GOD WITH OUR GIFTS AND TALENTS
As we begin this study we
need to understand that the words “serve” and “minister” are
English translations of the same Greek word, “diakoneo”.
The definition is “to be an attendant, i.e. wait upon
(menially or as a host or friend; technically to act as a
Christian deacon: minister unto (15X), serve (10X), minister
(7X), administer, use the office of a deacon.
In John 12:26 Jesus said,
“If anyone “serves” (diakoneo) Me let him
In Mark 10:43, 45 we read,
“. . .Whoever desires to become great among you shall be
(diakoneo). . .For even
the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to
serve (diakoneo), and to give His life a ransom for
From the above verses we
learn that the great purpose of God and God’s pathway to
greatness is not lording our authority over others but
becoming a servant to meet the needs of others.
JESUS IS OUR EXAMPLE OF
“. . .Yet I am among you as the One Who serves”
On the night before His
“…Began to wash His disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel
with which He was girded.”
Afterwards He asked them,
“Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher
and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If then, your Lord
and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one
another’s feet. For I have given you an example that you
should do as I have done to you.” John 13:5, 6, 12-15.
OUR MOTIVATION FOR SERVING
GOD IS OUR LOVE FOR HIM.
This is the reason the first
and greatest commandment is
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with
all your soul, and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37, 38
(See also Deuteronomy 10:12; 30:6).
It is when we understand and
embrace God’s love for us that our minds and hearts are warmed
to return that love to Him.
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us
and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins”.
1st John 4:10.
Ten verses later we read. . .
“We love Him because He first loved us.” 1st
When all of God’s children
are gathered together in heaven we will learn of the great
accomplishments wrought through them down through the
centuries. In every case they will testify that they were
motivated by their love for God and empowered by the Holy
OUR MOTIVATION FOR SERVING
OTHERS IS LOVE
Jesus taught that the second
greatest commandment is like the first.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
“On these two commandments hang all the Law and the
Prophets.” Matthew 22:40. (See also Leviticus 19:18)
All this is affirmed by the
apostle Paul in Romans 13:8-10:
“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who
loves another has fulfilled the law.”
For the commandments, ‘You
shall not murder’, ‘You shall not steal’, ‘You shall not bear
false witness’, ‘You shall not covet’, and if there is any
other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely,
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Love dos no harm
to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
THE LOVE THAT WE MUST HAVE
The Greek word used to
describe God’s love for us, our love for God and our love for
others is agape. On the basis of definitions by highly
respected Greek scholars (Barclay, Vine, Kittel, Thayer, etc)
we can define agape love “an unconditional and unconquerable
commitment that our thoughts, words and actions will be in the
best interest and welfare of others.” We also note that agape
love is primarily a commitment of our mind and will instead of
our unstable emotions. It is on this basis that Jesus could
command His disciples “. . .Love your enemies, bless those
who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for
those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” Matthew
5:44 , (Context verses 43-48).
This Is a Difficult Command
Jesus is commanding us not only to love our brothers and
sisters in Christ, but also those who curse us, hate us, and
persecute us. It is probable that every Christian has felt
that this is beyond their ability to practice. Some have
responded ‘I am not going to be a hypocrite and do something I
really don’t feel like doing.” This sounds reasonable but it
is not Biblical.
Again, Jesus Has Set The
If Jesus had refused to do something for us that He did not
feel like doing, we would all be hopelessly condemned to an
eternal Hell. We are informed in the gospels that in the
garden of Gethsemane
He prayed three times,
“O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from
me.” Matthew 26; 39, 42, 44. Hebrews 12:2 tells us
He “. . .endured the cross, despising the shame…”
Jesus yielded Himself to die
as a sacrifice for sinners…not because He felt like it but
because He made an unconditional and unconquerable commitment
to do what was in the best interest of a world of lost
AGAPE LOVE MUST BE OUR
Most Christians who have been
followers of Christ for a lengthy time have no trouble
remembering occasions when they were needed to minister to the
needs of others, but they did not do so. They can remember
times when the attitudes and responses of others caused them
to feel like responding unkindly instead of graciously.
It is only after we have made
an unconditional, unconquerable commitment to use our
knowledge, time, effort, money, spiritual gifts, and abilities
to minister to the needs of others that we rise above our
Some Consequences of Not
Having Agape Love
drift into the habits of fault-finding and sniping at one
We lose concern
for those who are hurting
feeding our spiritual nature from the word of God
Our prayer life
becomes just a form instead of heartfelt intercession.
compassionate burden to win lost souls begins to evaporate.
Our worship of
God loses its fervency
their passion for communicating God’s truth
musicians begin to think more in terms of entertainment
instead of worship and praise.
become more concerned about how they come across in their
delivery instead of being the channel of truth needed from God
will become dividers instead of those who unite.
When God’s people descend to these levels we can be assured
that God’s response will be the same as it was to
“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your
Hopefully, we will be
motivated to cry out to God from the depths of our hearts,
“Dear heavenly Father, please forgive me for leaving my first
love and give me grace to commit myself to agape love for You,
for my fellow Christians and for lost souls.”
THE WAY WE SERVE
Our service for God can be
defined as “Motivated by love I will serve God according to
His will with my spiritual gifts and talents. God’s
will for us is to passionately serve Him with our gifts and
talents wherever we are.
Every Believer Has One or
More Spiritual Gifts
gifts according to the grace that is given to us, let us use
them. . .” Romans
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.”
“But one and the same Spirit works all these things,
distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
Corinthians 12:4, 11.
“But to each one of us grace was given according to the
measure of Christ’s gift.”
“As each one has received a gift, minister it to one
another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
1st Peter 4:10.
The Different Gifts
The Sign Gifts are
thought by some sincere and dedicated Christians to be
temporary gifts to accomplish the transition from the covenant
of Mosaic law to the New Testament covenant of grace. Other
sincere and dedicated Christians believe the sign gifts are
permanent. They are Apostles, Prophets, Wisdom, Knowledge,
Faith, Healing, Discerning of Spirits, Tongues (Languages).
Gifts that Communicate
Evangelists, Pastors, Preaching, Missions, Teachers,
Gifts that Demonstrate
God’s Love. Service, Mercy, Hospitality,
Gifts that Celebrate
God’s Presence Music, Singing, Arts and
A gift that Supports
Other Gifts Helps
Intercession, The prayer of faith
Gifts That Unite and
Empower All Others
There are other gifts
mentioned in the Bible. There are probably many gifts not
listed in the Bible. Most Christians find it very difficult
to identify their spiritual gift or gifts. I suggest we
become alert to activities to which we enjoy attending and how
we find joy and fulfillment participating in them.
This can be a real clue as
to what our gift is. We can also participate in many
different ministries and at some point become aware of our
special gift. Divine
confirmation comes when we experience results that go far
beyond our human efforts. My testimony is that when I truly
surrendered to serve in ministry I was motivated to learn
everything I could about God’s truth. After many years of
ministry it became clear to me that my special gift was being
a Bible preacher.
There are scriptural Gift
Analysis Tests available.