The Kingdom of God can be an awesome Body to belong to, if you are prepared to pull your weight by exercising your spiritual gifts. Some believers want us to believe that they are not able to do anything in the Body of Christ apart from sitting in the pew most Sundays throughout the year. Strangely and mysteriously, they are wrong! The reason for their error is because no person can outthink or outdo God.
Ro 12:3 for by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.
1Co 12:7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
Everyone who is Christian has the Spirit and coming with the Spirit is the spiritual gift mix He brings. The Bible provides us with a few lists containing various spiritual gifts. None of them are exhaustive … and that is a good thing because some might feel that because they don’t have any gifts mentioned in the Bible, they don’t have any gifts. However, most believers start to exercise their spiritual gift mix based upon their natural abilities from the word go. In the passage we are looking at, we find how all the believers started to exercise spiritual gifts they had in “common”.
Ac 2:43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Consider this …
1) Giving appreciation is a spiritual gift.
Ac 2:43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles
The presence of the Holy Spirit validating the Gospel of Jesus resulted in supernatural things occurring in the presence of the people. It seems as though they, being struck with awe was to prevent them from interfering in the work of the apostles. Yet, the “awe” was the spiritual gift of giving appreciation. They did not allow what was happening to bounce off them. The responded positively. One of the lacking gifts in our day within the Church is appreciation. All of us can exercise this gift … withholding it is being selfish and self-centered.
2) Receiving appreciation is a spiritual gift.
Ac 2:47 enjoying the favor of all the people.
Its one thing to give appreciation … it’s another thing to receive appreciation. When God directs people to honor you and you refuse to be acknowledged it is saying to God that He has not appreciated you. He works through other to bless and encourage you.
3) Giving is a gift.
Ac 2:44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
The first thing we need to understand is that God does not expect us to sell any of our assets to distribute the proceeds to the less fortunate in the Church. Neither does God expect you to give over and above what He requires in your normal tithe. Some Churches have used emotional psychology to pressurize people to give their cars, houses, watches, jewelry and other assets. That is wicked and sinful and an abomination. Should we have sufficient and more than that and the Lord lays on your heart to give some of what you have to help someone else in the Body of Christ, that is the Spiritual Gift of Giving. As a student without and income, a wife and three children and a motor car that either caught fire when used or a wheel fell off or something else … God used a family to give us a motorcar with 36,000 kilometers on the clock. That’s the gift of giving … but it does not need to be that big. Small things count!
4) Receiving is a gift. From personal experience, giving is easy … receiving is difficult. The spiritual gift of receiving has nothing to do with trying to get things out of people … rather it is God directing them to give you something, maybe money or something else that you need without you advertising it. To refuse is to reject God’s gift as well as to hurt the giver God is using.
5) Gathering together is a gift.
Ac 2:46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.
Too often God’s people are casual about gathering for worship. Often it is an added on extra for the week where it ought to be the biggest event of the week, something to look forward to and prepared for. Because we belong to each other (Rom 12:5), we gift each other with our presence as we gather to worship God together. Do you prepare for the gathering?
6) Sharing a meal is a gift. They broke bread in their homes and ate together. Although it includes bringing food, it is giving of yourself in fellowship. The gift of sharing yourself with the Body is extremely special. Often believers, especially those who are single, are lonely and in need of fellowship. You being together with them is a gift! It is a “trial run for heaven” where we will be together forever!
7) Happiness is a gift … with glad and sincere hearts … Happiness is because of the gift of salvation and as we express happiness to each other, we are sharing Jesus’ joy that His people are living together in harmony.
8) Praise is a gift.
Ac 2:47 praising God.
Before salvation that was no thought or inclination to lift your heart and voice in praise to God … now there is. When you do so you share this gift with others and they with you. Consider
Eph 5:19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.
8) The results of exercising spiritual gifts is the blessing of God.
Ac 2:47 And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
When the community of God’s people honor God by exercising the spiritual gifts He blesses them with … especially the “common” gifts, He adds to their number … He grows His Kingdom and through this the local Church is blessed. May I suggest that we, as God’s people seek, through prayer, to capture the joy of servicing the Body of Christ, to serve the world by using the spiritual gifts He gives.
O Lord, You provide every gift needed for Your Kingdom.