In all seriousness, everyone does have a talent or a gift. I am not talking about a talent like singing, or juggling or 'cow whispering'. You have a spiritual talent or ability that God has given you. And you say, "Who me"??? And again I say, yes YOU! In fact, God has given these gifts or abilities to all of us, every single one of us. And these gifts are given for a very specific purpose. It is for the body of believers, so we can all work together and function the way He intended. Look at Romans 12: 3-8 Click on those blue highlighted verses and please read through this passage. Or open your Bibles and read through it. I love this passage, in fact the entire chapter of Romans 12! Let's take a closer look.
Don't think too highly of yourself, but think as to have sound judgement, for God has given to all a measure of faith. Romans 12:3
Have you ever received the gift of "Friendship bread", from someone. You know the kind that you wait so many days, then add things to it, so that it produces a loaf of bread? And you keep adding to the starter...F-O-R-E-V-E-R? It got a bit overwhelming for me, so my starter has been sitting in the freezer for quite sometime! Anywhooo...this verse reminds me of that. Did you notice it? We shouldn't be thinking "we are all that", because we have ALL been given or allotted a measure of faith. I liken it to a little bit of yeast that is activated with warm water and sugar, like in that starter bread. We all have a starter to our faith. But if we do nothing with that faith...i.e. don't use it, or put it to work for HIM, or add more sugar and water (food from the word and edification from each other), then that faith kind of fizzles out and doesn't produce much...certainly no fruits of the spirit in our life. So do something with your starter...don't put it in the freezer.
We are one yet many, the same yet different
We have many members in one body, and all do not have the same function, so we are many, yet individually members of each other. Romans 12: 4-5
Here is revealed the purpose of the gifts. We NEED each other. We are supposed to be different, and use those differences to help the body of believers grow and function the way it should. That means EVERYONE has a part. Not just the preacher, teacher, or elders! Everyone...and yes that means you ...and me have an important role in our congregation.
The Grace gifts
We have gifts that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them accordingly...
if prophecy according to the proportion of his faith, if service, in his service, he who teaches, in his teaching, or he who exhorts, in his exhortation, he who gives with liberality, he who leads with diligence, he who shows mercy with cheerfulness. Romans 12: 6-8
We have all been given grace, the saving grace from our Lord. But it doesn't stop there...we are also given gifts of Grace; talents or abilities, that we need to use for the benefit of His kingdom. Every single one of us! Yes you....and me. The hard part is often figuring out which gift, or talent God has given you. And yes, you might have more than one.
So, let's look at each gift mentioned.
Prophesy: Oh boy...I can hear you saying "whoa there...back up the bus... are you saying we can have the gift of telling the future, or hearing from God directly and revealing that to others???? You are crazy lady"! Point well taken...and NO, we are NOT talking about foretelling the future or divine revelation. That has ceased as I Corinthians 13 tells us. However, the word prophet was used three different ways in the Bible. One was a teller of the future, another was as one who gets divine revelation from God, and the third was a spokesman to speak the already revealed word of God. Exodus 7: 1-2 clearly shows this last meaning of the word prophet.
Then the Lord said to Moses, "See, I make you as God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. And you shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall speak to Pharaoh that he let the sons of Israel to out of his land."
God revealed His word directly to Moses. Moses was a prophet of God. God revealed His words and what Moses was to say, but it was then Aaron who spoke those words to Pharaoh. So Aaron was speaking the already revealed word of God. In that sense, the grace gift of prophecy is simply to speak to others the already revealed word of God. And notice that this gift is to be used in proportion to ones' faith. You can only speak what you know, and as you grow in faith you know more, and therefore can speak more.
Service: to look to aid others to serve others in anyway needed. This person doesn't need to be told, they are able to sense the need and serve, willingly, happily.
Teaching: the desire and ability to impart the truth of God's word in a teacher/student type setting. This may be childrens' classes, small or large ladies group settings, on a small one on one type of Bible study. The key is desire...you like to study and you like to be in front of others teaching them.
Exhortation: the boldness and patience needed to instruct when another is not quite grounded in the truth of God's word. The ability to ask the hard questions that spur growth and self examination in another. Another aspect of exhortation is that this person is one who easily encourages or edifies others, and sees when one is doing well and tells them.
Giving: of self, time, energy, and resources to the well being of another. One who does this also looks for ways to give of themselves for the benefit of helping the struggles of another. This is done selflessly, willingly, and without any fanfare.
Leading: the strength and wisdom needed to look out for and guide others. It is done humbly, depending of God, not self. It is done with much effort and diligence...a 'stay the course', -keep working at it- attitude. This person is well grounded in the word of God, and shows evidence of the word working in their life. They are not afraid to be in the lead, to take charge, but the motivation is love; love of God, and their brethren.
Being merciful: one who always sees the best in others. One who is compassionate, and easily expresses it. One who easily forgives, and is slow to judge. This person is a graceful person, who shows their joy in the Lord. This person is of good cheer, and usually others feel their love and acceptance of them.
These gifts differ according to the grace given us (verse 6), but we all have them. Which means YOU, yes you, have at least one of these grace gifts. These are all still very much needed for the proper working of a body of believers today. Can you imagine a church without these attributes? It wouldn't be a very inviting place would it? It probably also would not be very healthy. Everyone is needed to do their part or your congregation will suffer. Too many show up occasionally to worship God, giving little thought to what they can offer to the group. They see others as doing it all, or having all the abilities needed for the congregation. That is a lie Satan has us believe. You will never grow, and your brethren will suffer if you have that attitude. YOU do have a talent, a gift from God that He wants you to use for His glory. What is your talent? I pray you find it, and start exercising that gift in service to your brethren. They need you .
Author's note: For a deeper examination of Romans 12 click on the Bible studies page and scroll down to the Romans 12 powerpoint.