God created each of us with a unique combination of abilities that He wants us to enjoy and develop in order to bless others and invest in His Kingdom work.
S = Spiritual Gifts “I Corinthians 12:4-7”
4 “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.”
H = Heart Prov 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
1. Your heart is unique.
2. We all have experienced a “loss of heart.”
3. God is in the process of Restoring the Heart He gave us.
A = Abilities
P = Personality
E = Experiences in life
Q #1 – WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT OUR ABILITIES (TALENTS):
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.”
The Parable of the Talents: Matthew 25:14-30
A rich man who was going on a long journey called his three servants together. He told them they would be caretakers of his property while he was gone. The master had carefully assessed the natural abilities of each servant. He gave five talents to one servant, two to another, and one to the third—to each according to his ability. The master then left on his journey.
The servants went forth into a world open to enterprise and investment. The servant who had received five talents went into business and made five more. The servant who received two made two more. But the servant who received one hid the master’s property in a hole in the ground.
The master returned to settle his accounts. The servant who had received five talents came forth. “My lord,” he said, “you entrusted me with five talents; see, I have made five more!”
“Well done, good and faithful servant!” the master responded. “You have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your lord!”
Then the servant who had been given two talents approached the master. “My lord,” he said, “you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have made two talents more!” The master praised the servant in a like manner.
Then the one who had been given one talent approached his master. “My lord,” he said, “I knew you to be a hard man; you reap where you have not sown, and gather where you have not scattered; and being afraid I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours!”
The master’s response was swift and harsh: “You wicked and indolent slave! You were aware that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered; you ought for that reason to have invested my money with the bankers; then, on my return, I should have received my own with interest.”
The master ordered that the talent be taken away from the lazy servant and given to the one with the ten talents. “For to everyone who possesses not,” said the master, “even that which he has shall be taken away. Cast that useless slave into the outer darkness; there shall be weeping and the grinding of teeth!”
Jesus concludes the Parable in verse 29 by saying, “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
God commands us to use our talents toward productive ends. The parable emphasizes the need for work and creativity as opposed to idleness, or to hording these gifts for ourselves out of fear or selfishness.
We each will be called to give an account for the resources, including our talents or abilities, that we have been given.
Beware of the temptation to compare our abilities with someone else’s!
2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.
4 Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. 5 For we are each responsible for our own conduct.
Galatians 6:2-5 (NLT)
“…Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
I Cor. 10:31
- When do you feel God’s pleasure — what sparks JOY when you get to do it?
- What IRKS me when I don’t see it being done – or being done well?
- What do I do that causes people to say ‘You’re GOOD at that!’?
Q #2 – WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING (OR DOING MORE OF)?
“We’re not called to a busyness that drains us, we’re called to an abundance that trains us.”
“Your Sacred Yes”, by Susie Larson, p 2
“Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.”
6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
7 Naturally Supernatural Abilities
1. Prophesy: The person with this ability applies the Word of God to a situation so that sin is exposed and relationships are restored. He or she has a strong sense of right and wrong and speaks out against compromise and evil.
2. Serving: The person with this ability is driven to demonstrate love by meeting practical needs. The server is available to see a project through to the end and enjoys doing physical work.
3. Teaching: The person with this ability is passionate about discovering and validating truth. A teacher is particularly concerned with the accuracy of information, especially church doctrine, and is often gifted with research abilities.
4. Exhortation/Encouragement: The person with this ability wants to see believers grow to spiritual maturity. An exhorter is an encourager at heart and is often involved in the ministries of counseling, teaching, and discipleship.
5. Giving: The person with this ability wants to use financial resources wisely in order to give to meet the needs of others. A giver is usually good at making wise financial decisions, finding the best buy, noticing overlooked needs, and maintaining a budget.
6. Leadership: The person with this ability is able to accomplish tasks and solve problems through analysis and delegation. An organizer/leader often discerns the talents and abilities of others and knows how those individuals can best serve within a ministry or on a particular project.
7. Kindness/Mercy: The person with this ability is sensitive to the emotional and spiritual needs of others. A mercy-giver is drawn to people in need and seeks to demonstrate compassion, understanding, and love to them.
A quick reminder of the differences of ability versus Spiritual Gifts as they often can be cross categorized. An ability is born in you as a trait that can be utilized for God and indeed ought to be as you invest your talents in His Kingdom. A Spiritual Gift is when God takes your ability and adds to it a measure of himself by the Holy Spirit for the sake of bringing His grace for the benefit of others. In short, ability is what I bring to the situation of myself, acknowledging that God gave me those abilities. Spiritual Gifts are what God brings to the given situation, empowering us in the moment by the power of His Spirit in a way that blesses others.
Predictable Success – Leadership Styles Assessment reveals the following 4 types that predict success when present. This is applicable not only to work situations and church ministry but also in home dynamics. This is just another way to quantify and identify God’s unique design in you, your close ones and the body of Christ. Which one do you resonate with?
3. Processor: This organized person cares intensely about the details. They excel at managing systems at the ground level so that the organization can move forward in a rational, predictable, and repeatable manner.
4. Synergist: This person understands how to intervene and direct the above 3 types of leaders in order to avoid the inevitable instability, frustrations, and decline into team paralysis or disintegration.
“In successful organizations, the visionary often functions as the synergist,” Predictable Success founder, Mr. McKeown says. “Anyone can become a synergist by determining the predominant trait of people in a team and communication on their wavelength.”
- Ask 3 people in close relationship with you what they have observed that you’re good at doing. Ask them to recommend how you could invest that ability in God’s Kingdom work within the Church (ministry) and outside of the Church (mission)
Try a short-term experiment:
- Do one thing that you know you’re good at doing and evaluate it from the point of view of the Talent of the Masters. Was your time and effort worth that investment?
- Do one thing you are drawn to doing but don’t think you’re qualified to do. Talk the experience through with a close friend or family member. Did it inspire joy? Did it provide assistance to someone else? Do you sense it pleased the Lord?
- Ask someone who has proven their ability in an area of ministry or mission to which you’re drawn to mentor you for a set period of time.
Be intentional about trying out a proven or new ability;
- In your home
- At work, school, or community
- At church
“18 times in the book of Acts it says ‘they prayed’, ‘the Church prayed earnestly’, or ‘they devoted themselves to prayer’. Prayer dominates the book of Acts! So before you act, you must pray. The only way we can really change the world is to immerse our wills and desires so completely in the mind of Christ that we become extensions of His ministry to mankind.”
Roaring Lambs, p. 22
“God never finishes showing us His purpose – as long as we never stop seeking it. We are made to be used by God.”
S.H.A.P.E., p. 70
RECOMMENDED BOOKS OR WEBSITES:
“Roaring Lambs”, Bob Briner, Zondervan, 1993,
“Your Sacred Yes”, Susie Larson, 2015
“The Purpose Driven Life”, Rick Warren, 2002
“Predictable Success Leadership Styles Assessment” (Note: Their server is often down)