Memory Verse: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
You are probably already using many of the gifts that God has given you. That is because they are things that we enjoy and are good at. When asked "How can I discover my spiritual gifts?" Dr Charles Stanley always replies by asking "What do you enjoy most about serving the Lord?" When we minister to others using our gifts, we receive spiritual energy and motivation of God and the Holy Spirit is able to works through us beyond our own understanding. This brings an extra measure of joy. The trouble comes when we start serving outside of our gifts. This can leave us feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. If you are serving in an area that you feel is outside of your gift, you may be hindering someone else who is blessed in that area as well as missing opportunities that God may have for you to do something that you would receive a true blessing from. Over the course of the week, spend time in prayer asking God to show you your gifts and talents. Make a list of things you enjoy and are good at and use those things to point others to God. Utilize those gifts and allow God to grow them!
Tuesday: Using our gifts and talents - 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Instead of building up and unifying the Corinthian church, the issue of spiritual gifts was splitting it. Spiritual gifts had become symbols of spiritual power, causing rivalries because some people thought they were more "spiritual" than others because of their gifts. This was a terrible misuse of spiritual gifts because their purpose is always to help the church function more effectively, not to divide it. We can be divisive if we insist on using our gift our own way without being sensitive to others. We can read on to discover how the church is a body of believers, each having their own specific function that is necessary to the body as a whole. What is your place in the body? Is your gift being used in a way that supports the functions of the other members of the body?
Wednesday: It is not for you to know! Acts 1:4-7
The disciples are told to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the fulfillment of God’s promise. Confused and frustrated, the disciples wanted to know when Jesus was going to restore the kingdom to Israel. He tells them that God’s timing is not for them to know. How often do we ask God for things but then fail to have faith in His timing? We must make a commitment to wait for God’s timing. Waiting is a difficult thing, especially in our fast-paced society. God can answer a prayer by saying; yes, no, or wait. Wait does not mean no, it just means that the timing is not right. Is God telling you to wait? Read Psalms 27. David knew from experience what it meant to wait for the Lord. Instead of being angry about it, make use of your waiting times by discovering what God may be trying to teach you in them. Remember: God is worth the wait!
Thursday: Witnessing from here to yonder! Acts 1:8
This verse describes a series of ever-widening circles, like tossing pebbles into a pond. The gospel was to spread, geographically, from Jerusalem, into Judea and Samaria, and finally to the whole world. It would begin with the devout Jews in Jerusalem and Samaria, spread to the mixed race in Samaria, and finally be offered to the Gentiles in the uttermost parts of the earth. God's gospel has not reached its final destination if someone in your family, your workplace, your school, or your community hasn't heard about Jesus Christ. Make sure that you are contributing in some way to the ever-widening circle of God's loving message. Ask God to show you how to use your talents to start your own ripple effect.
Friday: What are you looking at? Acts 1:9-11
After 40 days with his disciples, Jesus returned to heaven. The two men in white apparel were angels who proclaimed to the disciples that one day Jesus would return in the same way he went-bodily and visibly. History is not haphazard or cyclical; it's moving towards a specific point-the return of Jesus to judge and rule over the earth. We should be ready for his sudden return, not by standing around "gazing up into Heaven," but by working hard to share the gospel so that others will be able to share in God's great blessings. Make a list of ways you can use your gifts and talents to show others God's love for them.