30 Dec 2018

Unpacking Your Spiritual Gift [Romans 12:6-8]


Spiritual gifts are Spirit-given abilities that enable each Christian to serve in the body of Christ with ease, effectiveness and excitement. It is therefore wise for the Christian to discover and deploy his spiritual gifts to serve God. In fact, the question "what is God's will for me in ministry? " can not be answered without due consideration of how God has gifted you. Do you have questions on what your spiritual gifts are and how you are to use them? Find out more in this sermon and may you have an exciting and fruitful year ahead for the Kingdom of God!


Sermon Transcript

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And I was thinking about 2019 and how some of you in fact I think many of you will be thinking, how can I serve God better, how can be, can I be a better blessing.

I'm also think about Christmas where after Christmas people celebrate Boxing Day, you know Boxing Day like in UK and in US they celebrate this thing called Boxing Day, that's they day money puak keow oh no, that's, that's not Boxing Day alright, Boxing Day is traditionally said to be the day they received their boxes of presents from the postal services.

I mean nobody works on Christmas day so the day after, the postman brings the gifts to your house you, you open, you receive your gifts, you open your gifts, that's Boxing Day and I thought actually for many of us, we have received spiritual gifts from God but we don't even realize it, we've never opened it.

So today, in preparation for another year of ministry and along with the theme of Boxing Day, I like to share with you what it means to be unpacking your spiritual gifts. God has given each one of us special abilities to serve Him with and I want you to know your spiritual gifts.

Let me begin by asking you, how many of you do not know your spiritual gifts. OK, more hands now, alright. How many of you agak agak know your spiritual gifts pretty much the same as, how many of you are very sure about your spiritual gifts. And the rest of, the rest of you no hands. Okay, I won't say quite equal on three sides, but maybe you have never been asked this question so you have never really thought of it.

So, I hope this message will help you discover, deploy and even develop your spiritual gifts for the new year. Now this sermon is very simple I'm just going to do a Q and A style, I'm going to ask questions about who, what, where, when, so on and then I'll answer them, can't get simpler than that right.

So let's begin, first question you would probably ask is, what is a spiritual gift? How would you define a spiritual gift? I have a very simple definition and I hope this will be helpful for you in this whole sermon.

I think, a spiritual gift is a Spirit given ability that enables each Christian to serve in the body of Christ with ease, effectiveness and excitement. I would like you to repeat with me otherwise, I feel very lonely here, alright. So let's try this, a spiritual gift is a Spirit given ability that enables each Christian to serve in the body of Christ with ease, effectiveness and excitement. Try to remember this okay because if you do, this sermon will be a breeze.

So the first thing I like you to take note of is that a gift is a Spirit given ability. This is an ability, a skill that is given by God through the Holy Spirit. This is given to someone after he is a Christian, this is given to someone who is born again, this is someone who is saved. So spiritual gifts are not to be confused with natural talents, some of you, actually all of us were given some natural talents, right.

Some of you are good in music, some of you are good in art, some of you are good in sports, some of you are talented in networking, some of you are talented to study, every single one of us, we have some talents, but that is not to be confused with a spiritual gift which is given after salvation. So talents, you can say are natural, gifts are supernatural.

Now the Bible does give us some examples, you say what are some examples of abilities that the Holy Spirit gives to Christians. There are five lists in the Bible that gives you examples of spiritual gifts, I'm going to flash it up here. First, Romans chapter 12 verses 6 to 8, which you have just read, you see some examples of gifts, prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, contribution or giving, leading and showing mercy or acts of mercy.

Notice that these gifts are listed with a comment, but they are not defined precisely here. So Paul doesn't define these gifts for us in a very specific, precise way. But they are examples that are being listed here, Romans 12 and then you see another list in 1st Corinthians 12, utterance of wisdom, utterance of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy again, distinguish between spirits, this is discernment, tongues which is the ability to speak in an unlearned but known language and the interpretation of tongues, which is the interpretation of unknown, ah, ah, unlearned, but known language.

So you see some overlaps, prophecies mentioned in Romans, also here, you have some supernatural gifts. Now, all gifts are supernatural but supernatural in a sense of its manifestations. Spectacular things like miracles and healing and tongues, this is the second gift list. Scroll down a little bit more and the same chapter, you have the third list in verse 28 and God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, miracles, healing, helping, administrating, tongues, so again overlapped with no precise definition.

List number four, some of them, some people think this is not a gift list, but just about offices and specially endowed people, you can, but because it's also mentioned in 1st Corinthians, it could also be considered as gifts or gift list, apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers. And then the fifth one, is a shorter one, where it's about speaking and serving.

So what is a spiritual gift? It is an ability and in these passages we learn something, we learned that there is no one list that is exhaustive, that is comprehensive and because there are overlaps between the lists and because there is no precise definition of the gifts we think that these lists you see, need not be an exhaustive list of all spiritual gifts that God can ever give for all history. In other words, I think these serve as examples but it may not be limited just to this 20 over that has been listed.

Nevertheless, let's get the main point. What is a spiritual gift? It is a Spirit given ability that enables each Christian to serve in the body of Christ with ease, effectiveness and excitement. Simple, thank you.

Let's go to question number two. Question number two is who has spiritual gifts? You answer, who? Everybody ah, your pastor, your of course, huh, your pastor, your elders, full-time workers, most people think, oh, it's only to this dedicated full-time people that will have spiritual gifts, but the reality is spiritual gifts are given to each Christian, every child of God.

Now this is not given to the whole world, this is only given to Christians, but this is the blessing, every Christian has at least one spiritual gift. Now, that is found in the Scriptures, 1st Corinthians 12 it says to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good, for the good of the church, for the common good of the body of Christ, each Christian, but grace was given to each one of us, Ephesians 4 and then 1st Peter, as each has received a gift. So I think the Bible is very clear who has spiritual gifts, every Christian.

Six years ago, I was preaching through this same text and in those days we were worshiping in hotels. I think this was when we were at Grand Copthorne Waterfront. How many of you were there at Grand Copthorne Waterfront? eh, so few, the rest died ah, so few, eh, cannot be, can I, how many of you were at Grand Copthorne Waterfront when we were worshiping there? Ah, you see now all resurrected, OK, thank you.

So when we were there I was preaching through this text and before the sermon, I, my son and I, Shawn, that time, Matthias was not even born Shawn and I, we would in a week, gather some blocks and we will print these words and we will hand out these blocks to each and every attendee for our worship service and these blocks look like this, remember? OK, those who were at Grand Copthorne, you will remember, every single one of you received a block that tells you I am gifted by God because spiritual gifts are given to every Christian.

Now, I used to study at Rosyth, Rosyth primary school you know what is Rosyth Primary School? Alright. I'm your senior, alright, I'm your senior, just a little bit alright and in Rosyth not roadside primary school ah, Rosyth primary school, there was a gifted program they still have it now, right? They still have the gifted program, I'm not part of the gifted program.

But when we see people in a gifted program, we say wah that one gifted one, gifted, very smart, very gifted and you almost feel like you're not part of the gang, that, that is a cool gang, you are the cannot make it kind and they are the gifted ones, you are the not gifted ones.

But I want to tell you while MOE has a gifted program, KOH also have a gifted program, KOH kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of heaven also has a gifted program and this program is for every Christian because every Christian is gifted by God, I am gifted by God and this gifting by God is very unique, it's unique for you, it's special, your gift is unique, God doesn't do ang ku kuehs in spiritual gifts.

You know what's ang ku kueh, for those who are overseas, you have no idea. It's alright, ang ku kueh is a kind of cake we have right, they all look the same is if it's from the same shop because they all use the same mould, you throw that thing in, it comes all the same, the same turtle shell.

But when it comes to spiritual gifts, God doesn't do ang ku kueh, every single one of us is given uniquely by the Holy Spirit, one or a few spiritual gifts, that's why six years ago, I gave blocks that were of different shapes and sizes and colors. Just to remind us that all of us are gifted by God but we all gifted very uniquely. You're part of the KOH gifted program, welcome.

Why, is it because we are good? Is it because we deserve it? Is it because we are capable people? No, we are given these gifts as a result of the finished work of Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us, when He ascended on high, He led a host of captives and He gave gifts to men.

One of the results of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is that He received from the Father the privilege to shower His church with these spiritual gifts, so our gifts received from God, are a result of the work on the cross that should humble us, that should make us grateful, you did not earn it, you do not deserve it, it is freely given to you.

Alright so those are the questions we have seen what is a spiritual gift, we have looked at who has spiritual gifts, and it is for every Christian and the third question I want to ask you, is where do I use spiritual gifts, where do you use spiritual gifts, everywhere, that's a good answer wah, who say one Gabriel very smart ah, today. Excellent. Gabriel got it right, alright, where do I use my spiritual gifts in the church, look at this, our definition is that this is a Spirit given ability that enables each Christian to serve in the body of Christ. 1st Peter tells us, as each has received a gift use it to serve one another.

God has given us spiritual gifts to be a blessing to one another. Another passage you can look at is 1st Corinthians 12. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it, Paul is talking about how the church is to be pictured like a body and each one of us are like parts of the body, where should a thumb function, easy answer the thumb should function in the in the hand which is part of the body.

You try to cut off this thumb, you cut off this thumb and it's wriggling and jumping on the floor like a lizard's tail. Is it useful? Can it be used for anything? No, the thumb is best used in connection to the body and the thumb is used to serve the body and to do whatever the body wants it to do. Imagine there's a mosquito coming around or there's a some insect there and you want to crush it, otherwise it will harm the body. The thumb follows the instruction of the brain, the head and crushes it. Your gifts are given so that you can be a blessing in the body of Christ, so that God can use you to serve one another, you get that.

Now, some of us we have parts of the body we are not very proud of like your fats. As you, as I get older, it is a constant struggle with this one this spare tire is really keh choh ah, spare. I wish I can take it out don't need spare tire today look better, no, it's a spare tire and we all struggle, a lot of people struggle with the spare tire. But actually spare tire is good you know, because fats are for a purpose right.

Yeah, these are fats are not, fats are good, now what, what are fats called in medical terms, we call it lipocytes. Fat cells are lipocytes, lipo, lipids. So lipocytes are fat cells. Fat cells are good things, God gave them to us, so that we have reserves that when we way we go through crisis and hunger, we don't die.

So fats are not so bad, but sometimes lipocytes become naughty, the cells become naughty, the cells don't listen, instead of being a blessing in the body, instead of being an energy store in the body the lipocytes decide to be selfish, the lipocytes decide to be self-centered. Don't bother about anything else don't bother about contributing to the body, all it wants is to be bigger and stronger and it becomes uncontrolled and soon it grows to become something like this.

Whoo, what is this? When you cut and you take it out you see that it is a block of naughty fat cells and the lipocytes have turned into what medical terms we call a lipoma. Have you heard about this term? No, it's okay. You didn't study medicine, but let me tell you it's called a, li, say with me lipoma yay, medicine, alright, so lipocytes when they become naughty, they become lipoma they are not bothered about the body and if they continue to be uncontrolled some cells become really bad, they become uncontrollable.

Instead of contributing now and they are not even just growing by themselves, they start to invade and attack the rest of the body. They start to go into other tissues, they go into the bloodstream, they spread everywhere, they become cancerous. Then it might look like this and we call this medicine is not complicated ah, lipocytes, lipoma, liposarcoma can, can you say with me, liposarcoma, liposarcoma, sar, you know it's how I remember lipo sar coma, it kills because it's like cancer that spreads everywhere.

Now some people in this church, many people in this church, many people throughout the churches they are lipocytes, people may not notice them, people may not appreciate them, but they are very useful, they are given as a blessing from God to bless others, they are lipocytes.

But some people in church are lipomas, some of you might be lipoma, you come to church, you are not interested in what's happening around, you don't want to contribute you just want to sit there and when people ask you to shift because no space, you look at him, don't want to shift, you, you, you, just want to be that immovable thing, like, like a lipoma, you just want to grow bigger and bigger yourself and you don't want to contribute whatsoever.

But there are some people in church who are liposarcoma. They are toxic, they are dangerous, not only do they not contributing, they attack, they fight, they gossip, they do politics. They abuse, they are evil, they spread rumors, happens everywhere. That cell or that group of cells have just gone havoc. The reason why God puts you in the body of Christ the reason why God then gave you spiritual gifts, is so that we may serve in the body of Christ. So where do you use your spiritual gifts, in the body of Christ, can, so far?

Alright question number four which is the most important one for many of us, when will I know my spiritual gifts. Now, just now I asked, how many of you do not know a good number do not know right? And then there's plus the agak agak ones, it's a quite a big group here who do not know your spiritual gifts. So the question is when will I know my spiritual gifts, how can I know my spiritual gifts. There are two methods people use to find out their spiritual gifts commonly used but wrong. Two commonly, two common errors in discovering spiritual gifts.

Can I, do you know what they are, two wrong methods, online quiz, eh, very good, who say one, oh, Rayner, you use a lot is it? Alright, so the one method which I think is not so appropriate is spiritual gifts questionnaires, have you seen that before? You, you don't believe me you take our your phone, you Google spiritual gift questionnaire, lots of them, hundreds of them, different patterns, different writers, but all about the same concept.

You answer, maybe two, three hundred questions and then after that at the end of it all, they will score you and tell you so and so, you have this gift, you have that gift. Now what's wrong with spiritual questionnaires? Spiritual gift questionnaires is it that sinful, no I don't think is really that sinful, it's just that it's not accurate, not so reliable.

Why, because all of us answer those questions with a certain bias, right? We, we read biographies, we read about people like Moody and Spurgeon, Whitfield and so on, and we think wah, that is the epitome of Christian life and so we all long to have the spiritual gift, may be of preaching, teaching and so on.

So when you answer the questions, you have a bias, you may not actually be gifted in preaching but because you answer those questions with such enthusiasm you think you, you're told have the gift of teaching and that applies to other gift as well. But most of all I think it's not so reliable because I don't see any biblical basis for that. So that's one method, perhaps we should avoid.

Second method, OK the second method which I think is wrong is to ask your Pastor. I just want to make that clear, alright? Why? How many people are here? If we add up the services, we have thousand of people, and people ask the pastor hoping that the pastor can tell them the answer.

When you ask me what's my spiritual gift, I have to say, ay, wait, wait, wait, ah. Wait, I go home first, I take out from my magic cupboard, a magic crystal ball that Pastor Paul passed to me when I was pastor and then I will, whoooa and they will tell me your spiritual gift, does that happen? Never, I don't have a magic cupboard, I don't have a crystal ball, Pastor Paul forgot to pass to me, I have nothing like that, so why would I know about your life more than you do. Now, I'm not saying that you cannot ask your pastor, but he is not God and he's not you.

So those are not the best methods so I come to Chris, your answer. The commonest way, I think the biblical way, the right way to know my spiritual gift is to try it out. The best way to know my spiritual gift is to start serving, right? And if you start serving and you serve with ease, effectiveness and excitement then you know perhaps this is my spiritual gift.

I was never a talker, actually right up till today I'm not a talker, I, I prefer not to talk, I, I think so. Now, but, but, but when it comes to the Bible and church I love to talk alright, anything else, maybe not so much and I never really was able to speak publicly I think I'm rather shy I, I, I'm not a eloquent guy at all, but when I came to Christ, I found reading and studying the Bible, not so difficult and I found explaining Bible concepts, biblical concepts not that difficult, that process of preparing a simple message seems rather straightforward for me, it was relatively easy.

Then, I began to teach somewhat in our youth ministry I began to teach a little in our Filipino congregation I was told to lead songs but most of the time I was teaching the songs, I was explaining this and that and I, I realized people were not really falling asleep, they seem to be able to understand, umm, they seem to sing the song then with greater connection because they understand the truth.

And I thought, maybe that's quite good, that's quite effective and then I was very excited every time after I finish a message, I don't say, wah, heng ah, it's over, but really after Sunday I'm excited Sunday night, sometimes, sometimes Monday morning I'm excited, what's the next passage I'm go to study I'm excited to go back into the Bible.

So very early in my life I found that studying and teaching the Bible is something that comes easy. I hope it's effective for others and exciting for me. And when these three lines intersect I think I found my spiritual gift. In fact, I am so sure that I quit medicine for, for, for that because I know this is how God has gifted me and I think this is one way I can serve Him, the main way indeed I think I should, serve Him.

Now it's important that all three should intersect because some people you may be very, you may think it's easy to prepare the Bible and you're excited to prepare the Bible but whenever you preach everybody falls asleep and you say, I am gifted by God. Ay, wait, wait, wait, sometimes it's because you just need some mentoring, some help, that's true but ultimately, to know that you have this gift, these three lines must intersect.

Some of you today when you see people struggling, when you see things that need to be done, you find it so natural to go and help the person and when you help the person, they say to you wow, thanks for helping me no one saw that need but you did and you really helped this was really important I'm so glad you did it and then you feel, hey, that's easy, that's what I like to do I really like to help people, I'm excited to see problems and help them in their problems. You know what, if these three things intersect, what do you have? The gift of help.

Some of you today, you have lots of money, making money is easy for you. Some people actually are like that alright, making money is easy for you and when you give God tends to prosper the things you give to, you know you have the discernment to give well, there, there are some people who anyhow give and there are some people who are wise in their giving and when you give, you don't do me a favor, when you give, you give such joy, it's such a delight because you are excited to give. Let me tell you what your gift is, your gift is the gift of giving.

Some of you are so good with people, newcomer comes in when he talks to pastor, he's petrified because the pastor has no gift here. But when he talks to you he feels so comfortable to you it's easy to connect with the newcomer, to you it makes the newcomer so welcome to you know you're excited to meet new people, you know what you have the gift of hospitality.

Hey, I can go on and on and on but I tell you surveys and questionnaires, asking your pastor alone, is not the best way, the best way, start serving, start trying, see whether you think it's easy, see whether you're excited about it, people will let you know hey John you are really good at this and over time, you will discover your spiritual gifts, can, easy thank you, gift of encouragement. It's effective.

Alright, so I think that's important, but the is this fourth or fifth point I can't remember but the next question is how, how do I use my spiritual gifts, I'm asking about the attitude alright, the attitude. The first, just two attitudes for you to take note of, one, use your spiritual gifts humbly don't be hao lian, don't be arrogant, wah, I'm gifted with help, you all so unhelpful, I'm so helpful, you also should not say, aiyah, I am gifted with giving, I give so much, you give so little, you kiam siap fellow no, no, no, no, no we, we should understand that God shapes all of us differently and we must use our gifts humbly.

The eye cannot say to the hand, I've no need of you, nor again the head to the feet, I've no need of you. This body is complete when it has all its parts and a hand is stupid if it says to the feet, I do not need you. So the thumb cannot say to the nose, you are useless and the nose must humbly accept that while it is very special in enabling the body to smell the, the nose equally needs the thumb, right. Imagine you have a, a fly flying around and you want to squeeze that fly, you try using your nose, it's, it's ridiculous you are never, ever going to get the fly. You need a thumb. So we must all use our gifts with humility.

Alright, God has given you gifted me gifted us in very different ways, and we rejoice and we use it humbly for His glory, not for your self-aggrandizement. Second thing I want to say is please use our gifts happily, alright, serve God with joy because of the gratitude you have towards Him because of the Gospel. Part of what it means to be a living sacrifice is to use your spiritual gifts, that's what it means to live your life as a spiritual sacrifice, living sacrifice and that flows from the mercies of God in the Gospel. So when you use your gifts, when you serve God, do it with joy, not because you're forced to, don't do it with a bey kum guan face but do it because you rejoice alright.

So, a spiritual gift is a Spirit given ability that enables each Christian to serve in the body of Christ with ease, effectiveness and excitement. Now, I forgot to say this, but people often ask, pastor you have been preaching for so many years, you preach almost every Sunday, don't you get burned out, don't you feel tired and so on, I actually say to everyone I have never really had burnout in ministry and I think it's because I'm doing what I am excited to do and I'm excited to do what I'm excited to do because I am by the grace of God gifted enable to do what He wants me to do.

And I say to you, if you serve God today in His will, I believe God's will is revealed in how He has gifted you. It is very silly for us to say, God has gifted me with gift ABC and I want to do EFG, you are not respecting the way God has gifted you, but He has, if He has gifted you with ABC and you do ABC, it will be easy, you'll be a huge blessing and it will be exciting for you. So important to know spiritual gifts and God's will for you.

Now, when we all serve something beautiful takes place. I give you one simple illustration. A member of the church, a man with a young family, he loses his job because of poor performance at work, what happens to this guy usually? He's struggling, so he looks for his pastor, he talks to his pastor and the pastor meets him for 30 minutes, one hour, counsel him, speaks with him, prays for him, he leaves what do you think about this man does he feel good after that, is he really helped after that when you see your pastor it's actually quite useless, it is true, it's quite useless by himself.

So this man struggles in life, he speaks to his pastor, but because the pastor is not so gifted in so many ways, sometimes he doesn't get the full help that he should have in the body of Christ. But imagine this man, not only does he speak to his pastor, but his church community comes, expressing their spiritual gifts.

Now, this man will meet with John, John, who has the gift of encouragement will encourage him, he meets with Tom who has the gift of leadership and says, hey, hey Max, this is what you need to do Max, you, you need to get your life in order these are the things you need to get organized, let, let, let me help you think this through and then Max meets up with I'm running out of names, Johnson alright. Johnson and Johnson comes along and say, hey, hey Max let me, let me help you with the family, let me help you with your wife, let me help you with your kids, let me bring them out, let me, let me do whatever I can to make sure you, you're freed up to think about the next job that you have to look for and then Jane comes along and says hey, your family, you may not have a place to stay in and we have a spare room, we have a spare apartment would you, would you want to stay there for a while, will love to do that because of Jesus.

Someone else with the gift of mercy comes and instead of scolding him, you're such a lousy chap, you can't perform well, loves him, encourages him, someone teaches him about what is Christian ethics at work and how because of the Gospel that should change the way you perform and someone who have the has the gift of giving comes and really helps him, let me ask you, when Max walks out of this community how would you feel, how would he feel? He would feel great.

Yup, I lost my job, my life is a mess, but you know what the body of Christ is awesome, not my pastor is awesome, the church is awesome. That's what it looks like when you and I step up to serve God with our gifts, people around you will have needs that are met.

Now, now, I realize in ministry it's very hard to serve one person by yourself, it's very tiring because you realize that this man needs more than you, community, that's the wisdom of God in the local church.

I remember a Facebook post by someone, she wrote thank God for a wonderful lady in church who took our kids for the day so that my husband and I could rest and try to recover from the stomach flu, the body of Christ is an awesome thing who's the hero, Christ, the body of Christ when the church comes together to serve one another, it glorifies Jesus. If it's your pastor, your pastor is the hero man and that's wrong. It's the body of Christ, it's our Savior who should be the hero.

So six years ago after I gave, you say why pastor this year don't have building blocks too many people I'll die chop and do until siow, I pok kai, buy so many blocks. So I decided just to show you old pictures, I hope you accept that but six years ago I gave them the blocks not only to keep at home but I got them to come on stage to build the structures right and so I remember structures that were built up.

They look beautiful, why, hah, not beautiful ah, they look beautiful because of the shapes and colors the heterogeneity, the diversity makes it beautiful. You know what's beautiful about the Church of Jesus Christ we are not ang ku kuehs we are people from all walks of life, people with different passions and talents and gifts, but when we count together it is glorious. I, I love this church, I, I don't wish that we will be a homogeneous church where everyone is on a particular demographic strata.

I think what glorifies God is when the Gospel draws in a diverse people that shows forth the power, the uniting power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I think that should be what our church should look like. I mean, not cha tao but we should look beautiful because every single one of us is serving God.

So, I hope for the new year, you will be excited to unpack your spiritual gifts go to the post box, it's actually already delivered to you by the way go to the postbox, take it out go to the church community, be involved in church community, see needs, meet needs, serve, think about one or two ministries you can be a part of pray about it and say, I don't waste and bury my gifts, I want to start serving, I want to discover my gifts, unpack it and it'll be so exciting for you to use your gifts, I really think it is. Nothing excites me than truly preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and nothing will excite you when you serve, more than when you serve God how I really think so.

I see this church, I see so many hidden talents, we say in Chinese Wo Hu Chang Long, the crouching Tiger hidden Dragon wah, all the, all the all the level 15 kungfu hiding somewhere don't want to come from the cave, I don't know why but it's time to come out folks it's Wu Lin Da Hui, time to come out.

I, I, I think about those, those reality TVs, those talent shows, you have this guy that looked like a nerd or a lady who looks dowdy, dressed bad and just so ordinary looking and she takes the mike and she opens her mouth and she sings so beautifully, oooo, wah everybody's amazed and I think of that to be true for so I've met actually, in this church I've had the privilege to know to see to meet some of you and you have extraordinary gifts for the kingdom sake and even if it's not extraordinary gifting, it is beautiful, you just have to be faithful.

You just have to be faithful. The eyelash just needs to be faithful, the mouth, just need to be faithful, the toenail, just need to be faithful, everything in its right place this body will be alright, will be glorious.

So, discover your spiritual gifts, don't ask your pastor in isolation, be involved in community, think about the care group, think about the discipleship group, think about a man's group, a ladies group a Bible study group, think about some people you like to gather with, journey in your life, it doesn't always have to be organized from the church down, think about one or two ministries, start serving and have an exciting new year unpacking spiritual gifts.

Let's bow for a word of prayer together. Napoleon once pointed to China on the map and said, if this country, a sleeping giant is to awake, it will be formidable. I look at us, I look at a sleeping giant today and if this giant, this church is to awake to the reality of spiritual gifts, it would be beautiful.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, a spiritual gift is a privilege and a stewardship at the same time. We are all to be responsible to be faithful to God for what He has given us to serve Him. This is not just a nice thing, a good thing to do, this is a necessary thing that I would discover my gifts, deploy my gifts and even develop my gifts.

So this morning maybe there's a decision you need to make in your life, because of the Gospel, would you say to yourself, I'm not going to hide at home watching YouTube videos on sermons anymore. I want to also be in the community. I also want to be involved in the local church, I want to see deepening relationships in my church, I want to see how I can serve in my church, because I realize God has gifted me to serve in the body of Christ.

As we come to the end of 2018, would you repent, perhaps of your life as a lipoma or even liposarcoma, and say Lord, make me a servant like you, Lord, let me serve.

To all my friends who are here today, maybe for the first time and you do not know Jesus, I know this sermon might have been difficult for you because it may not be applicable to you since you're not yet a Christian but I want to say to you much as spiritual gifts are a blessing, the greatest gift of all is salvation through Jesus Christ.

I want to say to you the greatest gift is that God has punished Jesus for your sins. And if you repent and believe in Jesus who died for you, who rose again from the dead from the death, you can be forgiven, your sins can be washed, and you can saved. Will you receive this gift, would you unpack the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. So I urge you this morning, to repent and believe in Jesus, the greatest gift of all.

So Father, thank You this morning that we can study Your Word, pause, reevaluate our lives and perhaps look forward to 2019 in obedience and excitement. I want to pray for Gospeliters to be like a sleeping giant that will awake, and each one of us would take steps to be involved in church life, in ministry, may we then discover our gifts and serve in the center of Your will. Once again bless those who are here, who may not know Jesus as yet, cause them, dear God to understand the Gospel, grant to them repentance and faith. So thank You, thank You for the year ahead of us, we pray all this in Jesus Name, amen.


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