Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley @ InTouch.org
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Do Not Neglect Your Spiritual Gift
Read | 1 Timothy 4:12-16
Every Christian is given at least one spiritual gift with which to serve the Lord and build up the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:7). But many believers neglect this special empowerment of the Spirit. Although Timothy had some good reasons to forsake his calling from God, Paul advised him to “take pains with these things” and “be absorbed in them” (v. 15). As you look at Timothy, ask yourself if either of the following situations are hindering you from fully serving the Lord.
Age: No matter how old we are, the Lord wants us to use our spiritual gifts. Because Timothy was young, he could easily have been intimidated by those with more experience. However, youth isn’t our only excuse. Some believers think they’re too old to serve the Lord. Even though our areas of ministry may change over the years, we’re never called into spiritual retirement.
Inadequacy: Have you ever avoided a service opportunity simply because you felt totally unqualified? That’s probably how Timothy felt about leading the church at Ephesus. Our spiritual gifts rarely come to us fully developed. God often requires that we step out in faith and trust Him to work in and through us. Over time, as we obey and serve Him in our areas of giftedness, He increases the effectiveness of our ministry.
Is anything keeping you from using your spiritual gifts? Though given to us, these abilities aren’t for us; they’re for the church. To neglect them would not only deprive fellow believers but also rob ourselves: there is joy and blessing in serving others and doing the work God has designated for us.
1 Timothy 4 (NASB)
4 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.
A Good Minister’s Discipline
6 In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. 7 But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. 10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.
11 Prescribe and teach these things. 12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. 13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. 15 Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.