by Erin Bird

Hello Riverwood family! Thanks for coming and reading the blog.

Last week in Romans 12, we looked at the unity that should exist among Jesus-followers. This week, as we look at verses 6-8, we’ll talk about the differences that should exist among followers of Jesus. Here are those verses:

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:6-8)

Unity, not Uniformity

Right after talking about the unity of Jesus-followers, Paul talks about the differences. While following Jesus should bring unity, it doesn’t mean we are all uniform. Just like a body has various parts, there are differences among Jesus-followers. And one of the primary places we see these differences is in the area of spiritual gifts.

Every follower of Jesus is not only given the gift OF the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38), they also receive a gift FROM the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:7). And those gifts are to be used to help others.

That’s why there have to be a variety of gifts. Because only one gift can’t serve the broad needs of all

For instance, if there was only a gift of mercy, then the person who remains stubbornly in their sin wouldn’t have someone with the gift of exhortation to call them to repentance. Or if we only had the gift of serving, then who would teach us the full counsel of the gospel? We need all the gifts.

Your Gift

This means Riverwood needs you to give your gift(s) to your church body and the surrounding community. There is no unneeded gift. We need you to give your time and passion in the areas that God has gifted you.

So what are your gifts and talents? And are you applying them? (If you are – thank you!!!)

If you aren’t sharing your gift(s) with the Riverwood family, why not? Even if someone else is already serving in that area, it doesn’t mean you aren’t needed. Perhaps someone is serving more out of need instead of giftedness, and God has prepared you to help with that role.

If you have no idea how you might be gifted, then just jump in! Find a spot to start serving. Chances are, over time, you will either discover you are already gifted for an area like that, or you’ll start feeling drawn to something else. Also, ask those who know you (like those in your Growth Group) what areas they think you might be good at, or take an online assessment like this one.

If you look at Romans 12:6-8, you’ll notice Paul assumes that if you follow Jesus, you have a spiritual gift. And if you have a spiritual gift, you should be using it to help others.

So give your gift. Because we all belong to one another.