We have enjoyed our time with you this summer, and now as we turn toward autumn all sorts of new activities will be starting at the church. Pioneer Club, New Life, Confirmation, Bible studies… there is a lot to keep everyone busy! Of course, the fall also means that we will be electing new officers and leaders in various new capacities – consistory, Sunday school teachers, and Bible study leaders, etc. So what ties all these things together? Spiritual gifts!
Spiritual gifts are what the Holy Spirit gives to believers to empower and enable them to serve in the life of the church. 1 Peter 4:10 – 11 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another… whoever speaks, speak as if you were speaking the oracles of God; whoever serves, serve in the strength God supplies, that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” Sometimes the topic of spiritual gifts can become divisive, but this passage clearly shows that we are to use our gifts from the Spirit to serve the body of Christ to the glory of God!
Spiritual gifts are one of the things that Jesus purchased by His blood in His death on the cross (Ephesians 4:7 – 11). The Spirit of Christ then distributes those gifts as He pleases through the body of Christ, the Church (I Corinthians 12:11). All believers – whether young or old, new Christians or mature in the faith – are given spiritual gifts. You don’t need to have a special experience or be a certain kind of Christian to receive spiritual gifts. Simply trusting in Jesus supplies you with everything you need! In fact, God commands all Christians to zealously seek the highest gifts (I Corinthians 14:1).
So what gift do you have? There are several lists of gifts mentioned in Scripture: Romans 12:6 – 8; I Corinthians 12:8 – 10; 12:29 – 30; and Ephesians 4:11. They range from gifts as technical as apostles and pastors to as common as “helping” (I Corinthians 12:28) and “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:2, 15). And don’t forget how important the “fruit” of the Spirit are; they’re yet another manifestation of the Spirit’s gifting in our lives (Galatians 5:22 – 23)! All believers are gifted and empowered by the Spirit to serve the body of Christ.
So as we prepare for this fall kick-off season, be praying about how the Holy Spirit has equipped you to serve your brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray that we would elect those whom the Spirit has gifted for that type of service. Encourage people to use the gifts that you see evidence for in their lives! Do you have questions about what gifts you may have? Do you know where you would like to serve but have questions about how your gifts fit in at Zion? I’d love to talk with you about how the Spirit is at work in your life!
I’m excited to serve with you in this upcoming year, and I’ll be praying that – as we go forward as a church – the Lord would send His Spirit in power on Zion to guide us forward with all of the gifts that we need for service and ministry. If we serve in the strength that He provides, it will keep us dependent on our God, so that He may receive all the glory!
Praying that we would serve one another with our spiritual gifts,