God has allowed every single one of us to be His prodigies by giving each of us gifts, but we need to discover and develop them. Gifted athletes and child prodigies practice and apply their gifts. In the same way, we will have to practice. We will have to apply.
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons” (1 Cor. 12:4-6).
There are three types of gifts: effects or manifestations gifts, ministry or office gifts, and grace gifts.
The Greek word energema for energy, effects, or manifestations originally described this variety of gifts. There are nine of these gifts — tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, discernment of spirits, faith, miracles and healing. These are the energies of the Holy Spirit, or manifestation gifts, or effects of the Holy Spirit working through us. When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit He gives us the ability to practice using these gifts.
When Jesus ascended into Heaven, He gave us the Holy Spirit, so we would carry on His ministry. God never intended for His ministry to stop when He ascended into heaven. He wanted His ministry to continue through the body of Christ.
We are all members of the body of Christ. All of us have different gifts, but together we can carry on the ministry of Jesus. God knew we could not do it on our own strength, so He gave us the Holy Spirit.
These manifestation gifts are divided into three categories: gifts of what Jesus would say, gifts of what Jesus would think and gifts of what Jesus would do.
Because Jesus ascended into heaven, He sent us the Holy Spirit to give us all of the gifts that enable us to say what Jesus would say, think what Jesus would think and do what Jesus would do. The Bible says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. It is the Holy Spirit who helps us think, say and do as Jesus would.
As second category is the diakonia gifts; this is where we get the word “deacon.” The people with these gifts include apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastors/teachers.
The apostle plants churches and has authority within these churches. The prophet speaks on God’s behalf to the people who are mainly Christians. The evangelist speaks on God’s behalf mainly to the non-Christians. The pastor/teacher is one who takes the bread of life and begins to break it so people will be equipped, strengthened and nurtured to exercise these gifts and be heaven’s prodigies to a watching world.
The word charis is Greek for “grace,” so these are the gifts of God’s grace. God is saying when we begin to apply the gifts He has given to us, His grace will become evident and we will have joy.
There are seven motivational gifts: prophecy, serving, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading and mercy. These gifts of grace should motivate us to serve one another. Every single one of us has one of these motivational gifts that will be our home base. We will see life and needs through this basic motivation.
Our basic motivational gift determines the way we approach needs and how we will see them. Every single one of us has different “gift glasses” on; we will see things differently.
Understanding One Another
When all of these motivational gifts work together in the church, it is absolutely wonderful. But if we don’t understand each other’s gifts, we can sometimes lock horns. We may compare ourselves.
If we do not understand each other’s gifts, we will have all kinds of battles going on right in God’s house.
Flexing Your Muscles
Each of these gifts is incredibly important. When we use them together, we can work as a family of God and become God’s prodigies. Each of us has a basic motivation and we need to strengthen our giftedness by practicing and applying our gifts. We are not to compare, but just take joy in serving through our gift. Unite comes when we encourage each other to use our gifts and we work together. If we will take what God has given as a basic motivation and begin to apply it on a daily basis, watch and see what God can do.