How to understand and enjoy the Gifts God has for you Today

Trevor Lund
13 min readJun 25, 2023

As Christians, we have all been blessed with an abundance of spiritual gifts from Holy Spirit, Christ and Our Father. These gifts are meant to serve each other and empower us in our day-today of everyday. Learn more in the message: How to Understand and Enjoy the Gifts of the Spirit, the Gifts Christ gave the Church and the Gifts God has given us Today

gifts God

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I’m going to sharing with you something I’ve been contemplating and researching for quite some time. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it taught and that excites me, because it may be new revelation. It troubles me because I was taught “The church has a word for new doctrine — that word is HERESY!”

I don’t think what I’m about to say is heresy. I also don’t know if there is transformational value in understanding this the way I’m going present it. However I am convinced it may show us a little more of our absolutely mind boggling God who loves us and gives us gifts.

Read Ephesians 1:3–23 NLT

Can I pray?

We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Ephesians 1:3

  • Gifts from the Spirit — 1 Corinthians 12;14
  • Gifts Christ gave the Church — Ephesians 4:11–16
  • Gifts God has given Romans 12:6–13

Two Options understanding God’s Gifts

While there is duplication, none of these lists are the same. We have two options to understand this in two ways. Both could be correct at the same time.

First, it could mean there is no limit to gifts God can give. I believe that’s true. I’ve learned the hard way not to put God into any box. Don’t put God in a box. He’s too big.

Another option — and this is just me — I’ve never heard anyone else teach it this way. But this has been a nugget that caught my attention.

It’s clear the gifts the Spirit’s give us. and it’s clear the gifts Christ gave the church.

What if Paul used “God” as a stand in for the term Father?

What difference would that mean for us in the day-to-day of everyday?

That’s what I want to explore today. I will share with you how to eagerly desire and activate the gifts of the Spirit, How to know when you’ve been called a gift to the church, and what it means to have gifts from God to be commands and invitations for all of us.

So, let’s understand these gifts with this perspective.

Gifts God — Spirit — 1 Corinthians 12;14

Given for building up of each other 1 Corinthians 12:7

Χάρισμα — charisma — gifts

We can understand them in 3 categories…

  • Knowledge — wisdom, knowledge, distinguishing spirits
  • Speech — tongues, interpretation, prophecy
  • Power — faith, healing, miracles

All of these are given by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4) . He gives them out just as he wants. ( 1Corinthians 12:18) But remember we are told to eagerly desire them. (1 Corinthians 12:31, 14:1, 14:12, 14:39)

We can be trained to move in these gifts more naturally, but people who have been given these gifts move in them naturally.

How do we activate the gifts of the Spirit? That’s a great question.

How to activate the gifts of the spirit tool

EAT

Eagerly Desire (1 Corinthians 12:31, 14:1, 14:12, 14:39)

Holy Spirit responds to our desires Psalm 37:4, Mark 11:24

Am I eagerly desiring the gifts of the Spirit?

Activate by Faith (Luke 11:5–13)

Faith is understanding what the Word of God says and applying it to our lives in the spirit in which it was said

Am I using the faith God provides?

Train to follow Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19, 1 Corinthians 14:31–32 )

Experiment inside the church. We’re told in the Old Testament to stone a prophet who speaks incorrectly. (Deuteronomy 18:22) But after the Spirit is given we’re told to test everything and hold to the good. (1 Thessalonians 5:19–21) Am I willing to risk using the gifts of Holy Spirit?

Gifts God the Son — Ephesians 4

Given for the maturity of the individuals of the church (Ephesians 4:14)

Ephesians 4:11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.

These are gifts to the church, not positions in the church. They only have authority in relationship.

Gifts to the church — my call to be a pastor, how I learned it is what I do, not how I’m paid.

Only credible in Relationship — The most apostolic people I know, would never want to be called or thought of as an apostle. People who take the title apostle, only have credibility to people who see them as an apostle.

Let’s go through each of these quickly.

Apostles

ἀπόστολος — apostolos — Roman General sent to change a culture

Jesus named his 12 disciples apostles in Luke 6:13–16

Yes, ἀπόστολος means “sent”, but it’s sent with a purpose to change a culture to Kingdom culture

These people are Fathers and Mothers. They want their ceiling to be their children’s floor.

Apostles change the culture to a Kingdom culture.

Prophets

προφήτης — prophētēs interpreter of oracles, in Hebrew it’s the same word as “insane” or “fool” Jehu was “driving like a prophet (נבל)

Forth-telling (edification, exhortation and comfort — 1 Corinthians 14:3)

Calling into being that which is not. (Romans 4:17–18)

and Foretelling (Agabus — famine Acts 11:28, Paul’s future Acts 21:10–11)

Predicting the future.

Jesus told us that prophets are only without honour in their home town. (Mark 6:4) Remember we are told to test everything and hold to the good. (1 Thessalonians 5:19–21) Realize true prophets know God’s will and declare God’s will.

Prophets know God’s will and declare God’s will.

Evangelists

εὐαγγελιστής — euangelistēs — bringer of good tidings with signs and wonders

In Acts 21:8 Philip is named as an evangelist, and in 2 Timothy 4:5 Paul exhorts Timothy to do the work of an evangelist. These are the only three uses of the word evangelist in the entire Bible. Philip is the one person specifically called an evangelist in Scripture. Basically, it seems the were to bring the good news but they were not apostles.

Philip had been one of the seven deacons chosen so that the apostles could do their work of teaching and prayer (Acts 6:3). Philip’s evangelistic work was in Samaria (Acts 8:4–8). He “proclaimed the Messiah” to the Samaritans (verse 5) and performed miracles, including casting out demons and healing paralytics. It is noteworthy that Philip performed water baptism in the name of Jesus, but the baptism of the Holy Spirit did not occur until the apostles came to Samaria.

Jesus said in Mark 16:17 that signs and wonders would follow all who believe. And Philip performed signs and wonders. Interestingly it wasn’t until Peter and John the apostles came to Samaria and laid hands on them that Holy Spirit came upon them.

Evangelist proclaim with signs and wonders. Apostles change the culture to Kingdom culture. Transformation is the work of Holy Spirit.

Peter and John’s presence in Samaria and the Spirit’s indwelling of the believing Samaritans (Acts 8:17) confirmed Philip’s ministry there. As an evangelist, Philip had preached the gospel, and, when the Samaritans believed it and received the Spirit, they were welcomed into the church. Where there had previously been division and animosity between Jews and Samaritans, there now existed the spiritual bond of love (Colossians 3:14). Philip’s trailblazing efforts laid the foundation for his hearers to receive the Holy Spirit by faith. The evangelist’s pre-work unto salvation is what those called evangelists have done ever since.

Philip’s ministry as an evangelist continues in Acts 8 as he is led by an angel to go the desert road to Gaza. On the road he meets an Ethiopian eunuch — a court official to the queen of Ethiopia. Philip opens the man’s understanding of the Word of God, and the eunuch is saved. Philip baptizes the man, and the Holy Spirit snatches Philip away (Acts 8:39). Philip later “appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea” (verse 40). Everywhere he went, Philip shared the gospel. That’s what evangelists do.

The office of evangelist will be needed until the church reaches the maturity of Christ Himself (Ephesians 4:13).

Evangelists prepare the way for salvation with signs and wonders.

Pastor

ποιμήν — poimēn — lit. shepherd

A shepherd is someone who doesn’t mind the muck and the mire. Cares more about people than position. Wants everyone to come along together. Will wait for the young and old to catch up.

Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

We’ve taken “Pastor” and made it a position. If you’re a pastor you need to have your full income come from a local church. It’s wrong. We need to repent of that thought.

As a pastor I’m telling you, the church and the world needs more pastors. We need more people gifted and trained to walk with people and stay at their pace. We need pastors outside the pulpit.

Shepherds nurture and protect.

Teacher

διδάσκαλος — didaskalos — teacher

James 3:1Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.

Teachers need to do two things. Teachers need to be able to understand and teachers need to know how to explain. We train teachers in our society. We had at least two graduate from teaching in last couple of weeks. You know a teacher who has a gift for teaching because they can explain things that you only marvelled at before.

  • Teachers understand and explain.
  • Apostles change the culture of an area to a Kingdom culture.
  • Prophets know God’s will and declare God’s will.
  • Evangelists prepare the way for salvation with signs and wonders.
  • Shepherds nurture and protect.
  • Teachers understand and explain.

Now if we can have positions of people with these gifts it’s awesome. It needs to be a goal for a local church to be in relationship with people who have these gifts, whatever that looks like. I’d like to have churches acknowledge and honour these people who are gifts, but I know from history that we lose their significance when they become positions and not relationships.

How do you know if you’ve been given as a gift to the church? That’s a great question. I’m so glad you asked. Here’s three questions you can ask.

How to discern if you should pursue a possible call Tool

Do you have the ILK?

Interest — Do I think I might be called to be gift to the church? If yes, then…

Love and learning — Do I have the heart and can I learn the skills I need? If yes, then…

Knowable agreement — Do others who know me well, agree I have the heart and can learn the skills I need?

Apostles help launch and affirm the other gifts Christ gave the church. Look for a father or mother to reaffirm your call.

Gifts God (Father) Romans 12

Given because we’re all different (Romans 12:4–5) but we still all need his Grace… In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. Romans 12:6

The strange thing about every one of these gifts, is that we are we’re all commanded or encouraged to do them…

Read Romans 12:6–8

Prophesy

So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.

Encouragement — 1 Corinthians 14:5 I wish you could all speak in tongues, but even more I wish you could all prophesy. For prophecy is greater than speaking in tongues, unless someone interprets what you are saying so that the whole church will be strengthened.

Serving

If your gift is serving others, serve them well.

Command — Galatians 5:13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.

Teaching

If you are a teacher, teach well.

Command — Colossians 3:16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

Encouraging

If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging.

Command — 1 Thessalonians 5:11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Giving

If it is giving, give generously.

Invitation — Luke 6:38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full — pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back

Leading

If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously.

Encouragement — Matthew 7:12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

Kindness

And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Command — Ephesians 4:32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

How to Understand Gifts God

So, if all of these are gifts of God, and all of these are commands and encouragement for all of us to live our life with way, what is going on?

Χάρισμα — charisma — gifts

Χάρις — charis — Grace

Romans 12:6 In his grace Χάρις , God has given us different Χάρισμα gifts for doing certain things well.

The word charisma (χάρισμα) comes from the word for grace (charis, χάρις). The suffix (-ma, -μα) indicates a result from grace. Charisma is something that is given as a result of the grace of the giver.

Paul is emphasizing the grace God has for us in this chapter. Remember, grace is his empowerment to do the things he wants us to do, that we can’t do ourselves.

Ephesians 2:8–9 NKJV For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

His grace is sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

It’s not by our own will and personality that we can access the Gifts of the Spirit, or become one of the gifts of Christ or work out of the gifts God gives us. It’s only by the grace of God. Romans 12:6 In his Χάρις , God has given us Χάρισμα gifts for doing certain things well.

His grace gives us the ability to do the things we can’t do on our own.

How to we operate in the gifts God has for us? That’s a great question, I’m so glad you asked.

Let me remind you of the

Am I serving in the strength God provides Tool?

SERVE

S — Surrender your agenda.

Isaiah 64:8 Do I let him be the potter? Am I not eagerly desiring your gifts because I don’t want to be embarrassed?

E — Enjoy His light yoke.

Matthew 11:28–30 Am I carrying His light yoke? Am I being guilted into doing more?

R — Remember to work as unto the Lord.

Colossians 3:23–24 Am I working as unto the Lord with my whole heart? Am I wanting a gift to look good?

V — Verify you are seeking first His Kingdom.

Matthew 6:33 Am I seeking His Kingdom in this? Am I looking to make a name for myself or see Jesus glorified?

E — Encourage others and be encouraged.

Proverbs 11:25 Am I looking to bless or simply to be blessed? Who do you want me to bless today?

Emphasizing the grace of God for the gifts reminds me do much to honour Him on my own. I don’t have much to offer the creator of all.

To move in the gifts of the Spirit…

How to activate the gifts of the spirit tool

EAT

Eagerly Desire (1 Corinthians 12:31, 14:1, 14:12, 14:39)

Holy Spirit responds to our desires Psalm 37:4, Mark 11:24

Am I eagerly desiring the gifts of the Spirit?

Activate by Faith (Luke 11:5–13)

Faith is understanding what the Word of God says and applying it to our lives in the spirit in which it was said

Am I using the faith God provides?

Train to follow Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19, 1 Corinthians 14:31–32 )

Experiment inside the church. We’re told in the Old Testament to stone a prophet who speaks incorrectly. (Deuteronomy 18:22) But after the Spirit is given we’re told to test everything and hold to the good. (1 Thessalonians 5:19–21) Am I willing to risk using the gifts of Holy Spirit?

To be a gift of Jesus for the church…

How to discern if you should pursue a possible call Tool

Do you have the ILK?

Interest — Do I think I might be called to be gift to the church? If yes, then…

Love and learning — Do I have the heart and can I learn the skills I need? If yes, then…

Knowable agreement — Do others who know me well, agree I have the heart and can learn the skills I need?

To use the gifts God provides…

Am I serving in the strength God provides Tool?

SERVE

S — Surrender your agenda.

Isaiah 64:8 Do I let him be the potter? Am I not eagerly desiring your gifts because I don’t want to be embarrassed?

E — Enjoy His light yoke.

Matthew 11:28–30 Am I carrying His light yoke? Am I being guilted into doing more?

R — Remember to work as unto the Lord.

Colossians 3:23–24 Am I working as unto the Lord with my whole heart? Am I wanting a gift to look good?

V — Verify you are seeking first His Kingdom.

Matthew 6:33 Am I seeking His Kingdom in this? Am I looking to make a name for myself or see Jesus glorified?

E — Encourage others and be encouraged.

Proverbs 11:25 Am I looking to bless or simply to be blessed? Who do you want me to bless today?

Conclusion

Take the time to ask “Is there a gift I need to desire or a gift I need to become?”

gifts God

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Trevor Lund

I help you to not conform but be transformed so you can have peace at all times and in every situation