Are We There Yet? – Part 1: Spiritual Gifts

Are We There Yet? – Part 1: Spiritual Gifts

Spiritual Gifts
Are We There Yet? – Part 1
July 30 – 31, 2022

“But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.”                          Acts 6:1 (p.834)

Series Memory Verse: “I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:13b-14 (p.901)

  • Aim High With My Spiritual Gifts.

Spiritual Gifts: special abilities given to each of us when we begin following Jesus.

“A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.”
1 Corinthians 12:7 (p.877)

“So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, ‘We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. Then we apostles can spend our time praying and teaching the word.’” Acts 6:2-4 (p.834)

  1. Identify the gift(s) God has given me.

“Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith).” Acts 6:5 (p.834)

“In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.”
Romans 12:6 (p.866)

  1. Improve my understanding of the gift(s) God has given me.

“These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them.” Acts 6:6 (p.834)

“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 unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages? Of course not!” 1 Corinthians 12:29–30 (p.878)

  1. Implement the gift(s) God has given me.

“So God’s message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too.” Acts 6:7 (p.834)

“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” 1 Peter 4:10 (p.936)

My Next Step This Week: 

____ Today, I am committing to identify, improve, and implement the spiritual gifts God has given me.

Discussion/Groups Guide: Are We There Yet? – Part 1: “Spiritual Gifts”

Life Groups use this guide in their discussion and study of the Weekend Talk. Use this also as a discussion guide with your family and friends.

Conversation Starters

  • Describe a long journey which you have to make but which you really don’t like making; it may be for a number of reasons; constant traffic jams, don’t really want to go; the people aren’t very nice, etc.  What do you do to make the journey more tolerable?
  • Have you ever been discriminated against? Maybe at school because you were small; maybe because you were from out of town?  How did you feel?
  • Have you ever benefitted from discrimination that went in your favor? What was the circumstance?

Quick Review

Looking back at your Weekend Talk Notes, was there anything you heard in the service that stood out, challenged, or maybe even confused you?

Discussion Starters from the Weekend Talk

Refer to the Talk Notes and Bible verses from the Talk Notes.

Our One Thing: Aim High With My Spiritual Gifts.

Series Memory Verse: Philippians 3:13b-14 (p.901)

One Voice Bible Story Background: Acts 6:1-7 (p.834). The appointing of the first deacons.

  • See also 1 Peter 2:4-5 (p935); 1 Corinthians 12:7 (p.877).
  • Paraphrase what was happening in the church in Acts 6:17. When have you been part of something similar, where a rapid change necessitated making adjustments to how you do things?
  • How does Peter describe the Church in 1 Peter 2:4-5? Talk about “being a priest” in this context.
  • This week we described Spiritual Gifts as special abilities given to each of us when we begin following Jesus. Are you encouraged by this? Challenged? Terrified? How has this affected your faith journey?
  • Read Acts 6:4 (p.834). How does this “solution” speak to the presence of different Spiritual Gifts in the Church?

As we talk about Spiritual Gifts, here are three steps to help you Aim High:

  1. Identify the gift(s) God’s given me. (Acts 6:4-5 (p.834); Romans 12:6 (p.866).
    • One way is to take a Spiritual Gifts Assessment (test) to help you discover yours.
    • If you know your Spiritual Gift(s) how have you used it/them? If you have not really ever lived in your gifting, what could you do today to move towards doing that?
    • Why is it important to also look to those who know you in the church to help you identify your gifting?
    • Why is it significant that God gives us gifts “in His grace”?
  2. Improve my understanding of the gift(s) God’s given me. (Acts 6:6 (p.834); 1 Corinthians 12:29-30 (p.878)
    • How have you seen yours or someone else’s gifts confirmed? In what ways could your gifts be confirmed?
    • What do you know about the gift(s) you have been given?
    • Did you ever give a gift to someone that you knew would never use the thing you gave them? You can sometimes just tell that your gift is going to the back of the closet or on the top shelf. How do you think God feels when we do not use the gift(s) He gives?
  3. Implement the gift(s) God’s given me. (Acts 6:7 (p.834); 1 Peter 4:10 (p.936).
    • What was the result of the early church body living in their giftedness?
    • According to Peter, why are we given Spiritual Gifts?
      • Are you? How can you help someone else use their git(s)?
      • And be sure to seek assistance to help you discover and live in your gifting. Pastors love to do this. Talk to them. Set up a time!
    • How would our church change if more of us truly lived in our gifting?

Digging Deeper

Every Follower of Jesus has one or more Spiritual Gifts. Why is it that we find ourselves so easily sidelined or even derailed by grumbling, like the believers in Acts 6:!?  The answer may lie in Hebrews 12:15 (p928) Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”:

Within the Life Group (or with your family or trusted friends in the Groups “off-season”) you should feel comfortable to exercise or maybe even try out your spiritual gifts in a safe environment. A word of knowledge can identify a root of bitterness in someone and set them free to receive the full blessings of God.

The writer of the Hebrews frequently exhorts believers to work together to look after each other and encourage each other.  There are 12 “Let us” sayings in the book of Hebrews in the New Living Translation Bible. Take time to meditate on them during the series and perhaps in the coming weeks within your Life Group.

Hebrews 4:11, 14, 16, 6:1 (p922); 10:22-24 (p926); 12:1 (p927); 12:28 (p928); 13:13-15 (p929)

My Next Step This Week

____ Today, I am committing to identify, improve, and implement the spiritual gifts God has given me.
This Week’s Life Transformation Bible Daily Reading: Spiritual Gifts (p.A70-71)