God’s Gifts of Service, Ministry, and Caring for the Needs of Others in the Church
I. Introduction – The List of Service Gifts
A. What Are Spiritual Gifts? (1Cor 12:1)
1. Spiritual gifts can be defined as spiritual drives, and passions given to us by the Lord to achieve supernatural goals. They are spiritual abilities that enable a believer to change people’s lives. Each person who is born again into God's kingdom receives at least one spiritual gift that is to be used to changed peoples lives!
2. These gifts, when used, encourage and motivate other believers into stronger living for the Lord Jesus
3. A church full of people with these kind of gifts is the most blessed!
B. What Is the Purpose of Spiritual Gifts? (1Peter 4:10; Eph 4:11-14)
1. To glorify God and to bless and help others!
2. The Spirit-filled life is lived in service for others – especially for other believers.
3. So, the full potential of a life, a marriage, a family, or a church will not be experienced until there is a clear, Biblical understanding of each person’s spiritual gifts. That’s why we have taken so long to go through them, and sought to understand and start using them!.
C. The List of Service Gifts (Romans 12:6-8; 1Cor 12:28)
1. Prophecy – (Biblical word) Speaking Up for God
2. Ministry / Helps – Holding Up the Brethren
3. Teaching – Instructing People in the Ways of God
4. Exhorting – Urging and Encouraging Others
5. Giving – Sharing What You Have With Others
6. Governments / Ruling – Governing and Managing People
7. Mercy – Showing Compassion on Others
D. God has given each believer at least one spiritual gift to build up the body of Christ and to minister in our hurting world.
1. If our gift is prophecy, we’ll proclaim God’s view of right and wrong.
2. If it is Ministry and Service, we will desire to meet others’ needs and hold them up when they fall.
3. If it is Teaching, we will spend our lives LEARNING how to help people know God’s truth so that they can be not just free from sin, but free “indeed” (John 8:32,36) – really free!
4. If it is Exhortation, we will rally behind people that others have given up on, and urge them to run and run along with them if need be so that they finish their course! We will help the lost find Jesus is altogether lovely!
E. All of the spiritual gifts can be used in the workplace, in our homes, and most importantly in our church.
F. These gifts are ones that should be sought after because their very purpose is the welfare of others and not elevation of self. Most in today’s religious community seek after the miraculous sign gifts that are visible and elevate self. Some of the greatest gifts given to individuals in the church are the least noticed and, yet, the most productive! At least when acted out the Biblical way.
G. There is a companion list of emphasis that goes with each gift in Romans 12:9-21. This list is almost more important that the gifts themselves – they represent the things to beware of and things to develop with a gift. They constrain us! Without this list, the gifts of prophecy, teaching, ministry, exhorting, giving, governing, and mercy won’t work at all!
II. Message – The Service Gift of Giving – Sharing What You Have With Others
A. Giving is a Christian Act for Every Believer.
1. Every believer is to be a giver (Acts 20:35; Exod 25:2)
2. But not every believer has the Gift of Giving, which goes well beyond normal giving
3. Normal giving
a. The tithe (Prov 3:9,10; Mal 3:10)
b. Offerings and Missions Giving (2Cor 9:6,7)
c. Personal almsgiving to the poor (Dt 15:7-14)
d. There is a tremendous blessing promised to the obedient giver (Luke 6:38)
4. Supernatural Giving is a whole level beyond normal Christian giving
B. The Meaning of this Gift of Giving.
1. To Give is the act of transferring ownership of something to someone else without compensation or reward.
a. It is being generous instead of stingy
b. It is referred to as being open-handed instead of being tight-fisted
c. It has the attitude of willingly sharing what you have to meet someone else’s need
2. In Christianity, it is the drive to give things and money away without fear or regard of your lack, out of a deep sense of appreciation towards God
a. The gift of giving is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the body of Christ to contribute their material resources (money, time, talents) to the work of the Lord with liberality and cheerfulness.
b. It is the supernatural ability where Jesus channels through you the meeting of the needs of the believers, whether individual, or together as a group (Mt 14:16; Mk 6:37)
c. It is the ability to provide for the financial and material needs of the church and its people, with no strings attached, joyfully, and without regret.
d. This person does not give expecting praise for it. He asks nothing in return. He gives for the sheer pleasure of ministering to the family of God in this way.
C. Characteristics of People with this Gift - A person with this supernatural gift is usually:
1. Charitable, Generous, Hospitable – they are very free with giving away their money to people’s needs (1Pet 4:9; Psalm 37:21; Prov 21:26)
2. Disciplined, Frugal, Careful, Responsible with their money – they are very careful in their spending habits – they actually PLAN to give, and set aside money for the next available opportunity to give (1Cor 16:1)
3. Resourceful – they are good at figuring ways of making money to be able to give more – as was Barnabas (Acts 4:36,37; 20:35)
4. Loving, Conscientious – they give from their heart because they care about others (1Cor 13:3; Prov 22:9)
5. Full of Faith in obedience to a need (Mt 14:15-21)
D. Examples of People with the Gift.
1. Widow Woman’s Mite (Mark 12:41-44)
2. Widow Woman of Zarephath (1Kgs 17:7-16)
3. The churches of Macedonia (2Cor 8:1-5)
4. Jesus (John 10:11; 14:27; Mt 20:28)
5. Christians in Philippi (Philippians 4:15-19)
6. Abuse of this Gift: Annanias and Sappphira (Acts 5:1-11)
E. How to Tell if you have this Gift - People with this gift:
1. You manage your finances and limit your lifestyle in order to give as much of your time, talent and monies as possible;
2. You support the work of the Gospel with sacrificial gifts (more than just tithing) to advance the Kingdom of God;
3. You regularly meet tangible needs in a church that enable people’s spiritual growth to occur;
4. You provide out of your own income, generously and cheerfully, trusting God to help you help others;
5. You usually have a special ability to make money so that you may use it to further God's work.
6. Are PRAISERS by nature (not a complainer) – giving begins with praise of God! Are constantly aware of how much God has and is giving to you, and can’t help but give out of that abundance to others! You see their giving as an opportunity to praise God (1Tim 6:17)!
7. You don’t worry about money – it does not cause stress in your life – you easily trust God to always supply, even if you only eat beans and toast for a few weeks!
8. You find it easy to invest yourself into a problem – jump right in and begin to sacrifice time and money into a project that will help people get saved and live for God (Gal 4:15)
9. You may not have much money at all, yet out-give everyone else without even knowing it (the widow’s mite, Mk 12:44) because you just give what you do have (Acts 3:6)
10. You give simply – just giving as to the Lord (Col 3:23) with no strings attached
11. You would have no problem giving everything of yours away if the Lord asked them to (Mark 10:21)
F. Cautions - People with this gift of Giving:
1. Need to respect their gift, remembering that giving money and possessions is a spiritual good deed to the body of Christ (don’t neglect this gift);
2. Need to remember the church's agenda with the money is determined by leaders of the church, not by the giver – there are no “brown paper envelopes” or attempts to buy favours from others through the use of money (Mt 6:3,4);
3. Need to guard against envy and greed because the devil will always be trying to get them to think the money is really THEIRS instead of God’s.
G. Mobilizing for Ministry - People with this gift are needed in the church for:
1. Community Outreach Ministry Leaders – to go and be a blessing to needy people in our community
2. Special offerings to raise money for Church property and supplies
3. Secret Gift Organizing – making sure people in our church who are struggling financially get an occasional blessing that helps them financially, or substantially
4. Church Treasurer
A. Some people only give until it hurts while others give until it feels good! These kind of Christian people give behind the scenes to those who have special needs and do so with simplicity. They do so in such a way as to remain anonymous most of the time. They simply slip money into the hands of the recipient or designate for them. They are exercising their Gift of Giving.
B. Givers have a dormant drive to give things and money away without fear or regard of your lack, out of a deep sense of appreciation towards God
1. They are Charitable, Generous, Hospitable
2. They are Disciplined, Frugal, Careful, Responsible with their money
3. They are very Resourceful figuring ways of making money to be able to give more
4. They are Loving, Conscientious about the needs of others
5. They are Full of Faith in obedience to a need
C. If you don’t have this gift, you still need to give – it is part of the new man
D. If you do have this gift, or want to find out if you have this Gift, then just start giving above and beyond a few “bob” and see what happens! The fastest way out of debt is giving your way out! The fastest way to joy is giving instead of receiving! Be a blessing with your monies, and your talents, and your time, and you will undoubtedly be blessed!
E. If you find it hard to give anything, it is because of one of three reasons:
1. You do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ who is the greatest Teacher about Giving – get born again
2. You do not have patience to wait on God to bless when you obey His command about tithing and giving
3. Or, you have some sin in your life that is causing you to be selfish and stubborn, and you will miss out on all that God wants to bless you with. Deal with that sin today! Crucify it – no matter how hard it may be, it is not worth living lifeless and powerless!
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork