans 12:6a (NRSV)
1 Peter 4:10 (NRSV)
Click here for the audio only version.
Module 1, What Does God Want Me to Do with My Life?
The Need for Dealing with Spiritual Gifts.
Ephesians 4:11a; 12-13 (NRSV)
The gifts [Jesus/God/Holy Spirit] gave were…to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.
Because we are an Easter people, we look for our gifts in relation to Jesus Christ and how we can respond to the love of God for us in Jesus Christ. To Love one another, as I first loved you. The new commandment that Jesus gives.
When we take into our own being the realization of the immensity of the love of God for us in Christ Jesus, then we can begin living and using our gifts, and be what Jesus says during the sermon on the mount:
Matthew 5:13a, 14a, (NRSV)
You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world.
How we respond with our gifts, has a significant impact upon other Christians and non-Christians alike. But just how do we start to deal with our spiritual gifts?
There is a process to dealing with them and they include:
The three D’s of dealing with spiritual gifts.
The Three D’s
First, we need to discover what our gifts are. With the Holy Spirit, we develop our gifts to bring them to their full potential. Then we deploy (use) the spiritual gifts given to us by God.
Have you ever said to someone, “I’m not sure what I want to be when I grow up?” Maybe you were serious, or maybe just half joking. Either way, it is a longingness for purpose, “What am I supposed to do with my life”. Pope John XXIII expressed that he believed that God might ask each of us a question upon our resurrection and that God is looking for an answer. The question is simply this, “How did you use the gift of life I gave you?” So, that question of “What am I supposed to do with my life, is just the question that God wants you to ask of yourself.”
The Deep Spirituality of Spiritual Gifts
An excellent way to activate your spirituality, is to discover your spiritual gifts. That is not to say that we cannot work on our spirituality until we discover our gifts, but that in discovering our gifts, our spirituality can be built up. However, we must be willing to work on both.
Pastor Kenneth C. Haugk, founder of Stephen Ministries and author of many Christian books had this to say; “This is how God has made me, so this is what God is calling me to. And that has never led me wrong. When I’ve reached a fork in the road and wanted to know what I should do, follow your gifts has been my answer. And the Lord has always seemed to lead the way.”
Learning about our Spiritual gifts is both spiritual and vocational. It is in the discovery, that we grow spiritually but also discover our calling in life. Discovering what God is calling us to do.
Matthew 7:7-11 says this about asking God;
7 “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? 10 Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
Many of us have taken a spiritual gifts inventory. When you have been asked here or other churches, what areas of service are interested in, what ministries that you want to be part of, that is in a sense, a spiritual gifts inventory. In the Fall, there will be an opportunity take part in a congregation wide study, on our spiritual gifts. I encourage you to pray about being a part of discovering your gifts and discovering what God intends you do with your life.
Take Home handout, the ushers will give these out during the offering:
For your Meditation, Sharing your Uniqueness (Pg. 30 of manual)
Module 2, Who Am I
Just who are each of you, who am I? To see this, we step in this direction,
With Eyes Wide Open to God’s Grace.
The Grace-Gifts Connection
If I ask you the question, “Where do spiritual gifts come from?” You might respond with obvious yet still profound answer of, “From God”. (Slide from Power Point to cover the Greek on Grace and Gifts)
Bear with me as we cover a little biblical Greek. The Greek word for “grace” is charis (kar-is). A spiritual gift, or charisma (kar-is-mah), as Paul named it, comes directly from God’s charis, or grace. The plural of charisma is charismata (kar-is-mah-tah), gifts. You most likely have notice the similarity between grace and gifts, in the Greek. This is by no means an accident. They are deeply connected. The gifts of God are tied to the Grace of God.
Grace is getting what we do not deserve. The underserved gifts of God, is God showing grace upon us. Always action by God first, and our response, hopefully, is to respond with the gifts that God has graced us with.
Romans 12:6a (NRSV)
We have gifts [charismata] that differ according to the grace [charis] given to us.
1 Peter 4:10 (NRSV)
Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.
To Whom Are Gifts Really Given?
Are spiritual gifts given to you? They are gifts through you. They are not yours to keep but to use, therefore through you for others. Spiritual gifts are on loan for use, for God’s children. Let’s go back to that Greek word charismata. Another way to translate would be, “endowments”. You are endowed by God for gifts of service for others. Part of that “Loving one another, as I first loved you.”
A Wider view of Charismatic
Unfortunately, it has become all too common place to use the word charismatic for those people who have dynamic personalities, who are exciting or have many individuals following them. This is such an unfortunate extension of the biblical word charisma. Even if a person has these abilities, they are spiritually gifted in this way. The gift comes from God in God’s grace.
Putting Spiritual Gifts in Perspective
We explored the idea of God’s grace as the source of gifts and our role as the transporter, gifts through us, into the world. Spiritual Gifts are strengths and abilities showered upon us in grace to perform specific acts of service.
Let’s look at it this way.
Spiritual gifts come from God. They are powers, strengths, and abilities.
of God’s people
Spiritual gifts are given to Christians, to the people of God who form the body of Christ.
for God’s Work
Spiritual gifts have a purpose to equip and empower the body of Christ to accomplish what God wants done in the world.
Cornerstones for Ministry: The Four Needs
Jesus cares for others and meets their needs through us when we use our gifts. What are the needs of people that can be met by gifted Christians? Surveys of thousands of Christians reveal four basic needs of people that congregations can do a tremendous job fulfilling: spirituality, community, care and severing, which means giving something back.
Gifts come to us in God’s grace. They empower us, so they can go through us to the rest of the world to accomplish God’s goals. They are not ours but on loan to use for God’s people.
We accept God’s gifts of grace and respond back to God by loving one another as God first loved us. God gives, we respond and reach out to God’s people. We do this through the spiritual gifts we are given, in mission and ministry.
I encourage each of you to reflect upon:
What Does God Want Me to Do with My Life?
Who Am I (Who are you?)
Please take home the handouts that will be given to you by the ushers during the offering.
Peace and blessings to each of you this week as you journey in faith.