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Wednesday: Discovering Your Gifts — 7 Comments

  1. I have spent a working lifetime trying to get students prepared for careers. Students in their teens and early twenties are in the process of making decisions that prepare them for a career, or nowadays, a range of careers for the rest of their life. Matching abilities with career choices is not always easy. For example, I had a brilliant top-A student who was doing a primary teachers course. But, she did not have the personality, or "presence" to hold the attention of a bunch of grade 3 kids for more than 30 seconds. How do you convince a person that their career choice is not the right one for them?

    I did not really know what I wanted to do, right up until I was about to graduate from my first university degree. I was obviously interested in science and I thought I would do something scientific. A discussion with some of my close friends in the same boat led to me suggesting we at least do the teaching course so that we had another option. Turns out that was probably the most important conversation we ever had. Four out of four of us in that conversation ended up as career teachers, and we have stuck with it until we retired. Perhaps the Holy Spirit had a hand in that conversation over 50 years ago.

    Is the arena of spiritual gifts all that different to career choices? Opportunities and circumstances come our way and to those who have their ears and eyes open to God's leading will see those opportunities and act on them.

    There are a couple of caveats. Some see it as their role to cajole others into certain actions that they think is the spiritual gift of merit. As a first-year College student, I was convinced by others that my spiritual gift was selling books door-to-door. Not only was I going to spread the Gospel, but I was also going to earn enough money to pay my College fees for the next year. I learned a lot from the experience. I did not make anywhere near enough money and I learned that I did not have the sort of personality that makes people want to buy religious books from someone that arrived unannounced on their doorstep. I also learned that trying to fulfil someone else's expectations wasn't the way to go.

    Finally, your spiritual gift may not have a name. Just because some are called to be preachers, or teachers, and so on, does not mean that your spiritual gift has a name. The word "influencer" has a bad connotation these days because it is associated with personalities who are paid to use their influence on social media to convince others to purchase certain items. But I want to claim back the word for our spiritual development. We should all be "spiritual influencers" taking the opportunity to share our love for Jesus, even in the most menial of ways. Using the little opportunities that come your way will lead to discovering your spiritual gifts.

    • Yes, Maurice - all of us can see ourselves as 'Spiritual Influencers' - perfect! I never liked to give myselfe titles or a discriptive name, but I can see myself as a spiritual influencer; time becomes the sea infused with the scent of our Heavenly Father's love.

    • Love you testimony. I had searched my heart to know what God would have me be or do. I prayed; “ should I become a pastor, or evangelist, or conference president. In a strong way he gave me the answer, “ behold I’d stand at the doors and knock.” I asked; “ what shall I do or say?” A strong sense of conformation was immediately came to me in Malachi 4: 5,6. So with the Bible, bedtime Stories and the Conflict set I found my calling. God blessed me with 35 years of seeking the lost. And not just babysitting the saved. Don’t get me wrong. I have a great respect of our pastors and leaders and their calling. It just not what God asked of me.

  2. Spiritual gifts (see 1 Cor. 12:4-6) are qualities that God imparts so we can serve Him effectively. Ministries are the general areas we can express our gifts in, and activities are the specific events that allow us to use our gifts.
    They are used to share the knowledge and love of the LORD, it is when the hearers and us accept the LORD as our Saviour that we are transformed and given a new clean heart.
    The Spiritual Gifts are the tools, abilties given for one to be the medium to transmit the Good News of the Gospel, the messenger not the message. It is Jesus' words and life that changes lives.

  3. Why do we have to ask for the gift?
    Wnen my son joined Shenandoah Valley Academy (SVA), there was an extrcuricular activity teaching about welding. One could learn welding and even become certified welder. As much as I tried to influence my son to learn this trade he was not interested. However, when he wanted to build drone, he studied and learned. When he talks about drone building, I can see the excitment in his voice.

  4. Gifts of the Holy Spirit are available now and employed throughout our journey as believers, not just before the return of Christ. I am not sure if the lesson writer using the word 'prior' means 'right before Christ's return' or if he means 'right now/at this time'?
    2Thess.5:11-25 - v.23:'And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly: and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ'.
    How could we live our life, which is being sanctified by the Holy Spirit, if we do not have and use gifts and talents from Him to be manifested through our sanctification which give God the Father Honor and Glory right here and right now?

    Our testimony/witness is for the purpose to point mankind to God the Father. Since the Fall, the Father has been reconciling the world unto Himself. Throughout mankind's history and throughout the world has God the Father reconciled the World unto Himself; using whatever righteous means He chose to do so. For millennia, man was slow to learn. Man preferred to form their own gods from their own imagination and endowed them with powers as they saw fit to assign to them.

    But through all the ages there were those, influenced by the Spirit of God, who believed in a supreme, all powerful God. He was given different names; we now call Him Father, Son and Holy Ghost - the triune God - who loves His creation and wants mankind to be reconciled to Himself.
    By faith and trust in His everlasting, loving Righteousness have we began to be formed in His Image. This is what is meant by *reconciling* man/woman unto Himself; it is a choice each person has to make individually.

    Now, all that we have, all that we are, is to be employed to give Honor to God's Name - the Holy Spirit defines His Name among others as 'Righteousness' to us and to the world through us. The image of His Name is established through how the world sees Him through us - being reformed into His Image. God the Supreme is the beginning of all things, but the triune God, the creator of all things visibly and living, is being testified to through His Children's actions.

    The Holy Spirit is available/accessible/perceivable to all who whole-heartedly desire to know God - Luke11:13. It is a conscious choice, recognizing with this choice that we want our personal life exclusively to be influenced and guided by Heaven's administrative powers.
    With this conscious desire to discover who we are in Christ, praying for our eyes to be opened, we will be led to know ourselves better as we participate in the body of Christ. Humbly, we continue to trust and submit to the Spirit's leadership, becoming more and more aware of our spiritual gifts and talents as we we are being guided and participate in service to others.

    The Holy Spirit reveals to us who we are in Christ. Through prayer and trust, we are following the prompting of the Holy Spirit to lead us. "The gifts are already ours in Christ, but their actual possession depends upon our reception of the Spirit of God". Ellen G. White.
    Gifts and talents are not separate from us; they are not tools used in activities we turn on and off. They have been residing in us, waiting to being revealed as a true spiritual blessings to ourselves and others when we surrender our new lives for the Honor and Glory of God, who desires to reconcile the world unto Himself. Matt.7:7

  5. While we study this vital subject, we cannot overlook the possibilities that exist, which we have been warned about.

    First, if we experience Acts 1:8, will we need someone else to tell us? If we must enquire to know our gift, perhaps we have not yet experienced the gifting of the Holy Spirit. What would prevent this gifting? What was the focus in the upper room prior to the Holy Spirit coming upon the church? What should my focus be? Was this experience noticed by others, or did they have to be told? Were those who received the Holy Spirit focused on knowing their specific gifts or on sharing the good news of a Savior and teaching others how to find the Remedy for sin? Can we have the gifts of the Spirit while lacking the Fruit of the Spirit?

    When Peter was sent to Cornelius, it was obvious to all when the Spirit descended upon those gentiles who had yet to be baptized. This same experienced as described in Psalm 40:1-3 tells us that "many shall see, and fear, and trust in the LORD" as a result. If others see nothing, perhaps we are still in the pit(vs 2)? If we inquire of the Lord, He will show us our true condition from His divine, unerring perspective, unless we continue to reject the conviction of His Spirit who comes to every soul with warning and entreaties.

    I have seen/heard of sentimental feelings called the moving of the Spirit, while sin still prevailed. We must beware the counterfeit which will come and deceive any who still love and live for this world. Hasn't Jesus warned us?


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