Category Archives: Christian Living

Christ’s Creed

Live For Him

TODAY’S VERSE
Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.
I Timothy 4:12 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I remember as a young person how today’s passage shaped my life. It was exciting to be challenged to live like a believer should, even though I was young. God cared about my behavior. He did not discount me because I was young. He gave me everything I needed to live the life He wanted me to. Well, today, decades later, God still cares about my behavior. I am not off the hook because I am older. I still need to live the way God wants me to. And how exciting to know that God still convicts, forgives, and empowers me by and through His Holy Spirit. Today, no matter what your age, let God help you be an example of what a believer should be in how you talk, live, have faith, love and keep yourself pure.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for giving me everything I need to live for You. I pray that Your Holy Spirit will guide me and empower me to live, love, and have faith in a way that pleases You.
AMEN

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Have Faith

Have Faith

TODAY’S VERSE
Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Mark 4:40 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
You can’t live on your last breath. It’s not good enough to eat once a month. The nature of life is a process, not an event. Faith that you had in God yesterday will not uphold you in today’s trial. You must choose to put your faith in God today. The disciples were with Jesus every day. They witnessed His miracles, heard His teachings, and experienced His love. Yet in a crisis on the Lake, they asked Jesus, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” Is it no wonder then that you too wrestle with faith? Jesus could ask the same of you, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The good news is that your faith can grow. While you must choose faith on a daily basis, if you fellowship with Christ and experience His power, the faith you have today will be greater than it was yesterday. So take heart. Even though you doubt, even though you struggle with many of your life issues, Jesus did not give up on His disciples, and He will not give up on you. Today, trust God and have faith in Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me when I have lacked faith. Help me trust You today. Help me put my faith in the love You have for me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Do You Know What Your Spiritual Gifts Are?
Now You Can. CLICK HERE to Get your FREE Spiritual Gifts Survey

Insured

TODAY’S VERSE
Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.
Jude 1:24 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We insure ourselves in so many ways. We buy insurance for our cars and homes. We buy medical insurance, dental insurance and disability insurance. But perhaps the greatest insurance of all was paid for by Jesus Christ. He knew the risks. Sin happens. Yet He loved us so much that He did everything needed to make sure we are covered, so no matter what, He will bring us, with great joy, into God’s glorious presence without a single fault! No wonder Paul says, “All glory to God!” That should be the response of our heart too. So today, Praise Him for saving you and for insuring your place in Heaven for all eternity.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, thank You for the sacrifice of Your dear Son, my Lord Jesus Christ. Thank You that You will keep me from falling away and will bring me with great joy into Your glorious presence without a single fault.
AMEN

______________________________________

CLICK HERE to send this to a friend

You can get this Daily Devotional sent to your e-mail as “Moment In the Word”. CLICK HERE to have this Daily E-votional sent to your e-mail

Do You Know What Your Spiritual Gifts Are?
Now You Can. CLICK HERE to Get your FREE Spiritual GIfts Test and Workbook

Do you want to know how to be a Child of God? CLICK HERE to find out how

Join us on TWITTER for our NEW DAILY PERSONALIZED BIBLE AFFIRMATION

We are doing a new devotional ministry you may be interested in. We already do MOMENT IN THE WORD a daily devotional.
Now we are going on Twitter featuring a daily Personalized Bible Affirmation taken from our own Personalized Bible Paraphrase. Each day you will find the verses inspirational and written in a way that helps you personally pray them. Go to twitter and follow us @ronovitt

How Can I Find Out What Spiritual Gift I Have?

No single test can fully verify “everything” there is to know about your spiritual gifts. Rather, the goal of this blog is to stimulate your thinking and make you more aware of God working in your life. Our  Spiritual Gifts Survey (go to www.empowerministry.org/gifts) will bring preferences and inclinations into your consciousness, perhaps even help clarify some of your thinking, but in order to really discern your Spiritual gifts, you will need to spend more time thinking about, praying over and using the gifts. Experience will be one of the most valuable indicators as to what Spiritual gifts you have. We are complex beings and God has given us wonderful passions and abilities. Surely it is worth some time to better understand how God has intended us to best serve Him. Here are three ways you can expand your knowledge about your own personal spiritual gifts.

1. Spend time in prayer
 You will learn more about your spiritual gifts as you spend time with God in prayer asking Him to show you your gifts. After you finish this chapter, go somewhere alone to be with God. Review your choices and ask God to give you insight.  Talk to Him about the gifts. Express any doubt, fear or frustrations you may have as a result of this chapter. Ask God for clarity and confirmation.

2. Investigate
Investigation is key to knowing and using your spiritual gifts. Like many other things in life, the more you learn the more you find out how little you really know. Remember, these are “gifts” because they were given to us. They are not talents or abilities as we think when we say someone is a gifted athlete. This is a misnomer. Sure, there some of the gifts involve skills, talents, and abilities but many of the spiritual gifts are a spiritual urge, leaning, passion or unction.
Consider mercy. It is not a talent or ability, but rather a feeling or an urge that drives you to action. Even healing, which sounds like it is our own innate talent, is not our ability to “heal” someone. God does the healing! Instead, the gift of healing is the passion and faith a person brings to prayer when someone is sick. The urge is so strong they must pray for healing! The person with the gift of healing prays for healing because it is burning deep inside of them to do so.  God must do the healing. They have been given the spiritual “passion” for healing. Healing is not automatic, it is under the leadership of God. For example, Paul had the gift of healing yet in I Timothy 5:23 he tells Timothy to take wine for the healing of his stomach. I imagine Paul prayed for Timothy but God did not heal him. Paul was deeply concerned for Epaphroditus and I believe he prayed for him earnestly, yet we see that God did not heal him as recorded in Philippians 2:25-27. In II Timothy 4:20 we see that Paul left Trophimus sick at Melitas. The gift of healing was not automatic but strictly under the providence of God.  As we examine scriptures further, in Matthew 13:58 we see that even Jesus could not heal in His hometown because of the people’s unbelief.
The supernatural gifts are all about the passion God puts in our hearts and the will of God in the circumstance. A person with the gift of mercy will not be moved in every circumstance they come across. Rather they learn to discern the urging of the Holy Spirit and be merciful in situations that God leads them in. For this reason, when you examine the definitions of the Spiritual gifts you be asked to rate yourself two ways. First, you will rate your inward passion. Is it high, medium or low? Then you are asked to rate your experience of the gift. Is it high, medium or low?
This type of investigation will allow you to be your own guidance counselor. You will be able to look at the results of the survey and draw some conclusions. Then you can ask others, who you trust and know you well, to give you insight into your giftedness. Finally, you can study other books and take other tests. All of this will help you learn more about you and the gifts that God has given you.

3. Do ministry and see what happens
 There is nothing that can substitute for good old experience. Paul told Timothy to “stir up or exercise the gifts that he had.” Another way to say that is, “Get out there, try them out.” This is the best way to find out what spiritual inclinations God has really given you. Get involved in ministry and see where your passions are. If you begin to think your gift is “helps”, go and be more deliberate. Go and help some people. If “mercy”, work somewhere you can be merciful. If it is “faith”, meet with the Pastor and start to trust God for great things at the church. If “healing”, start praying earnestly for sick people. As you get more involved in ministry where you think you may have a gift, you will soon find out if this gift is indeed a deep passion from God. If it is, the experience will help fuel the fire. You will feel alive as if you found what God really wants you to do. And you have. As you continue to minister, God will help you learn about, modify and grow in your spiritual gifts.

CLICK HERE to take our FREE online Spiritual Gifts Survey

To learn more read our book Wired For Ministry

 

Using My Spiritual Gifts

I have a lot of people from all over the world write and ask, “How do I use my Spiritual Gifts?” For example here is an email for someone in England. “I have gift of prophecy,wisdom and singing. I need help in  how to develop these giftings. I was just told that I have these gifts. How do I activate and test myself that really I flow in these gifts. Please reply.”

MY RESPONSE:

Thanks for your comment. There are two types of “gifts” and it can get confusing. One type of gift is what most people think of when they use gifts. It is a talent or ability. Singing for example would be a “gift” God gave you. The way you can develop that would be to increase in your practice, skill, and performance. Then you could ask God to give you opportunities to serve and use your gift to the best of your ability. Chances are it will be a life long gift that you can use. Teaching, hospitality and encouraging are some of the gifts like this.

However there seems to be a second type of Spiritual Gift. It is also “led” by God but in this case it is also fully empowered by God. For example, healing, prophecy, God given knowledge, miracles. These are “gifts” (given by God) that we have no way of doing by ourself. It seems that God gives these types of manifestations when He desires. However, that doesn’t mean we do not have any responsibility with these gifts. You ask, “How do I activate or flow in these gifts?”

If I would have to pick a few things it would be: Learn, be available and try. First be a learner. Study, pray, seek God for wisdom. Find others that are doing the gift. Intern with someone. Be a student and seek God’s guidance and instruction. Second, be available. God uses these gifts for His purposes. He will direct your path. It is all about Him and His love for mankind. Go where He is working and He will show you what to do. Third, try. I could say, “Just Do it!” but often the “doing” doesn’t happen. You are still using your gift when God asks you to pray for healing and the person doesn’t get healed! God is the healer and His ways are beyond our understanding. But I do know this, it seems that most things in life are a process. God is committed to process and seeing these gifts grow and be used is a process. We are called to be obedient to His leading. He will act according to His will. And you know what? Things will begin to happen. Elisha watched and tutored under Elijah, Timothy under Paul, the disciples under Jesus. I really believe that we will know more and more and see more and more happen as we do more and more.

Finally, I would add, fall in love with God’s Holy Spirit. Pray, seek His guidance. Allow Him to guide you. The Holy Spirit is that part of the Triune God that Jesus gave us in order to reach the world and do the work He began. After all these are Spirit-ual gifts.

I hope this helps. Look for our new book coming out later this fall on How To Use Your Spiritual Gifts. If interested contact me at ron@calvaryop.org.

God bless you in your service for Him.

Ron Ovitt

How Can I Know What Spiritual Gifts Are Mine?

How Can I Know What Spiritual Gifts Are Mine?

No single test can fully verify “everything” there is to know about your spiritual gifts. Rather, the goal of this blog is to stimulate your thinking and make you more aware of God working in your life. Our  Spiritual Gifts tests (go to www.layministry.com) will bring preferences and inclinations into your consciousness, perhaps even help clarify some of your thinking, but in order to really discern your Spiritual gifts  you will need to spend more time thinking about , praying over and using the gifts. Experience will be one of the most valuable indicators as to what Spiritual gifts you have. We are complex beings and God has given us wonderful passions and abilities. Surely it is worth some time to better understand how God has intended us to best serve Him. Here are three ways you can expand your knowledge about your own personal spiritual gifts.

1. Spend time in prayer
 You will learn more about your spiritual gifts as you spend time with God in prayer asking Him to show you your gifts. After you finish this chapter, go somewhere alone to be with God. Review your choices and ask God to give you insight.  Talk to Him about the gifts. Express any doubt, fear or frustrations you may have as a result of this chapter. Ask God for clarity and confirmation.

2. Investigate
 Investigation is key to knowing and using your spiritual gifts. Like many other things in life, the more you learn the more you find out how little you really know. Remember, these are “gifts” because they were given to us. They are not talents or abilities as we think when we say someone is a gifted athlete. This is a misnomer. Sure, there some of the gifts involve skills, talents and abilities but many of the spiritual gifts are a spiritual urge, leaning, passion or unction.
 Consider mercy. It is not a talent or ability, but rather a feeling or an urge that drives you to action. Even healing, which sounds like it is our own innate talent, is not our ability to “heal” someone. God does the healing! Instead, the gift of healing is the passion and faith a person brings to prayer when someone is sick. The urge is so strong they must pray for healing! The person with the gift of healing prays for healing because it is burning deep inside of them to do so.  God must do the healing. They have been given the spiritual “passion” of healing. Healing is not automatic, it is  under the leadership of God. For example, Paul had the gift of healing yet in I Timothy 5:23 he tells Timothy to take wine for the healing of his stomach. I imagine Paul prayed for Timothy but God did not heal him. Paul was deeply concerned for Epaphroditus and I believe he prayed for him earnestly, yet we see that God did not heal him as recorded in Philippians 2:25-27. In II Timothy 4:20 we see that Paul left Trophimus sick at Melitas. The gift of healing was not automatic but strictly under the providence of God.  As we examine scriptures further, in Matthew 13:58 we see that even Jesus could not heal in His home town because of the people’s unbelief.
 The supernatural gifts are all about the passion God puts in our hearts and the will of God in the circumstance. A person with the gift of mercy will not be moved in every circumstance they come across. Rather they learn to discern the urging of the Holy Spirit and be merciful in situations that God leads them in. For this reason when you examine the definitions of the Spiritual gifts you be asked to  rate yourself two ways. First you will rate your inward passion. Is it high, medium or low? Then you be asked to rate your experience of the gift. Is it high, medium or low? 
 This type of investigation will allow you to be your own guidance counselor. You will be able to look at the results of the survey and draw some conclusions. Then you can ask others, who you trust and know you well, to give you insight to your giftedness. Finally you can study other books and take other tests. All of this will help you learn more about you and the gifts that God has given you. 

3. Do ministry and see what happens
 There is nothing that can substitute for good old experience. Paul told Timothy to “stir up or exercise the gifts that he had.” Another way to say that is, “Get out there, try them out.” This is the best way to find out what spiritual inclinations God has really given you. Get involved in ministry and see where your passions are. If you begin to think your gift is “helps”, go and be more deliberate. Go and help some people. If “mercy”, work somewhere you can be merciful. If it is “faith”, meet with the Pastor and start to trust God for great things at the church. If “healing”, start praying earnestly for sick people. As you get more involved in ministry where you think you may have a gift, you will soon find out if this gift is indeed a deep passion from God. If it is, experience will help fuel the fire. You will feel alive, as if you found what God really wants you to do. And you have. As you continue to minister, God will help you learn about, modify and grow in your spiritual gifts.

CLICK HERE to download your  FREE copy of our Spritual Gifts Test and Workbook.

Light Your Corner of the World

Light Your Corner of the World

TODAY’S VERSE
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Matthew 5:14

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love synergy. That is the result of different entities working together to create a bigger response than they could by themselves. Have you ever been to a “candle light sing”, when at the end of the service one candle is lit and one by one each candle in the auditorium sends forth its illumination? What a beautiful site. How amazing that one little candle can be part of such brightness. This is the effect Jesus had in mind when He said that we were the “light of the world”. He was leaving this world and with the power of the Holy Spirit in each of our lives we would each shine our own light. Together we would become the light of the world. Dallas Willard in his book “Hearing God” writes, “Those who receive the grace of God’s saving companionship in His word are by that very fact also fitted to show humankind how to live.  Collectively the ‘called out’ people of God, the church is empowered to stand up for wandering humanity to see. When faced with starvation, crime, economic disasters and difficulties, disease, loneliness, alienation and war, the church should be, because it alone could be, the certified authority on how to live to which the world looks for answers.” We are called to be the light where we are. Today, come to Him, bring Him your candle; let Him light it for you and then light up your corner of the world. I’ll light mine. If everyone reading this devotional would let Christ light their light, someone is bound to be effected. There are people all around us dying to come out of the darkness.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, speak to me, ignite my heart and then help me shine that light today. Help me share the light that I have with those hurting in utter darkness so they too can live in the light of your love and glory.
AMEN

The Fruit Of The Spirit

The Fruit Of The Spirit

TODAY’S VERSE
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
When I think of our human propensity for anger, confusion, impatience, harshness, lack of control and impulsiveness, I am amazed at God’s solution. Our humanness, a result of man’s fallen condition, has been trumped by God’s Holy Spirit. What a plan. God gives us a body in which we house our personality with enough room for His Holy Spirit. The result is the ability for the Holy Spirit to produce in us new attitudes, motivations and behaviors. Paul calls it fruit. What a great analogy – the Holy Spirit alive in us, growing into a beautiful fruit tree. The fruit that the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. You don’t have to make an apple tree produce apples. When watered, nourished and receiving adequate sunlight an apple tree produces beautiful luscious apples. Likewise, you don’t have to manufacture the fruit of the Spirit; rather, you begin reading and meditating on His Holy word and spending time in relationship with God through confession and prayer and the Holy Spirit will generate the results. Begin today to nourish your Spiritual life and let the Holy Spirit produce its fruit.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I desire the fruit of the Holy Spirit to be evident in my life. Help me to read and meditate on your word. Help me to relate to you in prayer and confession. Help me, Holy Spirit, live the life you want me to. Produce your fruit in my life, even today.
AMEN

Do You Have The Spiritual Gift Of Service?

SPIRITUAL GIFT OF SERVICE

Please read the following  Spiritual Gift of Service description and then rate yourself on a scale of 1 through 5 both in passion and experience. This is to help you from ignoring a gift God may have for you. For example you may be high in passion in the gift of  “discernment” but as of yet God has not manifested Himself in that way to you. If all you rated was experience you may skip over this very important passion God has given you. Likewise if you are deeply involved in “mercy” but are more pragmatic and less passionate about it you may be tempted to ignore developing the gift of “mercy” in the way God wants you to.

Rate Your Passion For This Gift

The first rating has to do with your passion for the gift. Are you really motivated to act this way? 1 means that you have no interest in or passion to use the gift. 5 means that the definition describes you very accurately, or that you do have a strong interest/passion in the ability.

Next Rate Your Experience With or Evidence For This Gift

The second rating has to do with your experience/evidence of the gift. Rate your experience with or evidence of the gift.

1 means that you have no experience with or evidence of the gift. 5 means that you have a lot of experience with or evidence of the gift.

SPIRITUAL GIFTS OF SERVICE

In Romans 12:7 Paul writes, “if it is serving, let him serve” (NIV).  In the Biblical language service means to aid, relieve, help, attend, or to wait on people through menial duties. It is where we get our words deacon, minister, and servant.
Service can include almost any work that benefits others. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and said that the greatest will be servant to the rest. His disciples were to minister or serve others, especially the needy. It is helping with those unfinished often-thankless details as a servant of God and the church. It is volunteering to get the job done. You love the church and want to help where you are needed, not minding the mundane or labor-intensive task. Your attitude is, “I’m happy to serve Jesus and the church. Someone has to do it, it might as well be me.”

Benefits
Stephen’s service of tables in Acts 6  allowed the other Apostles to pay more attention to the preaching and teaching. Today as we serve in the church, it frees up the pastors and teachers to minister the word. It also is an important part of need-based evangelism.

Pitfalls
There is such a need and so few volunteers that it is easy to be overworked and neglect other responsibilities. We must be careful not to become bitter and judge those that do not help. It is also possible to fall into pride and serve for the recognition that we get or jealous if someone “outshines” us.

Ministry Opportunities
The need is endless. Every church and ministry has a list of “chores” that need to be completed. Some are on a regular basis. Odd jobs, helping the elderly, organizing or volunteering to help at events, set-up and clean-up, cooking, ushering, visitation, building and ground maintenance and help with youth and children ministries are just a few. Besides in the church, there are numerous needs in the community that the church should be addressing. The gift of service is an important gift needed to help the church fulfill its responsibilities.

Further Training
Service in a ministry is not always like service at a secular corporation. Often we don’t have the best equipment or any budget to speak of. There is usually a shortage of workers and those that do volunteer often will not have the professional skills. The best training seems to come from experience. It is learning perseverance, humility and determination that will pay off. Leadership, management and organizational techniques can help with the running of service projects.

RATE YOURSELF ON THE GIFT OF SERVICE

Passion
Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you have a passion for serving others.
(1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)

Passion Score ______

Experience/Evidence
Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you have had significant experience in serving others or evidence of the gift of service.
(1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)

Experience/Evidence Score __
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How to Rate Your Score
 To be more accurate on the Spiritual Gift you need to look both at your passion with the gift and the experience with or evidence of the gift. If your passion is 3 – 5 then it is high. If your passion is 1 – 2 then it is low. It is the same with the experience with or evidence of the gift. Is the experience/evidence high (3 – 5) or is it low (1 – 2)?

Plot your scores on the grid
 Notice that Experience/Evidence is on the vertical axis and Passion is on the horizontal axis. So a Experience/Evidence score of  3 and a Passion score of 2 and would be in the number 2 quadrant.

Quadrants

Quadrant 1 = High Passion and High Experience/Evidence
A Spiritual Gift that is in this quadrant seems to be one that God has given you. You are passionate about the gift and have experience and evidence in your life that seems to confirm this. Continue to grow in this gift and use it for His glory.

Quadrant 2 = Low Passion and High Experience/Evidence
A Spiritual Gift in this quadrant may indicate that circumstances have called upon you to exhibit this skill or ministry in your life. For example you don’t have to have a high Passion to be merciful to those that are hungry around you. However your church may have a large feeding program. Just because you are recruited and spend a lot of time doesn’t mean that you have the Gift of Mercy. Rather it simply could mean that you were obedient to God by helping with a need.

Quadrant 3 = High Passion and Low Experience/Evidence
Scoring in this quadrant is common among the Supernatural gifts. Healing, faith, miracles – you may feel really burdened in situations to pray for God’s intervention in mighty ways. You pray believing and trusting that God can and will act. If this is true then you must rate yourself high on Passion. However, though you are passionate in your praying for healing your experience may not be successful. You would rate your experience/evidence score low. However, this does not mean give up. It is just an indicator of your personal experience up to this moment in time. If God moves you deeply to pray for the supernatural let Him take care of the results. It is better to pray believing and not see the results you anticipated than to be disobedient and not pray. God has given you the gift, He will use it according to His will. Be faithful to the passion He has given you.

Quadrant 4 = Low Passion and Low Experience/Evidence
A score in this quadrant is usually a good indicator that God, up to this point in time, has not birthed in you this Spiritual Gift. This does not mean that in time God may call upon you to work in this area. God can give any gift at any time. He is sovereign.

Now that you have finished this self-assessment, how do you feel about your discovery? Were you surprised or did you find the answer that you expected?  Are you intimidated by the significance of the gift and what God may expect from you or are you confident that God has and will continue to use you in this way?
One way to confirm your findings is to ask those Godly people that know you well. Ask them to read the definitions of the gifts that you selected and confirm whether they see this same gift in your life or not. Ask them what they think you need to improve on. Ask them to pray for you that you may have understanding and wisdom in using these gifts.
Another way to grow in your gift is to report to the member of your pastoral staff at church that would be in charge of volunteers in the church. Share with them your discovery and ask them for materials to study and opportunities for service. Perhaps there is someone that they know that could mentor you in this gift.
Finally, seek out others in your church that have the same gift(s). Meet regularly as a group to learn, share stories and pray for each other. As a church, you function as a body of believers. You were given these gifts to help each other. There is no limit to what God could do as you and the others in your church are Spirit-led in the use of these gifts.

What are some ways that you can use your gifts? You can find out more about this in our workbook Wired For Ministry  CLICK HERE to preview Wired for Ministry.

Want to know more about Spiritual Gifts? CLICK HERE for a FREE Spiritual Gifts Survey

Do You Have The Spiritual Gift Of Helps?

SPIRITUAL GIFT OF HELPS
In I Corinthians 12:28 it says “those able to help others” (NIV). The gift of “helps” is different than just passively helping, as in the word “service” or “servant”. Rather in “helps” there is an involvement that goes deeper than just serving someone.           

In the Biblical meaning of “helps” there are three parts to the definition. The first part is that of “helping, bringing relief, giving assistance”. The second part is the concept of “taking hold of something, to succor and to participate”. This part implies involvement on the part of the person helping; a sharing with them deeply. It is more than serving; it is supporting. It literally means to “grab them, strongly lay hold of, to hold them up”. The third part is “to exchange”. There is an exchange between you and the person being helped. You see the needy as a giver, not just a receiver. You get a blessing too. There is a real involvement and interchange.

Benefits

There is joy given to both those who help and those that are being helped. This is part of a needs-based evangelism program. This gift will help the overall witness of the church.

Pitfalls

A person can become bitter at those that are not helping. The scriptures admonish us not to be weary in doing good. It can be hard to say “no” and easily taken advantage of. We can fall victim of a subtle belief in work-based salvation, even though we know we are saved by grace. We can become proud and insist on things being done our way. Finally, we need to be careful that we do not use this gift to “enable” people and be part of a codependent relationship.

Ministry Opportunities

The gift of helps often becomes a way that new people get involved in the church. A person with this gift can be part of a mentoring program. Visitation of and ministry to the sick, elderly, single parents, underprivileged youth and families would fall under “helps”.

Training

Training in people skills, basic counseling, listening, or empathy would be helpful. If you are moved to help in certain areas, then any training in that specialty would be great. Devotional reading on mercy ministries would be inspirational. Spiritual warfare training would help with any spiritual bondage issues that are part of the problem with those that you are ministering to.

RATE YOURSELF ON THE GIFT OF HELPS

After reading the  Spiritual Gift of Helps description, rate yourself on a scale of 1 through 5 both in passion and experience. This is to help you from ignoring a gift God may have for you. For example, you may be high in passion in the gift of  “discernment” but as of yet God has not manifested Himself in that way to you. If all you rated was experience you may skip over this very important passion God has given you. Likewise, if you are deeply involved in “service” but are more pragmatic and less passionate about it you may be tempted to ignore developing the gift of service in the way God wants you to.

Rate Your Passion For This Gift

The first rating has to do with your passion for the gift. Are you really motivated to act this way? 1 means that you have no interest in or passion to use the gift. 5 means that the definition describes you very accurately, or that you do have a strong interest/passion in the ability.

Next Rate Your Experience With or Evidence For This Gift

The second rating has to do with your experience/evidence of the gift. Rate your experience with or evidence of the gift.

1 means that you have no experience with or evidence of the gift. 5 means that you have a lot of experience with or evidence of the gift.

Passion
Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you have a passion for helping others.
(1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)

Passion Score ______

Experience/Evidence
Using a  scale of  1 – 5, rate whether you have had significant experience in helping others or evidence of the gift of helps.
(1 = Not at all, 5 = Very much so)

Experience/Evidence Score __
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How to Rate Your Score
 To be more accurate on the Spiritual Gift you need to look both at your passion with the gift and the experience with or evidence of the gift. If your passion is 3 – 5 then it is high. If your passion is 1 – 2 then it is low. It is the same with the experience where you rate evidence of the gift in your life. Is the experience/evidence high (3 – 5) or is it low (1 – 2)?

Plot your scores on the grid
 Notice that Experience/Evidence is on the vertical axis and Passion is on the horizontal axis. So an Experience/Evidence score of  3 and a Passion score of 2 and would be in the number 2 quadrant.

Quadrants

Quadrant 1 = High Passion and High Experience/Evidence
A Spiritual Gift that is in this quadrant seems to be one that God has given you. You are passionate about the gift and have experience and evidence in your life that seems to confirm this. Continue to grow in this gift and use it for His glory.

Quadrant 2 = Low Passion and High Experience/Evidence
A Spiritual Gift in this quadrant may indicate that circumstances have called upon you to exhibit this skill or ministry in your life. For example, you don’t have to have a high Passion to be merciful to those that are hungry around you. However, your church may have a large feeding program. Just because you are recruited and spend a lot of time doesn’t mean that you have the Gift of Mercy. Rather it simply could mean that you were obedient to God by helping with a need.

Quadrant 3 = High Passion and Low Experience/Evidence
Scoring in this quadrant is common among the Supernatural gifts. Healing, faith, miracles – you may feel really burdened in situations to pray for God’s intervention in mighty ways. You pray believing and trusting that God can and will act. If this is true then you must rate yourself high on Passion. However, though you are passionate in your praying for healing your experience may not be successful. You would rate your experience/evidence score low. However, this does not mean give up. It is just an indicator of your personal experience up to this moment in time. If God moves in your heart you deeply to pray for the supernatural let Him take care of the results. It is better to pray believing and not see the results you anticipated than to be disobedient and not pray. God has given you the gift, He will use it according to His will. Be faithful to the passion He has given you.

Quadrant 4 = Low Passion and Low Experience/Evidence
A score in this quadrant is usually a good indicator that God, up to this point in time, has not birthed in you this Spiritual Gift. This does not mean that in time God may call upon you to work in this area. God can give any gift at any time. He is sovereign.

Now that you have finished this self-assessment, how do you feel about your discovery? Were you surprised or did you find the answer that you expected?  Are you intimidated by the significance of the gift and what God may expect from you or are you confident that God has and will continue to use you in this way?
One way to confirm your findings is to ask those Godly people that know you well. Ask them to read the definitions of the gifts that you selected and confirm whether they see this same gift in your life or not. Ask them what they think you need to improve on. Ask them to pray for you that you may have understanding and wisdom in using these gifts.
Another way to grow in your gift is to report to the member of your pastoral staff at church that would be in charge of volunteers in the church. Share with them your discovery and ask them for materials to study and opportunities for service. Perhaps there is someone that they know that could mentor you in this gift.
Finally, seek out others in your church that have the same gift(s). Meet regularly as a group to learn, share stories and pray for each other. As a church, you function as a body of believers. You were given these gifts to help each other. There is no limit to what God could do as you and the others in your church are Spirit-led in the use of these gifts.

What are some ways that you can use your gifts? You can find out more about this in our workbook Wired For Ministry  CLICK HERE to preview Wired for Ministry.

Want to know more about Spiritual Gifts? CLICK HERE for a FREE Spiritual Gifts Survey