Imagine a father waiting at the airport gate for his children to arrive.
They’ve been separated from one another for a long time. He has never stopped loving them or thinking about them. His heart is full of love – and his hands are full of gifts.
And it’s entirely reasonable to expect that God, our Heavenly Father, is the same. He promises to give us good gifts. And usually, they come through the Holy Spirit.
The New Testament talks about three different types of gifts of the Spirit. And in this series, we’ll take a look at them together.
Each one of us has a deep motivation to express God’s love in a way that seems natural to us.
We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness. (Romans 12:6–8)
Now, none of those are ‘spooky’, ‘airy-fairy’ gifts. They are straightforward. So let’s take a closer look.
We sometimes think of ‘prophesying’ as predicting the future, but most often, it’s about speaking God’s will, encouragement or admonition into a present situation. Other people have the gift to minister to others. Some people have the gift of teaching.
Other people have the gift of exhortation, of encouraging, of lifting others up. Some are motivated to be givers – they are very good at giving their own possessions and wealth into needy situations. Some people, when we meet them, prompt us to say, “There is a naturally gifted leader."
And other people are gifted in compassion and mercy; they are pastorally gifted. They are the ones who will hang with someone who is sick or in need for as long as is required. Each one of us has one or two, or maybe even three of those gifts in our makeup.
You might think, “Well, you don’t know me. I don’t have any real gifts.” Let me assure you, my friend, that God has gifted you.
It’s His role, His desire, to gift each one of us. It’s our role – yours and mine – to discover our gifts, nurture them, grow them, and use them to take the blessing of God into others’ lives.