Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day 98- A Spiritual Gifts First

Today, I took at spiritual gifts inventory test for my "first."

Someone had suggested this to me earlier in the year.  Since I'm preaching on spiritual gifts (probably) this Sunday, it seemed like a good time to do that.  I just googled "spiritual gifts inventory" and went with one.  I did like the video introduction to this particular test and thought it was helpful.  If you are interested (and I don't know anything about these people so it's not a glowing recommendation or anything), here's the link I did-http://www.spiritualgiftstest.com/test/adult

I was happy to see that I scored highest on pastor.  That's a relief; I'd hate to have been wrong all these years (that's a joke). I also scored high on exhortation and teaching.  I scored low on giving, faith, and service.  I feel like a clod admitting that, but I guess if you are honest and not deluded, you'll score low on something.  I once took one of those career placement kind of tests while in college and I scored highest on girl's P.E. teacher.  I wish that was a joke; I was a college student.

There are a lot of questions about spiritual gifts. I have a lot if nobody else does. There are 5 places I know of in the New Testament that lists spiritual gifts. They are 1 Corinthians 12: 8-11 and verse 28, Ephesians 4:11, Romans 12: 6-8, and 1 Peter 4:11.  One question would be "Are these all of the spiritual gifts or just a sampling?"  I've had people tell me they had the spiritual gift of cooking (whether it is one or not, I'm grateful for people who cook well), building, or being thoughtful.  I've known a few that seemed to think complaining and criticizing are spiritual gifts (I wish that was a joke).  There are people who get themselves pretty worked up because they can't figure out their spiritual gift. Then there are those who claim they don't have any.  Please don't say that if you are saved.  God says you do and it reflects poorly on the kind of Father you have to say that He's not gifted you when He says that He has.

Pretty sure I may have the spiritual gift of eating Junior Mints; they are very refreshing
I know giving is a spiritual gift; if that's so and it is, someone needs to receive. Maybe I have the gift of receiving

Surely I don't have the spiritual gift of washing dishes

Coffee drinking?

Here's the thing I've noticed as I've studied this week.  A majority (if not all) of the spiritual gifts mentioned in the Bible are strongly related to sharing Christ with other people.  As I've read about the activity of the Holy Spirit in Acts, He is about witnessing to Christ (evangelism), building people in their relationship with Christ (discipleship), and bringing God's people together in love (fellowship). He sends people to do those type activities. That's certainly not all of His activity, but these are major thrusts of what the Spirit does. Wouldn't it make sense that the gifts that the Spirit gives would be strongly related to His mission?  The gifts that the Spirit gives us will help us share Christ with other people. The gifts will enable us to help others grow in their love for Jesus and in their faith.  The gifts will enable us to love people with Jesus' love.

Henry Blackaby wrote, "The Holy Spirit is the gift. He Himself is the indispensable gift of God in your life….When God’s Spirit is present, it doesn’t matter what you can or cannot do….The Lord is not looking for the talented, but for the obedient. He’s not looking for the skilled, but for those who are sensitive to His Spirit."  I love that quote because we must not forget the Spirit is the real gift.  He gifts us for what He's called us to do.  If we know what God wants us to do, we can be sure He will gift us to do that.  It may not be something you are naturally good at, but will require you to trust God to accomplish that through you.  The focus must be on God and not simply discovering a gift (though that can be very helpful). When I felt God calling me to preach, I had no gifting in the area of public speaking.  That was a serious faith stretcher.

One person wrote (may have been Blackaby again), "God created you with your unique abilities, and He does want to use them. But He’s far more interested in you knowing Him than He is you knowing your abilities."  Yes, yes, yes; let's focus on God. Let's seek to know and love Him. Then, watch for the opportunities that God brings our way.

Gifted (the gift is the Holy Spirit) for the abundant life

3 things I thank God for today
1. Laura traveled safely to Montgomery
2. Challenge I received from reading A.W. Tozer's biography
3. Family of God

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