I used to think that I could have only one gift. But as ministry increases, my need for gifts increase. So does yours.

As our ministries grow, and as our need for more gifts arises, God will grant us more gifts if we ask for them (1 Corinthians 12:31 and 1 Corinthians 14:39).

Personally, my initial gift was teaching. Over the years I see God developing more gifts as I need them to minister better. These days I'm praying for the gifts of wisdom, administration, discerning of spirits, prophecy, and faith. I need help in these areas.

As we move forward on our spiritual journey, we need to recognize and learn how to use our spiritual gifts. Allow me to share a few guidelines on how to unwrap your spiritual gifts:

DIAGNOSTICS TO HELP US IDENTIFY OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS

1. As I Study The Gifts And Their Operation In The Bible, Do Any Resonate In My Soul?

2. What Do I Enjoy Doing?

God wants us to be "Happy in the service of the King." Christian ministry must not become a neurotic compulsion to duty. Like Jesus, in doing the Father's will we should find delight, not drudgery

And this delight continues. Later he will enthusiastically affirm, "This is what I'd rather be doing for the Lord than anything else in the world. I so enjoy it! This is my thing. This turns me on!" He will readily talk about his ministry and wish to improve it.

3. What Is The Holy Spirit Telling Me?

The inner witness of the Spirit is not limited to confirming our salvation. He wants us to know what our gifts are and how to use them.

4. What Ministry Is God Blessing?

Someone may realize that often when he has prayed for sick people, they have become well. Another discovers that people to whom he has given something have make especially good use of it. Do you see fruit from your teaching? Are people trusting Christ as a result of your evangelism?

As we begin to evangelize, exhort, show mercy, and help, the Holy Spirit gradually unveils certain gifts. So we should get busy in Christian service.

When considering whether to engage in some form of Christian work, adopt the well-known slogan, "Try it--you may like it!

5. What Gifts Do Others See In Me?

The crowning confirmation that we do possess a gift is recognition of this gift by others. Jake Ellis, well respected teacher at Northway: "Roger, you are a wonderful teacher." God gives us parents, pastors, teachers, and friends to help us in making key decision like this.

As we are engaging in Christian service in obedience others may see a gift in us long before we ourselves are aware of it.

Occasionally, others recognize that we don't possess a gift we think we have. One professor said, "it's so strange to meet someone who claims to have the gift of preaching when no one has the gift of listening."

6. PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!

Disuse of a limb results in paralysis or atrophy, so doctors order patients up soon after surgery. Similarly, exercise is the only way to prevent a gift's lapse or collapse. If you don't use it, you don't lose it, it just doesn't work very well.

The existence of a gift is a call to exercise it. Eyes are purposeless unless they exercise the function of sight. Paul advised Timothy, "Neglect not the gift that is in thee" (1 Timothy 4:14).

Faithful utilization of a gift brings increased effectiveness in its ministry, but failure to develop a gift curtails one's service. Discover and develop your spiritual gifts and you will experience abundant living!