“How to Identify the Spiritual Gifts”
I Peter 5:8
I. God Wants Us To Become The Best, We Can Be
A) God does not accept mediocrity (½ good, ½ bad)
- Revelation 3:16… So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
- Cold…not serving God at all. (not going to church but once or twice a year, saying a prayer once or twice a year, not giving of your tithes and offerings, etc.)
- Hot means … On fire for God, doing all you can to be a witness and testimony for Him. (cant wait to do something for the church or it’s pastor, visiting and witnessing to the lost without Christ, working in the church every time you are asked, going to church services every time and even to those services that are special, etc.)
- Lukewarm means … little bit serve God, little bit serve the world. (Come to church only when you feel like it, read your bible a few times a year, pray once in a while)
B) Take Warning
- Satan will do his best to cloud our mind.
- After reading I Peter 5:8… your adversary(enemy) the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour(eat up, change to his ways):
- Satan does not want us to know our gifts and he certainly does not want us to use our gifts.
C) God wants us to excel (be the best we can be)
- John 15:5… He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:”
- What does it mean when God says to us “bring forth fruit” ? This means show us proof of your labor for Him. (Example: a pear or peach is “fruit” but it is also the proof to us that someone has taken care and worked hard to help the tree produce that pear or peach. Spiritual example:visitors in the church is “fruit” or proof that someone in the church has been busy on visitation, or calling, or sending cards or advertising to others about our church.)
- Romans 8:37…Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors (winners who defeat satan, and this world) through him(Jesus) that loved us.
- We can defeat Satan if we only search for our “gift” that he has given us.
II. How did the examples (disciples) excel?
A) Peter and the gift of “Prophecy”
- Every time that you get an opportunity to speak… do it! When you get to speak often that means “practice”, and practice makes perfect!
- Remember Peter in Acts 2:14,38 and Acts 3:4,6,12?
- Be open about your personal failures and faults. And be honest about yourself. (Let other people know when you make a mistake, don’t try to hide it.)
- Be willing to suffer for what is right. (Example: Be willing to be patient with those people that come to church and act silly or maybe stink with bad body odor, because they may come to church and accept Christ as their Savior!)
B) Timothy and the gift of “Ministry”
- Timothy was happy when he was working for important people because it allowed those important people to do some things that need to be done. (The more work you do, the less others will have to do.)
- Philippians 2:19-22…
- Being with other people all the time also brings more opportunities for you to be a blessing and also more opportunities for you to share your gift. (Example: I have noticed that in my line of work “Contracting/carpenter” when I have nothing to do…then I go out and visit with other people. Then it never fails, that God will have one of those people that I have visited give me a job that earns money for me to be able to tithe and keep my family from starving.)
- Note this…verse 19… But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you,Paul write here that he is sending Timothy to the church in Philipi , to do what?
- Verse 20... who will naturally care for your state. (Meaning…He will take care of you and keep you in the faith.)
- Why? Read verse 22…he hath served with me in the gospel.(He was a good worker for Paul)
C) Luke and the gift of “Teaching”
- Make sure your goal and heart for teaching is right.
- Luke 1:1,4… “taken in hand to set forth in order “
- Take what we believe and put them in order so that all will see and know what we believe. You cannot be a teacher if you are not an orderly person. God is a God of order! God does not like a mess!
- Then note verse 4… “…know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.”
- Know without a doubt the things you have been taught, that they are right.
- If you have doubts about what you are teaching….then ask your pastor, not another church member. If the pastor does not know then consult another pastor or reference to a book of like faith.
D) Paul and the gift of “Exhortation” (Warning, giving advice)
- Paul excelled in “exhorting” (warning or giving advise)by helping others to do what they needed to do for Christ.
- Paul had a goal Colossians 1:28,29… that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:(Making all Christians look good)
- Paul was happy even when he was weak and in pain…II Corinthians 1:5, and also II Cor. 4:17 and II Cor. 12:9…
E) Matthew and the gift of “Giving”
- Matthew gave quietly. Matthew 6:1-4…¶ Take heed that ye do not your alms(your giving of money or talents) before men, to be seen of them (To show-off).
- We should allow God to convict us or burden us with giving.
- Practice being wise with our money. Don’t buy everything that we see.
F) Nehemiah and the gift of “Ruling”
- Nehemiah had a vision and a goal.
- He knew what the results (final picture looked like)
- Do not get too focused on details (small things that are not really important) and forget what we are doing.
- Be willing to be patient with others who may say negative and positive things about you and your work.
G) John and the gift of “Mercy”
- Be able to make decisions when necessary.
- Be alert that you do not feel sorry for people for the wrong reason.
- Beware that you do not interfere with God’s punishment on others.
III. Back to the Basics
A) Allow the Holy Spirit to Work
- Two things we must not do…
- Ephesians 4:30… “grieve not the holy Spirit of God” This means… By having a wrong temper, or studying the unholy word (Other bibles that man has made), or unrighteous action (doing things that are a sin against God).
- I Thessalonians 5:19… “Quench not the Spirit.” This means…by refusing to follow his gracious leadings, doing what you know to be contrary to his will, or neglecting to perform the duty to which he prompts you. (Example: You are in church and the pastor is preaching and the Holy spirit convicts your heart that you have done wrong, so you ignore the pounding of your heart and put your mind on something else so that you cannot cry and make a scene in front of others.
B) There must be a daily cleansing of sin
- This means… I John 1:7b…If we “walk in the Light” and “have fellowship”
- How do we become clean? I John 1:9..If we confess our sins,”
- What sins are necessary to confess? II Corinthians 7:1… let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit,
C) We must yield (Obey) to Him
- Romans 6:23… Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him (our old ways, habits, and desires were hung on the cross with Jesus) , that the body of sin might be destroyed (That our desire to want to do those things are possible through our trust in Jesus Christ), that henceforth we should not serve sin (So that now we have no excuse for wanting to do bad things that God has advised against).
- Now in verse 16… Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? This verse is saying that if we yield (obey, or give in to) sin then that you are a servant of Satan and the things he does. If you yield (obey) to God then you will want to serve him and do that which is right)
D) We must have faith
- Romans 12:3,6…God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
- By faith he means the knowledge of God in Christ, and the gifts which the Holy Spirit pours upon the faithful.
- Ephesians 6: 16... Above all, taking the shield of faith (The faith that you have to trust God in every thing that happens.), wherewith ye shall be able to quench (put out, or destroy) all the fiery darts of the wicked.
E) Obedience is vitally important
- Samuel told Saul… I Samuel 15:22… to obey is better than sacrifice,
- Verse .. It is important for a pastor to follow God, not his people… ¶ And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed (gone beyond God’s limits) the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.
- Obedient to God’s walk… I Thessalonians 2: 12 … That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
- Galatians 5:16… This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
- Deuteronomy 5: 33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you,
- Obedient to God’s will… Romans 12:1 )¶ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
- I Thessalonians 4; 3 For this is the will of God (This is what God commands us to do), even your sanctification (In order for us to be set apart as holy), that ye should abstain(Hold back and not do) from fornication(from having sex within the rights of God):
- Verse 4 …That every one of you should know how to possess (Own or treat) his vessel (Body) in sanctification (making ourselves like Christ) and honour;
- Verse 5… Not in the lust of concupiscence (the desires of this world), even as the Gentiles which know not God:
- Obedient to God’s ways… Philippians 1:27…
- Philippians 2:12-16…
- Obedient to God’s Word… Why should we obey God’s word?
- Because it will one day Judge us.
- Because it is the truth… John 17:17… ¶ Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
- It is a guide for our lives… Psalms 119:105… ¶ Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
F) We must have the desire to be the best we can be!
- I Corinthians 9:24) ¶ Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. (we are running or doing that which is right so that we may get something for our work for God)
- When you work and slave all day at your job… you are working to gain knowledge of that work and also to receive a paycheck.
- 25) And every man that striveth (Works hard) for the mastery(To be successful) is temperate(does not lose his temper) in all things.
- Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown;(the world does things that they may win the crown or trophy that soon becomes forgotten and then it becomes green with mildew, or ruined)
- “… but we an incorruptible. (But “we” as Christians work for a crown that cannot be ruined, or forgotten)
- 26) I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:(I am not fighting or racing against something that I don’t understand but I am fighting for something that I believe in, stand up for)
- 27) But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.(But I keep it in control and not wild acting so that when I spread the gospel to others then others will not think I am a bad person.
- Our goals as a “Spiritual Gift User”
- Do our best
- Give our best
- Act our best
- Live our best
- Be the best
Do Our Best For God!