Eternal Perspective that Leads to Abundant Service

Bible Book: Ephesians  2 : 10
Subject: Eternity; Service, Faithful; Christian Living; Life, View of
Introduction

Spiritual gifts are the expression of God’s grace working within each believer. They are gifts given by the Holy Spirit in order to carry out the work of the ministry. We employ spiritual gifts to benefit one another.

1 Peter 4:10 - “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

These are the gifts God has built into us, made part of us, to be used for the benefit of others and for His glory. They are called motivational because they are the motivating force of our lives. They are the gifts that shape our personalities. Since God has created us with a free will, we can choose to use our gifts appropriately, or we can choose to neglect them, or even abuse them. We must learn what they are and how they function.

IDENTIFICATION: SEVEN MOTIVATIONAL GIFTS:

1. Giving: One who loves to give time, talent,

energy, and means to benefit others and advance

the gospel. A contributor; entrusts assets,

maximizes results.

2. Servant: One who loves to serve others; a doer;

meet needs, frees others.

3. Exhortation: One who loves to encourage

others to live a victorious life. These are the

extremely positive people; stimulates faith and

promotes growth.

4. Teacher: One who loves to research and

communicate truth. Researcher, clarifies truth,

validates information.

5. Ruling: Administrator; one who loves to

organize, lead, or direct. A facilitator or leader.

Plans ahead and completes task.

6. Prophet: One who clearly perceives the will of God. Proclaims truth and exposes sin. Very discerning!

7. Mercy: Compassionate person; one who shows compassion, love, and care to those in need.Removes distress and shares burdens.

REASONS WHY YOU DON’T KNOW YOUR MOTIVATIONAL GIFT:

1. You were never taught about it.

2. You have never been saved.

While every person is gifted by God, whether he is a Christian or not, the receiving of Christ releases the motivational gifts in far greater measure and opens up the way for the gifts to be used, energized by the Spirit of God.

3. You have had confused teaching on the gifts.

4. You are not involved in service.

HOW CAN WE DISCOVER OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS:

1. Break Sin’s Power

– Sin will hinder us from discovering.

– Repent and surrender to Jesus.

2. Concentrate On Others

–The purpose of our spiritual gifts is to give God’s love and service to others. This forces the Holy Spirit to work through our spiritual gift to meet those needs.

– Quench not the Holy Spirit.

– Grieve not the Holy Spirit

3. Discern Your Motives

– Ask yourself why you really want to help others, you can narrow your choices in identifying your spiritual gift.

4. Walk In The Spirit

– Spirit-controlled vs. Self-controlled.

– Obedience to the Word, look at your life, and repent of anything God shows you is wrong.

5. Examine Your Irritations

– Irritations with others for not being sensitive to needs that you sense.

6. Humble Your Heart

– Romans 12:3

“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”

– “God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission.” J. H. Newman

1 Corinthians 12:7 - “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.”

– A spiritual gift is divine enablement for ministry/service to the church, Christ’s body. – Gifts are discerned in service, therefore, we do not gain the answer by introspection.

Some candidates for the gospel ministry move through an academic program of preparation and present themselves for a pastoral call with little or no record of service other than academic achievement. In contrast, most Third world pastors seek preparation after their gifts for ministry have been shown in years of service.

Great Truth: God has equipped each one to perform certain tasks. Since each member of the body of Christ has been divinely empowered for service, we have a corresponding responsibility to use the gift properly. If we fail to do our part, the Body of Christ suffers and someone else must pick up our slack.

1 Corinthians 12:14-25 - “For in fact the body is not one member but many.

If the foot should say, "’Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,’" is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, "’Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,’" is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, "’I have no need of you’"; nor again the head to the feet, "’I have no need of you.’" No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.”

The Misuse of the Gift of Giving:

1. Giving too sparingly to their own family.

Givers are very aware of the potential of money to corrupt people. They understand the need for those in their own family to work for money and to appreciate its value. In attempting to achieve these balances, givers may be too frugal with their own families.

2. Controlling people or ministries by giving too much.

3. Corrupting people by giving too much.

Gift of Serving

Romans 12:7, “or ministry, let us use it in our ministering.”

One who loves to serve others; a doer, meets needs, free others.

1. An ability to see practical needs and a desire to meet them.

A server can spot a need a mile away.

TIMOTHY

Philippians 2:20 - “For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state.”

2. A joy in serving when it frees others to do more important things, not just to keep busy.

3. A tendency to disregard personal health and comfort in serving others.

4. More interested in meeting the needs of others than own needs.

5. Enjoys showing hospitality.

6. A tendency to feel inadequate and unqualified for spiritual leadership.

7. An enjoyment of short range projects and a tendency to become frustrated with long range responsibilities.

8. A strong desire to be with others, thus providing more serving opportunities.

The Misuse Of The Gift Of Serving:

1. Neglecting home responsibilities to help others.

Inability to say no to others, and the need for sincere gratefulness from those whom they help which they may not get at home.

2. Accepting too many jobs at one time.

3. Wearing themselves out physically.

4. Being too persistent in giving unrequested help to others.

5. Excluding others from helping on a job.

6. Becoming hurt by the ungratefulness of those who were helped.

Servers do not usually desire public recognition. However, they deeply desire sincere appreciation from the ones whom they serve.

THE GIFT OF EXHORTATION

Romans 12:8, “he who exhorts, in exhortation.”

Characteristics Of The Gift Of Exhortation

1. A motivation to urge people to their full spiritual maturity in Christ.

Paul’s goal was to “present every man mature in Jesus Christ.” (Col. 1:28)

2. An ability to discern where a person is in spiritual growth and to speak on that level.

3. A desire to give precise steps of action in urging people toward spiritual maturity.

4. A drive to explain truth with logical reasoning in order to gain acceptance for it.

5. An ability to visualize spiritual achievement for people and to use this to motivate them to action.

6. An ability to identify with people of different types and backgrounds in order to gain a wider hearing.

7. A motivation to bring harmony between diverse groups of Christians, and an awareness that harmony is basic to spiritual maturity.

8. An ability to welcome personal tribulations as a chief motivator of spiritual growth.

Misuse Of Gift Of Exhortation: –Raising The Expectations of Others Prematurely

Exhorters can visualize long-range projects and goals for people. These are often explained without reference to the amount of time that will be required to work them out. The people involved are led to assume that these projects and goals will be reached much sooner than they can be.

–Taking “Family Time” to Counsel Others

The delight of exhorters is helping people with problems. Exhorters are willing to give whatever time is required to achieve results. All too often, this time cuts into family responsibilities. Exhorter assumes that their families will understand-until they learn differently.

–Treating Family and Friends as “Projects” Rather Than As Persons.

Because exhorters put confidence in steps of action which have proven effective, they are usually ready to share these steps to others, including family and friends. Rather than making them feel like special people, the exhorter may give the impression that friends and family are just more “counseling projects.”

–Sharing Private Illustrations Without Permission.

The importance and effectiveness of personal illustrations is well known to exhorters. Illustrations explain how to apply steps of action and also how to motivate the listener to take them. Exhorters tend to use recent illustrations which are either premature or used without permission.

–Jumping Into New Projects Without Finishing Existing Ones.

Projects are often used by exhorters to reach ultimate goals. Exhorters tend to motivate others to get involved in a project and then they abandon it for a “better” project. This often disillusions those who were involved in the first project.

–Encouraging Others to Depend On Them Rather Than On God and Their Authorities.

People who receive help by following counsel that is given by exhorters tend to rely on those who give it. Exhorters tend to encourage this because of their joy in being around those who are growing spiritually.

–Trusting Visible Results Rather Than A True Change Of Heart.

Exhorters tend to communicate acceptance and approval when those they are trying to help respond to the steps of action which are given. This can encourage outward conformity without an actual change of heart within.

Neglecting Proper Emphasis On Basic Bible Doctrines.

Any teaching which neglects practical application tends to be minimized by exhorters. Because doctrinal teaching has been wrongly separated from its moral applications, exhorters have neglected it in favor of “life-related” teachings.

–Giving Counsel Before Discerning The Type Of Person Or Problem.

Exhorters tend to categorize the problem in their mind before hearing all the important facts. This results in the shame of answering a matter before fully hearing it. Exhorters also tend to have more confidence in their own counsel than in God’s warnings on whom not to counsel.

Giver-Motivation: To give to a tangible need.

Servant- Motivation: To fulfill a need.

Exhorter-Motivation: To connect the future; give a

solution.

THE GIFT OF TEACHING

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF TEACHING (Luke)

l. The need to validate truth; to certify statements which have been made by others.

Luke's purpose in writing was "that thou mightiest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed" (Luke l:4)

2. The tendency to validate new truth by established systems of truth.

Luke not only relates Christ's words to Old Testament prophecies, but relates his writings to other Gospel accounts. (Luke l:l-3)

3. The prompting to give teaching credentials before speaking and to get them from others before listening.

 

Luke emphasized that his sources were eye-witnesses, qualified ministers, and that he himself "... had perfect understanding of all things from the very first..." (Luke l:2-3)

4. The desire to present truth in a systematic sequence.

Luke emphasized his chronological approach. "... To write unto thee in order..." (Luke l:3)

5. A delight in researching and reporting as many facts on a subject as possible.

Luke's Gospel is the longest Gospel. It includes material left out of other Gospels. He emphasizes the completeness of his work. (Acts l:l)

6. An emphasis on the importance and accuracy of reporting.

Luke gives precise descriptions of events, conversations, circumstances, and physical conditions, such as noting a "great fever" not just a fever. (Luke 4:38)

7. An alertness to factual details which are not noticed or mentioned by others.

Luke's account is filled with more details of names, offices, cities, dates, events, and sidelights than the other Gospels. (Gospel of Luke)

8. A tendency to remain silent until information has been heard, observed, and discussed.

Luke's silence is conspicuous in his Gospel; none of his personal statements are recorded. (Gospel of Luke)

 

9. A need to exercise diligence and endurance. Luke demonstrated his faithful determination by remaining with Paul in prison. "Only Luke is with me..." (II Timothy 4:l0-ll)

THE MISUSE OF THIS GIFT

l.Becoming Proud of Their Knowledge

It would be easy for teachers to develop an attitude of pride as a result of all their learning. "Knowledge puffeth up, but charity (love) edifieth." (I Cor. 8:l)

2.Despising The Practical Wisdom of Uneducated People.

A teacher may tend to discount any learning which does not take place in the classroom.

“And the Jews marveled, saying How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?" (John 7:l5)

3. Communicating Skepticism Toward Their Teachers

The attitude of a teacher can easily be, "It isn't right until I check it out and say it is right." A teacher may communicate the impression that he or she is the only source of truth.

4. Criticizing Sound Teaching Because of Technical Flaws

It is difficult for a teacher to endorse the teaching of others if he is able to spot little factual errors. Teachers may, in this case, give a general criticism of the entire teaching.

5. Depending On Human Wisdom Rather Than On The Holy Spirit's Teaching

The primary tool of teachers is their mind, yet God warns that we are not to lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5) because our thoughts are not His thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8), and because there is a way which seems right to a man's mind, but it leads to death (Proverbs l4:l2).

Actually, the wisdom of man is foolishness with God. (l Cor. l:20). Morality is essential for spiritual understanding. (II Thessalonians 2:l0-

l2). True understanding is essentially a spiritual matter -not a mental matter. God's truth is "... spiritually discerned" (I Cor. 2:l4)

6. Giving Information Which Lacks Practical

Application

The purpose of all teaching must be to exalt Christ and to promote conformity to his image.(Romans 8:29) Teachers tend to avoid wider applications beyond the actual wording of the text. This limits the use of Scripture as a daily lamp to our feet and light to our path.

7. Boring Listeners With Details of Research

The great delight of teachers is their research. What they enjoy, they assume others will enjoy. Teachers may give extensive background details

to validate a point or to display their research ability and knowledge. In most cases, however, it is not as important to the listeners as it is to them. Sometimes it wearies the listeners to the point where they miss the purpose of the teaching.

8. Retreating Into Their Own World of Books

Teachers not only enjoy research, but they see it as the basis of their effectiveness as a teacher. They assume that the more knowledgeable they are in their field, the more prepared they are to evaluate new ideas and to refute error. Research is very consuming of time and concentration. This may cause them to shut themselves up in their own world and to close out those who are around them.

THE GIFT OF RULING THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GIFT OF RULING

1. An ability to visualize the final result of a major undertaking.

Nehemiah visualized the goal of removing the “great affliction and reproach” of God’s people by rebuilding the walls.Nehemiah 1:2-3, 2:5

2. An ability to break down major goals into smaller, achievable tasks.

Nehemiah accomplished the huge task of rebuilding the walls by having many groups working on small sections. Nehemiah 3:1-32

3. An ability to know what resources are available and needed to reach a goal.

 

Nehemiah requested from the king resources needed to rebuild the walls: a certain time, letters of introduction, and timber. Nehemiah 2:6-8.

4. A tendency to remove himself from distracting details in order to focus on the ultimate goal.

Nehemiah did not get involved in the building itself but removed obstacles which would hinder the workers, such as removing financial pressures. Nehemiah 5:1-13

5. A willingness to endure reaction from insiders and outsiders in order to reach an ultimate goal.

Nehemiah had opposition from within and without in his efforts to rebuild the walls. Nehemiah 4:8-18

6. A need for loyalty and confidence from those who are being directed and served.

Nehemiah brought a great assembly of people against the nobles and rulers who discouraged the people. He required oaths of cooperation from them. Nehemiah 5:1-13

7. An ability to know what he should and should not delegate to others.

 

Nehemiah delegated the work on the walls, but he retained the responsibility of dealing with the enemies and guarding the walls. Nehemiah 4:13

8. An ability to inspire and encourage workers by cheerfulness, approval, praise and challenge.

Nehemiah had a cheerful spirit. Nehemiah 2:1. He was skillful in challenging and encouraging his workers. Nehemiah 4:14

9. A joy and fulfillment in seeing all the parts come together in a finished product.

 

Nehemiah expressed his joy in the completed tasks by appointing singers and uniting the people in a revival and celebration

Nehemiah 7:1-2, 8:1-18.

THE MISUSE OF THE GIFT OF RULING

1. Viewing People as “Human Resources” Rather Than As Human Beings.

Rulers need to know that people and materials are available to them in order to accomplish a task. It is easy for them to overlook the individual needs of the workers and simply view them as “resources” for the job.

2. Using People To Accomplish Personal Ambitions

When rulers have people, money, and materials at their disposal to accomplish group “goals,” it is all too easy to divert these resources to  accomplish personal goals or ambitions.

3. Showing Favoritism To Those Who Appear To Be More Loyal

The single most important quality to rulers is loyalty. They need to know whom they can count on to get jobs done. They want to know where they  stand with each person who works for them. At the same time, rulers must be fair and impartial. Rewarding loyalty without favoritism is a special challenge for rulers.

4. Taking Charge of Projects Which Were Not God’s Direction

Ordinarily, rulers will stay on the “side-lines” until they are asked to be in charge of a project. There is a reason for this-they need to have the full support of those who appoint them. It is difficult, however, for rulers to stand by and watch mismanagement and inefficiency, and they can take charge prematurely.

5. Delegating Too Much Work To Others

The chief talent of rulers is knowing how to delegate jobs to others. This leaves rulers free to focus on the overall projects and to see how all the parts are fitting together. However, if rulers delegate too much work to others and are not sensitive to their personal needs and schedules, then the workers will become resentful and feel like they are doing all the work.

6. Overlooking Serious Character Faults In Valuable Workers.

The primary objective of rulers is to coordinate everyone’s effort in order to see a project completed. In the process, they may be willing to overlook  major character faults in the lives of those who are useful in reaching their goals.

 

7. Being Unresponsive To Suggestions And Appeals

Rulers have the ability to withstand much reaction in order to get a job done. However, they can carry this too far and become closed to valid  suggestions and complaints of those who are working with them.

8. Failing To Give Proper Explanations And Praise To Workers

Workers want to feel like they are a part of the overall project by learning how their jobs fit into the final goal and by receiving proper praise and  encouragement as the work is being done.