The Church is incomplete without your gift.

Uploaded by LifeChurchtv on 10.11.2009

Some people call it the 'apple-pie demonstration'. Imagine you are at a table, with a bunch of
people, and there is someone about to eat an apple pie, and their apple pie is on the
edge of the table, about to fall off. You see they are vulnerable, and yet, they put
their fork in their apple pie, and it flops into their lap! What do you do? What you do
next helps to determine possibly what your gift is. How many of you would say, "I have
almost told you that was about to happen, you idiot, you shouldn't of done that, I saw
it coming!" How many of you do that? Point at those who do that, that's even better!
You have the gift of prophecy. How many of you, on the other hand, would
say, "Oh man, let me help you clean that up, here is a napkin, let me wipe you up! Here,
let's get you taken care of!" How many of you are like that? You have the gift of serving
and this is a spiritual gift. Some of you might say, "Oh, I've researched
this, and really, there is a better way to eat an apple pie! Step 1 is; you do this!"
Point to those people who have the gift of teaching right now!
Some of you would go, "Oh that's so oh, I feel for you! You know that happened to me
1 time, don't worry about it; its okay! Watch this!" You throw it on yourself to make them
feel better! If that's you, you have the gift of encouragement.
If you would say, "Oh here, take mine; in fact, bring apple pies for everybody and put
whip cream on it!" How many of you would be doing that? You have the gift of giving.
Those of you who would say, "We can get this thing cleaned up in no time; you go get this,
and you go get this, and I've got a vision to make this better!" You have the gift of
leadership. Those of you who would say, "My heart sinks,
when it was falling in your lap, I was hurting for you and with you, and I am just so devastated
you are going through this right now!" I can barely even do this, because I have no mercy
at all! I'm like, "You idiot, I saw it coming!" If you are like that, you have the spiritual
gift of mercy, or showing kindness. These are gifts that God has given you to
be used in the church to minister to other believers and to be used in the world. Quite
honestly, many of you don't even know for sure what your gift is; or you do and your
gift is hidden and going unused, spiritual gifts.
Let's look at another list of spiritual gifts. These are found in 1 Corinthians Chapter 12,
starting in verse 7. Here is what the Bible says, "A spiritual gift is given to each of
us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise
advice; to another the Spirit gives a message of special knowledge." Some of you, people
come to you often, because you give great advice. It's like, you are tapped into this
different level of knowledge or wisdom and this is a gift that God has given you and
you should use it often. You should be leading Life Groups, you should be mentoring, you
should be available, you should be using this at work to help people whose marriages are
falling apart; this is a gift that God has given you.
The Bible goes on to say in verse 9: "The same Spirit gives great faith to another,
not to everybody, but to some, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing;
the gift of faith and the gift of healing. I don't have either one of these; I honestly
don't have great faith. My wife, though, she does. Whenever we hit an obstacle, I'm like,
"Well, there's an obstacle, we have got to figure something else out!" She's like, "No,
we will pray and God will remove it! We will talk to that mountain, and cast it into the
sea!" I'm like, "That's too much work, I will just figure out another way!" But, she has
great faith and God will often do stuff. Also, some of have the gift of healing; again,
I don't. If you are very sick and I come and pray for you, there is a 9 in 10 chance you
are going to die very, very soon! I mean, you don't want me praying for you when you
are sick; I have the worst track record ever! But, there are some who have faith for healing,
that, when people are sick, they really pray. My mom had a stroke and I called this guy,
who, when he prays, God answers him. My mom's eye sight was bad and the doctor said it will
never get better, no way, Jose! I called this guy, he prayed. Now, the doctors gave her
release to drive. I'm like, thank you for praying, because I could have caused her to
go blind with the faith that I have! You know, it is a gift. When you look around the world,
especially outside of our country, you see the gift of healing working so much more.
My guess, is because, in many parts of the world, they don't have doctors to go to and
they have to depend on God. Also, because there is not so much unbelief, and I believe
there is even more faith. You see supernatural healing going on all over the world today;
it is a gift from God. Verse 10 says that the Holy Spirit, he gives
one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives
someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God, or from
another Spirit. Some of you can just go, "I know there is something not right here, how
will I know it's a gift?" It's a gift of discernment. He goes on to say, "Still, another person
is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, (this is speaking in tongues) while another
is given the ability to interpret what is being said"; tongues and the interpretation
of tongues. Are these gifts for today? Are these real gifts, speaking in tongues? Is
this what it means to be filled with the Spirit? Next week, we will tackle all of these subjects,
and talk about what it means to live a Spirit-filled life.
Verse 11, the Bible says, "It is the one and only Spirit, (the Holy Spirit; the ruwach,
the pneuma, the paraklete); the Holy Spirit, who distributes all of these gifts. He alone
decides what gift each person should have." How do you discover your gifts? Le me just
give you 5 quick thoughts. 1. Study what the Bible says about the gifts.
Look at it, study it. 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4 (talks about the 5-fold gifts
of the ministry), and 1 Peter 4; read those chapters and study them.
2. Ask God to show you your gifts. "God, what gifts have you given me?" Watch as he does,
and when he starts to do it, ask him; "Where do you want me to use these gifts? How do
you want me to use these to make a difference?" 3. Examine what you enjoy and do well. If
you're gifted, you are going to enjoy using your gifts; you are going to do them well.
If you say, "I never want to help anybody; I hate being called upon to help!" You probably
don't have the gift of serving. Okay? You don't enjoy it, you don't do it well. Ask
yourself, what do you enjoy and what do you do well.
4. You can take a spiritual gifts test. This isn't going to be full-proof, but there are
tests on-line; in fact, we have listed one in your Talk Notes. Also, if you are on YouVersion,
there is one you can click on, and you can go on-line and take a test and that could
be helpful. 5. Most importantly; do what the Holy Spirit
leads you to do. Whenever you feel like God is calling to do something, have the faith
to do it. Just like whenever I feel like God has given me a burden to speak on his behalf;
the more I do that, and the more he proves himself faithful, the more confidence I have
that this is a gift from God. I don't own it, it doesn't make me any better, but it
is a gift he has given me, and as I acknowledge the gift, it gives me more confidence to step
out in these gifts, and to use them to make a difference in this world.
Imagine this for a moment. I have 6 kids, okay? Imagine, I love my kids so much, and
I am going to select very specific gifts to give each child; Katie, Mandy, Anna, Sam,
Steven, and Joy. And I think, okay, Katie is my oldest and I believe if I give her this
gift, it can make the most difference in our family and the world. Mandy, here is my specially
chosen gift just for her. Anna, this is what I want to give to her, because God is going
to use this to make a difference. Imagine as a father, if I give these gifts to my children,
and they simply put them aside and ignore them. They don't think about it, they don't
use them and they ignore the gift that either I, their father have given them to make a
difference in this world. That is exactly what Christians around the world are doing.
God has given you gifts, and there are many of you, you haven't used your gifts in the
church ever, ever! The church is incomplete without your gift. The Christian church, God
has given you a gift to use in the church and to use in the world. So many of you, you've
got the gun on the shelf, and it continues to be unloaded.
Here's what Scripture says, we will close out with this. First Peter, Chapter 4:10-11;
"God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them
well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God
himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with
all the strength and energy that God supplies." I could go on to say, whatever your other
gift, if it's serving, if it's prophecy, if it's giving, if it's encouraging, if it's
mercy; whatever it is, do everything you do, whatever you do, use it passionately. The
Bible says, "Then everything that you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ."
Do not insult the giver of the gift, by leaving the gift undiscovered and unused. God has
given all of you who are believers, spiritual gifts, to make a difference in his church,
and throughout the world. God, I ask and I pray that you would reveal
to us the gifts you have given us. God, that you would give us the courage to use those
gifts to make a difference, first in the church God, and then in the world.
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