Path to Spiritual Maturity Meeting #16 Recap - Spiritual Gifts
Step 1: Overview
a. Go over last week’s assignment of reading an article on #12 Spiritual Gifts in the Foundations Pathway, and of doing an application.
b. This week’s assignment: read an article on #13 Giving in the Foundations Pathway, and do an application.
c. Finish with time for questions/comments.
If we run out of time you can always e-mail us, or post in the discussion group. I will post those e-mail addresses and the group link at the end of our session.
Step 2: Review of #12 Spiritual Gifts.
-Go over last week’s assignment of reading an article on #12 Spiritual Gifts in the Foundations Pathway, and do an application.
So did you do your reading and application this week? (Yes/no) Did you find it helpful? What struck you the most from your study this week? Was there anything that you were really challenged on that you prayed about or are doing something about?
Spiritual gifts are an interesting topic about which many people are confused. Spiritual gifts are given by the Holy Spirit to all believers for the building up of other believers (1 Cor. 12:6-7; 11, Eph. 4:12). Since they are given by the Spirit, and the results of the exercise of the gifts is by the Spirit there is a spiritual/supernatural component beyond just natural abilities in all Spiritual gifts. (1 Cor. 12:11, 1 Pet. 4:10).
For a long time Spiritual gifts were a bit of a mystery to me. I would hear from some that I should take some kind of man-made inventory and discover my gifts from the options specifically mentioned in Scriptures. In this way of thinking I should know early on what my gifts were and I should be busy using them. Others said that the gifts in Scripture were not necessarily exhaustive, or that one should discover them from experience and ministry. Add to that, Scripture indicated that it was a spiritual gift of God and not just a natural ability. I wondered how I could tell the difference.
The more I pondered the whole issue the more it came together. God has specific purposes for me in the body of Christ to serve it and help meet its needs. I should be intentional in looking to see what and where that might be from early on as a believer. Since many of the commands and aspects of ministry are to be conducted in one way or another by all believers I should be faithful in growing and serving in all of Christ’s commands. Taking time to think about specific gifts, and using inventories may be a helpful framework for thinking about different gifts. Regardless of whether it is immediately apparent though, or whether I am decisive enough to “claim” a gift, God expects me to be serving others. As I serve in different capacities it may become apparent to me or to others that I have a specific passion, have grown immensely in my ability in a specific area, have made a big impact, or have some area in which God has spiritually blessed and enabled me to effectively edify the body of Christ. Likewise, even if it does not seem that I have a specific gift now, God may develop what was a weakness into a strength for a newly developed need within the Body. In the end, I must be willing to serve, and willing to let the Spirit of God do His work in my life so that I can carry out His work in the lives of others. Then as I serve, I should be aware of how I have impacted others, and then to be intentional to continue to develop those ministries of service to continue aiding in the building up of the body of Christ.
Doing this has been very stretching for me, as I tried ministries of service that were not necessarily a natural ability, or not comfortable. Some of those God has developed a long way, and perhaps in my weakness it was there that the grace and empowering ability of God is most evident in the true sense of a supernaturally given gift of God for the building up of the body. Concurrently, as I see others ministering I can learn from their examples, or know who to go to as different needs in the body arise. From our pursuit of serving our gifts become more apparent, or we learn of new gifts that God is developing in us.
Are you serving in your local church in different ways—even outside your comfort zone? Do you notice the way the ministry of others blesses the body and let them know of their impact? Are you doing what you do for the benefit of others (rather than yourself)? Are you open to new or different ways of serving others as new needs arise? Are you aware of ways you have been a blessing through your service and being intentional about continuing in and growing more like Christ in that area of service?
Step 3: This week’s assignment: Begin #13 Giving in the Foundations Pathway.
Read at least one article in the Giving category on the Path to Spiritual Maturity #13 Giving under step 4) [or listen to an audio, or watch a video]. Then think about what you have read and do an application (some suggested ones are listed there). Next week we can discuss any questions that you might have had either about the article, or its application.
*blog about your reading/application
*write down any questions you might have from the reading/experience
*write out any terms that you did not understand
*spend some time praying about and thanking God for His Word that He has given us to be able to know His truths.
Step 4: Questions, comments, and interaction.
Step 5: Closing Reminders:
*This week, focus on the Giving Step. (Keep up your Bible reading time, and as needed, focus on your motivation.)
*Go to the group page to post comments, questions, or to find a posting of what we discussed during our time together.
*E-mail us as needed.
Pursue Christ in all you do, and may this Path to Spiritual Maturity be a tool to help you pursue Him. That is our prayer and desire. God bless!