Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

Use Your Spiritual Gifts for God's Glory

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"Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good" (Genesis 1:31).

When we look around us at all what God created (the heavens, the earth, the animals, etc.) we see that God have made everything perfect and beautiful around us for His glory and for our comfort. As Christians we should enjoy the benefits of life that God have given to us with thanksgiving. We should glorify God in everything we do, not only be limited to our prayer, going to church and reading the Holy Bible but also in a day to day living (the food we eat, the water we drink, the rest we have, the work we accomplished, etc.).

"But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift" (Ephesians 4:7).

Everyone in this world God gives him talents and gifts (musician, mathematical, scientist, etc.) but spiritual gifts are different we do not obtain it in birth for it is not a natural talent but we receive it through the Holy Spirit in Baptism. When God give us these gifts He did not mean to be for our own benefits (gain more money or better reputation, etc.) But in order to use it to build up the body of Christ and to bring others to God's kingdom.

"So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them" (Romans 12:5-6).

Some Christians have the ideas that they do not have anything to offer others or that spiritual gifts are only given to certain people. The fact is they are not trying and they do not want to get out of their comfort zone. Without serving others we will not grow in our spiritual life.

Jesus feed the five thousand with only five loaves and two fish to tell us that it does not matter what we have and how much talent or gift we obtain but what matters is that we bring all what we have no matter how insignificant it is and place it in God's hand to use it in whatever way He desires and God can turn this little things into multitude.

Others feel they are overworked, overstressed and they have no time, no energy to expend. We should understand that our main goal to strive to keep our priorities straight and that means that our family affairs comes before our careers, church activities and functions but through that we can use our spiritual gifts to bring God's honor. For God's plan for us could be:

  • Raising children: Children that will grow with the spirit of God in their heart and some day they can accomplish great things for the church
  • Through your spouse: Your support and encouragement for your spouse can help him/her to accomplish what God's plan for him/her to do
  • An opportunity: To give support and encouragement to other people from the congregation or non member of the church

"Ask, and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7).

God is waiting for us to call out on Him and pray that He can guide us to what is His plan for our life and what form of blessing He will give us for He knows what is better for us. And if we trust in Him, He is not only going to bless us but also going to help us to accomplish His plan for us. "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord" (1 Corinthians 12:4-5).

Type of spiritual gifts are:

  • Celibacy (1 Corinthians 12:1-4): The ability to remain single, and enjoy these life without suffering of sexual temptation
  • Apostleship (Ephesians 4:11): His mission in life is to preach the Gospel of Christ to the world
  • Prophet (1 Corinthians 12:1-4): One who speaks a message from God to whom is concern
  • Evangelist (Ephesians 4:11): One who desires that everyone come to the Lord
  • Pastor (Ephesians 4:11): He is responsible for the spiritual welfare of others and able to lead them and guide them by his example to follow God's plan
  • Teacher (Ephesians 4:11): He is able to explain the word of God and make it easy to be understood and learned
  • Giving (Romans 12:8): The one who is able to give time and energy with joy and gladness
  • Mercy (Romans 12:8): The one who have a heart to encourage and care for others in needs
  • Faith (1 Corinthians 12:27): The one who trust in God and has an extraordinary confidence in God's plan for him

"For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, So we being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another" (Romans 12:4-5).

God created our human body in harmony, each part of it support the other parts and when one part does not function right, it will effect the other parts, for example:

  • Can create pain and discomfort
  • Day to day tasks can be difficult
  • Can keep us awake at night
  • Can prevent us from doing what we ought be doing
  • Over work some other parts of the bodies to compensate

And that exactly what happened to the body of Christ, when some members do not use their gifts and do not function in the church will cause damage and we wonder why:

  • People are not happy
  • Why the church has a financial strains
  • Why we are having difficulty finding Sunday school servant or volunteers for church functions

That happens when the gifts that God has given are not used and members of the church fails to cooperate, to give, and to share instead they drain the church resources, energy, and do not allow the church to grow spiritually.

How to develop your spiritual gifts?

  1. Study scripture and learn about the type of gifts the Holy Spirit will give to each believer in general
  2. Pray for God to guide you to discover your gifts and use them according to His will and His purpose for you
  3. Trust that God will give you what ever you need to complete your task
  4. Continue to expand your knowledge by reading, attending seminars, and retreats to help you to develop your gifts and have strong ministry
  5. Ask God to grant you to see the needs of others and help you through your gifts to fulfill their needs
  6. Examine your ministry to find out if it is fruitful and it meets the need of others
  7. Confirm with others, if your ministry needs improvement or different direction

"The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God" (Psalm 14:2).

So let us act as one body of Christ and become fully active members and recognize our gifts from the Holy Spirit and develop them according to the need of the church and place them all to use for God's glory; and only then our church will become productive and grow spiritually and in members.

Written by
Nagwa Abdou

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