Have you ever seen someone do something so special that you said, "They have a gift"? It could have been a concert that you went to where the musician was excellent. It might have been at a church service where the preacher hit a home run. It may have happened in a doctor's office when they described how well your surgery went. Gifted people are all around us that are talented. Isn't it interesting that as followers of Jesus we are all "gifted"? When someone receives the Holy Spirit, God gives them a spiritual gift. He doesn't play favorites selecting just a few, but everyone gets a spiritual gift to further the Kingdom of God. This Small Group study takes a look at spiritual gifts, what they are and how God uses each one of us to accomplish His purposes.
When was a time in your life that you noticed someone you would describe as gifted?
1. Why is it so important that God doesn't play favorites when it comes to spiritual gifts?
2. Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-11. How does the Holy Spirit participate in giving Christians spiritual gifts?
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
3. How does the Holy Spirit use our personality and talents in connection to our spiritual gifts?
4. Read 1 Corinthians 12:21-31. What is the importance of using our gifts together as the body of Christ? What happens if we stop working together?
1 Corinthians 12:21-31
The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church:
first are apostles,
second are prophets,
third are teachers,
then those who do miracles,
those who have the gift of healing,
those who can help others,
those who have the gift of leadership,
those who speak in unknown languages.
Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles? Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages? Of course not! So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts.
But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.
5. Have you seen an example of a church that valued everyone's gifts? What was the result? How about a church that refused to work together? What happened in that situation?
6. What spiritual gift do you have (Romans 12:6-8)? How are you using it to further the kingdom of God?
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
7. What is one way that you can put your spiritual gift into practice this coming week?
At the close of your study as the Small Group leader, get each of your members a small gift. It doesn't need to be an elaborate or extravagant gift (I get excited about the mints from Olive Garden). Give them to each one of your people and have them hold that gift in their hands. Talk about what it feels like to be gifted by God to do His work. As you explore this idea of being gifted, pray for each person so they can use their spiritual gifts to accomplish God's purposes.
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Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.