Today we continue our look at Spiritual Gifts found in Romans 12: 4-8. These gifts have variously been called Grace Gifts, Motivational Gifts or Foundation Gifts.
Romans 12: 4-8
For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. NKJV
God has given each believer one or more of these gifts. Many believers exhibit more than one gift, but almost always one is dominant. Each gift affects the way that a person views all ministries. Because we all view ministry through our gifting, we find that some gifted saints can offend differently gifted folks if they do not take time to understand each other’s giftings.
Therefore, I am not going to teach these gifts in the order given, but will compare the gifts that tend to offend each other.
In our last Tips and Tools, we learned about:
Gift of Prophecy compared to the Gift of Mercy:
Gift of Ministry (Serving) compared to the Gift of Leadership (Administration)
Today we will look at the gifts of Teaching compared to Exhortation; and finish with the gift of Giving.
Gift of Teaching: The Teaching gifted derives great joy from studying the Word and doing Biblical research.
Characteristics of the Teaching Motivated:
- They want everyone else to be excited by the Scriptures
- They enjoy studying the word as much or more than presenting their findings to others.
- They prefer to use Biblical examples and rarely use personal experiences.
- They are watchful that others who teach the Word do not deviate from the truth.
- They present truth systematically.
- They use Biblical foundations to test new truths. They know that the Bible is not self-contradictory; it always flows together, and if a new teaching contradicts foundational biblical truth, it is false teaching and should be ignored
Guidelines for teaching motivated people:
- Be careful to present material in an interesting fashion.
- Make sure the lessons have practical applications.
- Teach with humility and compassion: because teachers love to spend time in the Word, they often become very knowledgeable about it. This may lead to a prideful attitude.
Gift of Exhortation very strongly life-related; drawing upon the practical applications of life experiences to produce abundant living in others.
Characteristic of the Exhortation Motivated:
- They like to give others “Steps of Activity” to follow to bring them out of their misery, trials and tribulations.
- They like for teaching from God’s Word to be applicable to everyday living.
- They give practical applications.
- They want you to relate to the subject matter and incorporate it into your daily life.
- They are very perceptive to others’ reactions.
- They like to relate personal examples to Biblical truths.
- They love to counsel others and give others new insights into the Word so they can practice it and see changes in their lives.
Guidelines for exhortation motivated people:
- Be sensitive to the Lord’s Exhorters may tend to emphasize their action steps more than stressing depending on the Lord who gives the steps.
- Have faith in God. If the people to whom exhorters minister do not follow their advice, the exhorters may feel that they have failed God.
- Be careful not to take Scripture out of context. Sometimes exhorters want so badly to prove their points that they may twist Scripture to fit the example they are giving.
Teachers are very protective of God’s word. They will be the first ones to point out to a preacher if he misquotes a Scripture or takes a Scripture out of context. So if an exhorter takes a scripture out of context, it can bother and upset a teacher. One of my gifts is exhortation so I will give a personal example of how an exhorter can offend a teacher. Recently I was preparing one of my teachings and was tired and could not get the word for the point I was trying to make, so I got sloppy and just threw in a word. Now Judy Covington (the teacher) reviews all my teachings. When she saw what I wrote she immediately challenged me saying that’s not what the Scripture says and suggested another word. And of course she was right. Teachers will protect the word of God; exhorters must not take the Word of God out of context.
Gift of Giving: Means to share spiritual gifts, finances, oneself and the gospel.
Characteristics of the Giving motivated:
- They not only offer their money, but also their time and themselves to the Lord’s work.
- They feel they are part of any ministry into which they give. They may not be involved with the day-to day activities of all the ministries to which they give, but they feel they are knit together spiritually with those ministries
- They are very burdened that the church or ministry’ financial needs are met.
- They do not like to be pressured into giving. They are often offended when they receive an appeal letter from ministers or ministries.
- They give high quality gifts, often giving the best and keeping lesser quality items for themselves.
Guideline for giving motivated people:
- Remember that God is your source and do not use your gifts for manipulation.
- Remember that others may need encouragement to give.
- Maintain balance in your giving. Do not go to extremes – do not neglect your family’s needs.
- Be careful not to help someone who God is trying to discipline in the area of finances. Pray before you give to individuals or organizations to make sure God want you to do so. Do not give because it makes your flesh feel good; make sure it is where God wants to sow His resources through you.
I pray that these teachings will give you some food for thought as you “cultivate your giftings in the Spirit”. This is the theme for this year’s annual conference. We will be teaching and discussing more about cultivating your giftings at the annual conference. On Friday afternoon, we have scheduled a time for small groups so you can give your wisdom on this important subject.
I look forward to seeing you at the Annual Conference which is September 23-25 in Lancaster, South Carolina. Please go to our website www.tmciworld.com for more information.
Bishop Bob Coulter
Recommended book: Know Your Ministry by Marilyn Hickey