I must not conceal the gift of God, which He so freely bestowed on me...
- Patrick, Confession, Irish, 5th century
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all…
- 1 Corinthians 12.7
Every believer in Jesus Christ has received gifts from Him, through His Word and Spirit, by which He intends us to serve others for the building-up of the church and the progress of the Kingdom (1 Cor. 12.7-11; Eph. 4.11-16).
Probably most readers will affirm this: Spiritual gifts – right, got it.
But how diligent are we in stirring up those gifts, desiring, discovering, and developing them, honing and fine-tuning them, and putting them to work in showing the grace and truth of God to those around us?
It’s a maxim in any church that 20% of the people do 80% of the work, while 80% of the people simply wait to be served. If we all have gifts intended to be used for the profit of all, then why aren’t more of us exercising those gifts in service to others?
Pastors and church leaders exert a good deal of energy trying to come up with just the right mix of programs and activities that will engage every member of the church and make it possible for each person to find some place of growth and fellowship, and perhaps even service.
They haven’t succeeded yet, and they never will, not if all they do is repeat the same failing formula for building the church they’ve been pursuing for nearly two generations now. Programs don’t build the church. People in ministry – that’s what the Lord uses (Eph. 4.11-16).
And people take up the work of ministry when, through diligent equipping by faithful shepherds, they learn Jesus and take up the gifts He gives them (Eph. 4.17-24; 1 Pet. 4.10, 11).
Concealing the gifts God has given us not only deprives others of the grace He would show through us, it prevents us from knowing the power and joy of God, present in and through us, as we reach out to others in His Name.
Discovering and using spiritual gifts is a hallmark of our citizenship in the Kingdom of God.
If Patrick had concealed the gift of God – waiting around for someone to do something to make him feel good about being a believer – there never would have been a Celtic Revival. But he didn’t conceal his gifts. Instead, he worked diligently to develop them, and courageously and sacrificially put them to work. The rest, as they say, is history.
Don’t conceal the gifts God has given you by His Spirit; desire them and discover them, then use them for His glory.
This is how we grow in Christlikeness. It’s how we make disciples and build the Church. And it’s how the Kingdom of God makes progress on earth as it is in heaven.
You and your gifts matter. Don’t conceal them.
1. What spiritual gifts has God given you? How are you using them?
2. How can you encourage other believers to identify and put to use their particular spiritual gifts?
Psalm 51.15, 18, 19 (He Leadeth Me)
Now build Your Church, raise high the wall
of those who on Your mercy call.
And take our lives and let them be
sweet sacrifices, Lord, to Thee!
Lord, open now our lips to raise
to You sweet songs of joyous praise!
Thus let Your favor on us fall,
and build and strengthen Zion’s wall!
Today, Lord, I will put my gifts to work as I…
The Gift of Encouragement
All believers have spiritual gifts. The gift of encouragement comes to all believers, to some extent. Learn about encouragement – what it is, how it works, and how to encourage others – by downloading our new ReVivsion series on “Encouragement.” We’re two installments into the series already, and you can download both of those installments by clicking here.
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T. M. Moore
All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Da Paor, p. 102.