What if I told you that every Christian has the same purpose in life and you can stop searching for it. Would you believe me? Well up until a few days ago I am not sure that I would have agreed with that statement myself. That all changed during a bible study this past weekend. We were watching the study video clip when she said that all Christians have the same purpose and that purpose is found in Matthew 28:18-20. “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ ” This is the mission that Jesus left for His disciples way back when and is now our purpose as we wander this earth. We are instructed just as they were to build the kingdom of God as we go throughout our lives and to rely on the Lord above for support and guidance. This isn’t just a suggestion but a requirement of the faith. As believers, we are to be sharing the gospel and spreading the good news to every corner of this world.
Sounds like a huge task right? Well, it is and it probably leaves you asking, “How am I going to accomplish this? I am just one person in a world full of thousands.” Thankfully God has given each of us special skills and gifts that help in achieving our purpose. We know that God made each of us uniquely and not one person is the exact same. This allows us to approach and deal with situations differently and to achieve our purpose in many different ways. I believe that there is no one right way to further the kingdom of God but thousands and thousands. We are to use the skills and gifts that God has given us to effect positive change in the world. The first place to start is by pinpointing your gifts as they are defined in the Bible. There are a few places in the Bible that tell us about spiritual gifts. They are as followed;
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:3-8
When we read these verses and others in the Bible we find that spiritual gifts include:
Leadership: Encouraging and helping others to build the kingdom of God, helping them find their own gift. (Romans 12:8)
Administration: Being organized, helping with long term goals, and remaining on task ( 1 Cor. 12:28)
Teaching: Instructing in truths and doctrines of God’s Word
Knowledge: Teaching and discipleship. The ability to learn, know and explain God’s Word
Wisdom: The ability to discern works of the Holy Spirit and apply teaching and actions
Prophecy: Proclaiming the Word of God with boldness (Romans 12:6)
Discernment: Being able to recognize the truth about a situation
Exhortation: People with this gift are enthusiastic about the Lord and they can motivate others
Shepherding: Looking out for the spiritual welfare of others, and mentoring other believers
Faith: Trusting God to fulfill His plan. People with this gift are encouragers
Evangelism: The building up of the church so others will be led to Christ
Apostleship: Motivators, church planters, missionaries: people who look beyond the walls
Service/Help: Helping those in need of practical assistance (Romans 12:7)
Mercy: The person with this gift shows acts of compassion
Giving: People with this gift will give freely and with joy to further His kingdom
Hospitality: Making people feel welcome, appreciated, and wanted (1 Peter 4:9)
Each of these gifts is just as important as the others and there is no perfect combination that should be sought after. I don’t believe we only have one gift but a combination of many that when put together make an impact on the people around us. Each gift is for the growth of the kingdom of God and to bring others into the faith or to help strengthen their faith. By using your gifts we can help someone find their heavenly Father and forever home. I also believe that as we mature our gifts can change and develop. For me, I have found that I have exhibited many different gifts over my many years. As I have matured and grown in my faith God has opened the door to new gifts that can be used. Where I might always have a heart of service and giving I have also developed knowledge and wisdom over the years. I have developed the gift of shepherding and a love for teaching the word of God, whereas as a young believer I was not confident in teaching God’s word.
Knowing and acting on the gifts that God has given you is an incredible feeling. It puts you directly in God’s story for the world and gives you abilities that could only be given by the Lord. My challenge for you this week is to find out what your spiritual gift is and begin using that gift toward our shared purpose. There are many quizzes and surveys that can be found online that can help pinpoint your special abilities. The My Christian Walk community would love to hear about what you learn about your God-given gifts and how you plan to put them into action. Share your story with us by commenting on this post or using the #MCWGift on social media.