(The following topics are presented to encourage group discussion and individual exploration of this week’s theme.)
- Differing gifts: united in service. Our lesson reminds us that the disciples were not identical replicas of one nature but were diversified, different, special people with individual gifts and challenges. Should we be that diversified today? Should we strive as Seventh-day Adventists to be different from each other in
our love and service to God? In 1 Corinthians 12 what important point about unity as it relates to the human body is Paul communicating to believers? Do we as church members sometimes show animosity towards members who are different from us? What is the cure for this spiritual problem?
- God: the giver of all good gifts. Should we feel flattered or humbled by the promise of God as illustrated in the householder parable that He will give each of us a special work to do for Him? What does the Holy Spirit do for each of us regarding spiritual gifts at the time of our baptism? If a fellow Christian confides in you that he or she does not really have a special gift but is just present because there is no barrier to being there, how might you encourage that person? What can you and I do to make our God-given gifts useful in our work for Him?
- The purpose of spiritual gifts. Do you really believe that every member of the church has at least one spiritual gift, and probably many more? What are some of the purposes of the spiritual gifts bestowed upon church members? What is the difference between a spiritual gift and a natural talent? What does God want to do with all of the gifts He has given us? Think of a church member who seems to have an abundance of talent being used for God’s work. Then think of one who seems consumed by shyness or pulling back from open activity. How should you relate to each of these fellow believers?
- Discovering your gifts. How about having a yearly convocation when all members join together to explore their spiritual gifts and come up with ideas for using those gifts for God’s cause? Would anybody come? Are you sure? What are the steps we can take to accept the spiritual gifts that God gives us? What designation do we give to our spiritual gifts that we put to work by the grace of God to serve others and witness of His great love? How is your personal ministry faring?
- Growing our gifts. Totally unlike the response we share with family members and friends when we exchange gifts, what work remains for us to do after we recognize the spiritual gifts God has given us? Do the spiritual gifts that God gives us come back to us over and over again as spiritual blessings? How does that work? Explain the stark difference between the servants in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). What is the difference in your life when you decide to do something about the gift (or gifts) that God has given you?