Rom 12:6-8 “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.”
Paul continues his exhortation here concerning the different functions of the members of the body of Christ. Let us keep in mind that these functions follow his admonishment to not think more highly of ourselves than we should. We do not have to look to hard to see that we do not all have the same gifts. Rather than stirring envy, we should rejoice that God has fitted each of us for His purpose in His kingdom.
The Greek word translated here as gifts has some wonderful meanings attached to it. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance lists (among others) “deliverance from danger or passion” as one meaning. This should hold a particular resonance with us when we consider Paul’s earlier admonition to not be conformed to the image of this world. Escaping that danger, and the passion that causes us to think more highly of ourselves than we should, is a gift according to God’s grace.
Another definition that we find attached to this word gift is a “miraculous faculty.” We often fail to recognize how very extraordinary the gifts we are given are. When we do not see the miracle contained in God’s gifts, we fail to properly honor Him with those gifts. We do not grasp the grace that is given to us.
How often have you heard someone say “All I can do is pray”? What a miracle that mortals such as we are have been gifted, according to the grace given us, with the means to converse with He who spoke the world into existence! We should be left in awe every time we have the privilege of approaching His throne to express our petition and our gratitude. The deliverance we experience through communing in this manner with our Lord is beyond what language can describe.
If we are blessed to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, we should tremble at the miraculous power at work in that. How glorious that we, who are the dust of the earth, are given utterance to speak of the power of God. Yet, we realize that this is not by our ability, but according to the proportion of faith that God has dealt to us. By the same measure of faith, we may be blessed to lift our voices in joyous harmony (not just of tongue, but of heart) and render praise to Him.
We might feel like we do not have any special gift, other than to perhaps serve the needs of others. We fail to understand that the very definition of the word ministry is give aid or service. What a miracle it is that we are able, in Christ, to bring this independent nature of ours under such subjection as to willingly see to the needs of others. Whatever our gifts may be, and rest assured we all have them, there is one thing they should share in common.
Our gifts do not need to be attended by a lot of fanfare. Whatever we have to give according to the grace that is given us should be done generously and sincerely (see Strong’s definition of simplicity). The use of our gifts should call attention to Him who has bestowed these upon us. He is the author of this miraculous deliverance whereby we honor Him and serve one another.
May we willingly use our gifts according to the grace God has given us!