The spiritual gifts are often seen as, well, spiritual.
I think they are not just spiritual.
They are relational.
Because Chris is a relational God. God established a saving relationship with you.
He desires the building of the church in the form of better, stronger, redeeming and discipling relationships.
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The gifts are not just supernatural capabilities from the ether.
Imagine if we read Ephesians this way: the gifts are the people in our lives. These people in our lives build the church as Christ envisioned.
So how can we break this down?
There's a secular saying which is very powerful and convicting: "You are the sum of the five closest people."
It's not scriptural, but there is some truth to it, so let me ask you.
Do you have someone who is an Apostle in your life?
Do you have someone who tugs at you about the world at large, their needs, their pains?
Do you have someone who pulls you into the adventure of Christ's mission, whether into the inner-city, to some faraway place, to a fundraiser to end human trafficking?
Do you have someone who pushes you to enter the challenging parts of your own life by asking hard questions around your family, reconciliation, growing in character?
Do you have someone who challenge you to try something new and different that will spark a new arc in your life?
Well...you need someone like that. You need an Apostle.
Do you have someone who is a Prophet in your life?
This person reminds you of God's truth, both his righteousness and his grace.
He points out, sometimes uncomfortably, the choices we need to make in our lives for God versus for the world.
He looks at Scripture and God's word and finds truthful words of encouragement while being able to strengthen you.
He's the tough love guy who says you might be wandering and gives you some clear guidance that convicts you.
Well...you need someone like that. You need a Prophet.
Do you have someone who is an Evangelist in your life?
This person invites and loves the hope and joy of the Gospel.
This person can tell you the ways God has been good news in her life and its infectious.
She's a great story teller. She's great a bridging the lost to their Savior.
They give you hope when you are down because their eyes are on the prize.
Well...you need someone like that. You need an Evangelist.
Do you have someone who is a Teacher in your life?
This person can connect the dots. Make the application of God's word fresh and alive in daily life.
They can be wise. They can be well-read.
They can also meet you where you are and can listen great. They answer questions.
They excite you about learning more about God.
They can coach you or help you look with wisdom at problems.
Do you have someone like that? Someone who is a Teacher?
Do you have someone who is a Shepherd in your life?
This person loves to give "warm hugs."
They guide you and comfort you. They are literally the shoulder you cry on.
You can recount your hurts and your shame and feel cared for.
Well...you need someone like that. You need a Shepherd.
It is hard to have all five people in our life.
Thank God Jesus is all five and we can pray to him and get to know him better.
But why not start to open your eyes and find those five people in your life today.
Questions for you:
- Do you have these five people in your life now?
- What would that mean for your life if you did?
- What are missing by not having them?
- How would you find them?