Throughout history, the church has proven to be one of the most dynamic institutions in the world. The church has (been);
- A foodbank providing necessities to those in need.
- A shelter for the orphaned and homeless.
- Built hospitals to care for the sick and infirmed.
- A pioneer in higher education, building some of the top universities in America.
- A leader in running to crises’ around the world to alleviate suffering.
These incredible feats are not the result of the church being the most prominent or wealthiest organization in the world, but as people filled with compassion, they used their collective gifts to make Jesus known.
Some people place passion ahead of knowing and operating in their God-given gifts, but that’s out of order. You won’t find, “And God gave the church passion as you read scripture.” But you will find it repeated in scripture that “God gave gifts to His people.”
Passion alone can take you in many different directions that lead you away from God. And not everything we are passionate about doing is what we’re gifted to do.
I love to sing. But I’m not gifted with the ability to sing. I fall more into the “joyful noise” category. I’m passionate about singing, but I will never win awards for my singing.
In Romans 12:1-8, Paul explains that everyone has been given gifts. Verse 6 says that we have been given gifts to build God’s kingdom. Paul prefaces this instruction with the characteristics of humility and grace.
Pride can wiggle its way in as some gifts attract more attention than others, giving an inaccurate value to some gifts over others. Every gift is distributed by the grace of God. We did nothing to earn it or deserve it.
The Greek word in our text for grace is charis, which means to rejoice. Grace creates space for joy. Grace turns our mourning into dancing, our ashes into beauty, and makes the rejected accepted.
Now catch this, the word gift translates from the Greek word Charisma, which comes from the root word charis, grace. Because our giftings are an act of grace, using our gifts creates an endless flow of joy in our life.
This truth should incentivize us to discover our gifts and use them!
God has taught me that I will never find my gift as long as I’m busy looking at and coveting what others have. God’s gifts are uniquely embedded in you.
Paul makes it very clear in verses 4 and 5 that there are a variety of gifts in every church. To explain this, he deploys an illustration of a body. The body is built with many parts, seen and unseen, yet they are designed to work together for maximum output.
This is why the world, throughout history, has celebrated athleticism. These are disciplined athletes who train their entire body to work as a single unit to accomplish what one part could not do alone.
As a result, every bone, muscle, tendon, and ligament has been finely tuned and developed to work at its optimum level.
This is how God views the church. As each part works to do its part, the entire body accomplishes more than what a single part could do.
This is why God has given you gifts. If you have a pulse, God has a purpose for you! Peter taught, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:” 1 Peter 4:10
The phrase “to serve one another” does not mean our gifts are focused internally but that we are to work together to build the church. We all have a part to play.
And God’s kingdom will not advance any other way. Churches built around a handful of people will not last because that’s not the way God has designed the church to function.
A failing church is not the result of a lack of power or anointing from God. It’s often the result of not building according to the Word of God. The Bible is God’s blueprint for our lives and His church!
Your gifts are necessary to the church and a means of God’s blessing in your life. Don’t let passion dictate your direction. Passion will come as you use your gifts.
Discover the gifts God has created you with and use them.