When you were born physically, you were given physical gifts by God, who designed you with your hearing, your hair color, and your body’s ability to heal, for example.
When you are born again—the moment you become a believer in Jesus—that’s your spiritual birth and God gives you special abilities the Bible calls spiritual gifts.
Spiritual gifts are different than the gift of the Holy Spirit which calls a person to faith for the first time (“No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit,” 1 Corinthians 12:3).
They are different than the fruit of the Spirit produced in believers—Christian character related traits listed as “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control,” Galatians 5:22,23).
Different than natural abilities which God gives to everyone (“skilled workers,” Exodus 31:1-6), and different than general responsibilities assigned to all Christians such serving, giving, witnessing whether that is your spiritual gift or not (“this is love for God: to keep his commands,” 1 John 5:3).
Spiritual gifts may be given to a believer when they first believe, or anytime later as the gifts are needed.
What are spiritual gifts? Special abilities given by the Holy Spirit to all believers, equipping them to serve and strengthen the church (body of Christ).
God the Holy Spirit “distributes them to each one, just as he determines” (1 Corinthians 12:11). You don’t apply for your spiritual gift. You don’t get to choose your gift. You don’t earn your gift. You don’t fill out a form and check the box next to the most appealing gift that you think will get you places or make you feel good.
God decides, just like he wisely, lovingly decided your unique physical design. Well then, what is your gift? Stay tuned in this week and I’ll help you explore.
PRAYER: Dear Holy Spirit, your wisdom, power and love are divine and full of grace. Lead me this week to explore my spiritual gift, and get more excited about how you equip me to serve and bless others. Lead me to those who need me, and those whom I need. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Spend some time in 1 Corinthians 12 this week, studying spiritual gifts. Read some or all of it today, and return to it tomorrow.