The Son gives the 5-fold ministry gifts for the equipping of the body, the church, recorded in Ephesians 4:11 and I Corinthians 12:28.
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are recorded in I Corinthians 12:8-10, 28.
When I speak about gifts, however, I am most often referring to the motivational gifts that God the Father gives. These motivations are the way in which you view people and situations. When you understand your basic life motivation, you will understand why you say and do some of the things you say and do! You will also understand others better.
prophecy - to speak with insight and moral boldness, influencing others in one's arena of influence
ministry/service - to render loving service to meet the needs of others
teaching - the supernatural ability to explain and apply the truths received from God
exhortation - to entreat, comfort or instruct
giving - to give out of a spirit of generosity
leadership - modeling, superintending, and developing the body of Christ
mercy - to relate to others in sympathy, empathy, respect and honesty
Do you know what your motivational gift is? Most people have a mix but one will be the dominant trait. *Added later - If you are not sure which is your dominant gift and want a fuller description of one or two, let me know in your comment and I will give a fuller explanation of the characteristics that accompany those gifts.
Here are three things I have learned regarding gifts and opportunities to exercise those gifts as I have had opportunities to speak and teach:
#1 Your gift may look similar to someone else's nevertheless it is unique.
#2 Your gift need not be fully nor perfectly developed in order for you to offer it with excellence. Remember excellence speaks of virtue, not of perfection.
#3 If you are asked to lead, walk confidently with an attitude of humilty, but BE THE LEADER.
Determine that no matter what season you are in, (I remember being in the Mommy of little kids season!) you will seek ways to develop your gift and prepare yourself for opportunities that will arise. Be a good steward of your gifts. Ask God to give you wisdom and show you how to use your gift regardless of your season. I remember a time when my children were much younger and I was so intent on knowing His Word and sharing it, yet I was also very busy being their Mommy. I felt that I couldn't "do" ministry and still be the kind of Mother I desired to be. I cried out to God and opened my heart to Him. I told Him what He already knew about the season I was in. He gently led me on a path in which I was able to care for the needs of my household while also pursuing Him with a passion.
Update on One Fine Man - I arrived back in CO on the 7th after flying home with my boys on Sunday. My mother traveled from MS to stay with our 3 children. The surgeon just left the room and told us the plan for closing the wound and doing the skin graft. He was very frank with us about the severity of the wound. We are so thankful for his expertise. We feel confident that he will do his best during the surgery tonight (1/8). We are even more confident that God's plans are to do us good and certainly not harm. I would greatly appreciate your prayers tonight. We continue to fight the good fight of faith.
The latest - The surgery last night to graft the skin went well. After 48 more hours of recovery, and barring any complications, we should be able to head home Sunday. Thank you for all of your encouraging comments and your prayers.
I am using the hospital laptop in the room. I have responded to some emails from blogger friends but I do not know if you have received them. I am grateful to be able to keep up with your blogs while I am here.