Gifts of the Spirit: Giving, Mercy and Marriage

Today, we wrap up our series on the gifts of the spirit.  Be sure to join me next week as we start a new series on the fruits of the spirit.

Today, we will be discussing giving and mercy, fortitude and exhortation and marriage and celibacy.

At the end of this article, I am providing several links for you to take quizzes to determine your own gifts of the spirit.  I pray that these articles have helped you to discover your strengths and gifts and provide more information on these gifts.

I would love for you to drop me a line and share with me how you use your gifts of the Spirit to serve our Savior and Lord.

Giving—Romans 12:8 says “he who contributes, let him do it in simplicity and liberality”

Giving means stepping out in faith and trusting God, even when what He ask does not make sense to us

{Amplified Version}.  The ASV says “or he that exhorteth, to his exhorting: he that giveth, let him do it with liberality.”  The Message says “if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond.”

Our study says, “Those with this gift share their own possessions with others with extraordinary generosity. While all Christians should be givers, those possessing this gift will go beyond this normal giving.”  The People’s New Testament says, “A duty of all, which must be discharged without ostentation.”

There are many ways to give.  Whether we tithe our income {Mark 12:41-44}, our time, giving in secret {Matthew 6:1-4}, or assist others that are in need.  Giving of just our money is not the only way to give.  There are plenty of opportunities to serve in both the church and community.  Many organizations {including nursing homes} are looking for volunteers.

Mercy— Romans 12:8 says “he who does acts of mercy, with genuine cheerfulness and joyful eagerness.”  The ASV says to show mercy with “cheerfulness”.  The Message describes showing mercy this way, “if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.”

Dictionary.com describes mercy as, “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.”   Our guide says, “Possibly identical to the gift of helps, the mercy-shower possesses a ministry of visitation, prayer, and compassion to the poor and sick.”  Our People’s New Testament says, “Whenever called upon to show compassion.”

Mercy is helping the sick and those in need, as well as showing forgiveness to those we need to forgive.  Mercy is helping those that cannot help themselves.

Exhortation— Romans 12:8 says “He who exhorts (encourages), to his exhortation.”

Dictionary.com describes exhorts as “strongly encourage or urge (someone) to do

Are you an encourager?

something.”  Our guide says, “The ability to motivate Christians “to patient endurance, brotherly love, and good works””   Our New Testament study says, “He whose peculiar strength was to encourage feeble saints, and to stir up Christians to duty.”

There are so many in our friendships and family that need to be encouraged and occasionally even pushed at times.   So many that need to see God’s love shine through us and our lives.

Fortitude—Isaiah 11:2 says, “the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD.”

“With the gift of fortitude/courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risks as a

Do you encourage one another?

follower of Jesus Christ. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or physical harm. The gift of courage allows people the firmness of mind that is required both in doing good and in enduring evil. It is the perfection of the cardinal virtue of the same name.”

Having courage is not easy. Those that are listed in the Hall of Faith and Heroes of Faith are considered to have fortitude in their faith.  Often, we are not sure if we even have this courage until we are put to the test.

Finally, the last two forms of spiritual gifts comes from 1 Corinthians 7:7.

“Sometimes I wish everyone were single like me—a simpler life in many ways! But celibacy is not for everyone any more than marriage is. God gives the gift of the single life to some, the gift of the married life to others.”   1 Corinthians 7:7

Celibacy—is defined as “abstaining from marriage and sexual relations”.  There are some that are suited for single life and enjoy being single.   For the Christian, this is a time to

The apostle Paul discussed his decision to remain single in his writings

draw even closer to Christ.

Our Barnes Notes on the New Testament says, “But he would be glad if all men had control over their passions and propensities as he had; had the gift of continence, and could abstain from marriage when circumstances of trial, etc., would make it proper.”

Then there are those that are single, but not always by choice.   Either they have not met the right person to share their life with, they have made bad choices and chosen poorly {that’s my case}, there marriage did not last for a variety of reasons {often this goes along with poor choices, but the strains of a tragedy and other situations can also break up a relationship} or they have lost their partner to death or tragedy, but deep down this individual would love to be married.  It’s just not happened yet.

Marriage—is having a life partner and mate to spend your life with and enjoy the benefits of a sexual relationship that provides intimacy with one another and with God.

I love to visit with couples that have been married for 40, 50, 60, and 70+ years.  Working

marriage was instituted by God, as a man and woman coming together for life, God designed marriage to be beautiful

in a nursing facility, I often encounter these.  I love to hear the stories of the hardships they’ve overcome and the good times they’ve shared.  I see some marriages that have grown closer and exhibit love with the passage of time and others that show the strains and distances that have developed with the passage of time.  I often want to ask what happened for one outcome over the other, although I’ve never had that gumption.

Whether you are married or single, this is a time to draw closer to God and share your heart with Him.   He can take a bad situation, a broken heart, a tragedy, and turn it around for his honor and glory.

 

 

What is your talent?

As we wrap up our study on spiritual gifts, Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament says “Every man has his own peculiar talent, or excellence. One man excels in one thing, and another in another. One may not have this particular virtue, but he may be distinguished for another virtue quite as valuable. The doctrine here is, therefore, that we are not to judge of others by ourselves, or measure their virtue by ours. We may excel in some one thing, they in another. And because they have not our peculiar virtue, or capability, we are not to condemn or denounce them.”

We all have our own spiritual gifts.  We may wish at times we had different ones, but we don’t.  the intention of this study is to learn more about the spiritual gifts and what our gifts are.

What are your spiritual gifts?

Once we know our gifts, we can seek God’s will on how to use them for his honor and glory.
In close, would you like to discover your spiritual gifts?

Here are several websites that allow you to take a test.   Some have a short amount of questions, but most websites average about 125 questions.  Please note that various websites focus on a variety of gifts.  To get the most accurate accounting, take 2-3 test and find the top 3 gifts you consistently rate the highest on.

http://buildingchurch.net/g2s-i.htm

https://www.lifeway.com/lwc/files/lwcf_pdf_discover_your_spiritual_gifts.pdf

http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/spiritual-gifts-online-assessment

https://spiritualgiftstest.com/spiritual-gifts-test-adult-version/

https://gifts.churchgrowth.org/cgi-cg/gifts.cgi?intro=1

 

What are your spiritual gifts?

 

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Pictures from Pixabay.com and FreeBibleImages.org

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