Romans 12:6, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them”
1 Timothy 4:14, “Do not neglect the gift that is in you”
According to Unger’s Bible Dictionary, a spiritual gift is a phrase to denote the endowments bestowed by the Holy Spirit in the Church. A spiritual gift means any extraordinary ability, which operated for the furtherance of the welfare of the body of Christ, and which was itself produced by the grace of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit. God’s Word explicitly says if you are born again, you have at least one spiritual gift. Did you know that the honeybee has one of the most highly developed social structures in the animal kingdom? At the heart of the hive, which may house as many as 80,000 bees, is the queen. Without her, the colony has no future; however, the 80,000 bees don’t just sit around watching their queen. Each bee has a specialized duty to fulfill.
The forager bees encounter the perils of the outside world in collecting food. The guard bees protect the hive entrance from intruders. The undertakers are responsible for removing dead bodies from the hive. The water collectors bring in moisture to regulate humidity. The plasterers make a kind of cement to repair the hive. And the fanners station themselves at the entrance and fan the scent outward to signal the location of the colony to lost or disoriented bees. The scout bees keep the hive alerted to opportunities and dangers of the outside world. The variety and specialization of the worker bees seem endless.
My brethren, in a similar way, the Lord has given special gifts and tasks to all the people in His church, who have been saved by the blood of the Lamb. No one has been called merely to sit around and be a spectator! Everyone can do something. The work of the church will not get done unless all of us do what God has called us to do.
God never gives a believer in Christ a task without also providing him/her with what’s necessary to perform the responsibility. If you were to go through the Bible you would find that God gave Moses a rod, David a sling, Samson the jawbone of a donkey, Shamgar an ox goad, Esther the beauty of person, Deborah the talent for poetry, Dorcas a needle, and Apollos an eloquent tongue – and to each the ability to use that gift, and in so doing, every one of them did most effective works for the Lord. My brethren, our heavenly Father has given at least one spiritual gift to each of us as believers, and He provides all we need to carry out our individual responsibilities (1 Corinthians 12:6-7). We are all essential in the body of Christ. Acknowledging these truths isn’t only a source of comfort and encouragement, but it is also a sobering reality, for it places before us an important obligation.
God’s gifts to us must never be squandered or wasted but must be fully utilized. God will not force us to serve Him. His part is to equip, empower and prepare us for service (Ephesians 4:11-13). Our part is to be faithful, available and aware of opportunities to use our gifts (Romans 12:6). The sobering fact is God has begun a good work within each of us when we were saved by the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. His continuing desire is to finish the work that He started. We are still under construction and if we fail to exercise the gift God has given to us, it puts us in the precarious position of hindering the very purpose for which God has called us to minister. So, my brethren I must ask:
(1) What gift has the Lord given you?
(2) Are you using that spiritual gift for His glory and to the blessings of others?
(3) Or, have you put your spiritual gift on a shelf where it’s collecting dust?
The church works best when we see ourselves as participants and not spectators.