Sharing Grace
LeAnn Rice, Executive Director, Proverbs 31 Ministries

"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

Five years ago I took a spiritual gift test and failed! Well, in my assessment, I failed.

I had high hopes that the test would confirm that I have the spiritual gifts of wisdom, discernment, evangelism or mercy. You know…a good, useful gift. A change-the-world kind of gift. I was crushed to discover that I do not possess any of what I perceived as the "good" gifts.

Since I was sure I knew myself better than this silly test, I took it again. I ended up taking the spiritual gifts test five times! Sadly, each one confirmed that I was stuck with the frivolous gift of hospitality. Seriously? I wanted to be a wise sage and soul-winning evangelist, not a hostess!

Shortly after my testing marathon I read today's key verse. Reading it a second time, my eyes lingered over the words "whatever gift." It doesn't say, "Only those of you with the gift of leadership or evangelism go and serve others." As I pondered this verse I came to realize that as a body of Christians we could not accomplish nearly as much if we all had the same gifts. I began to embrace my gift of hospitality and God showed me that He could use my ability to create a fancy meal or decorate a beautiful table to make others feel special. I can administer God's grace through what I thought was fluff!

What gift(s) has God given you? If you haven't yet determined your spiritual gift(s), spend some time thinking about what you do well, what hidden talent you may have, and what you have a passion for. Ask your friends what they think your talents are.

Then ask God how you can use these gifts to share His grace with others. If you are a musician, consider playing at a local retirement center or soup kitchen. If you love to scrapbook, consider organizing memories for someone who is unable to do so for themselves. If you have great computer skills, consider helping women at a shelter put together resumes or teach them computer skills to help them secure a job.

I have learned that my "frivolous" gift of hospitality is not so frivolous after all. Extending hospitality, simple or extravagant, is a tangible way to share God's love and His grace with family, friends, co-workers, and strangers. My prayer is that every day, God will provide me with new opportunities to use the gifts He has bestowed upon me for His kingdom and for His glory.

Dear Lord, thank You that You have gifted each of us differently. Help me to discover the gifts You have given to me so that I may use them to administer Your grace to everyone around me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit our new site She Cooks today!

Click here for an awesome giveaway and to see how LeAnn is using her gift of hospitality to reach others with the grace of God. Come for recipes, menus, and special event planning, but stay for much more! LeAnn is looking forward to spending time cooking together.

Do You Know Him?

Sharing Grace: Recipes - Family Traditions - Gift Ideas by LeAnn Rice

A Life That Says Welcome, Simple Ways to Open Your Heart & Home to Others by Karen Ehman

Shaped with Purpose Workbook and CD: Discovering Your God-given Gifts, Passions, Personality and Abilities by Renee Swope

Application Steps:
How can I purposefully use my spiritual gifts to share God's love and grace with those around me?

Reflections:
Reflect on 1 Peter 4:9-11a, "Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ." (NIV)

Am I truly being a good steward of the gifts entrusted to me by the Holy Spirit, using them to serve others and to glorify Christ and not merely for my own personal gain or enjoyment?

Power Verses:
Romans 12:4-6a, "Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us." (NIV)

1 Corinthians 12:4-6, "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men." (NIV)

© 2010 by LeAnn Rice. All rights reserved.

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13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. I guess it all boils down to the fact that we need to accept ourselves as God made us and consider His plan for us that no one else can fulfill.

Lord, use me to serve others.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny because I have looked at those, like yourself, who have the gift of hospitality and wished I had such a gift! You are the ones who make others feel so welcome. The open arms of Jesus! Your gift is wonderful!

C.J.

Blogger Helen said...

This is the gift I know HE has given me. When this was revealed I was like you a bit disappointed but HE has shown me that this gift is for one not something that everyone has and the others need to be felt special. HE uses me to make others feel special. Only by HIS grace can I do the work and share this gift HE has given me. Thank you for sharing. GOD bless you, your family, and ministry.

Anonymous User0220 said...

Think of Christmas...
What if all you ever got for presents... were jeans? Now, we should be thankful that we even get presents to begin with, but what use is having 40 pairs of jeans? Sure, having maybe four or five may be one thing, but 40?

Do you know what makes stock prices go up? Well, isn't a factor when there aren't that many of a certain stock and there is demand for such?

:-)

It may not matter so much what gifts you have been entrusted with, what's important is the fact that God has even decided to entrust us with a gift in the first place.:-)

-User0220

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What spiritual gifts test did you take? I'd love to take one.

Blogger Val in KY said...

I didn't need to take the test to know what my gift was. Once I saw "Administration" was an option, I knew it.

It is something that comes naturally to me and even though I enjoy it (it's been my career for the past 30 years), sometimes I always feel I get "stuck with it's duties" when committees plan. So the verse is always a good reminder that God has blessed me with this gift and it's His way of me participating in the Body of Christ.

Evangalists need someone to keep them organized :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved this - because my gift is so NOT hospitality. And I used to beat myself up about that. I finally realized God has other plans for me, and that's OK. I will do what He wants me to - not what I THINK I should do. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I so agree with Val in KY. Keeping those evangelist straight is sooooo important. It also helps if you're an intercessor. Those on the "front lines" really do need all the help they can get.

Blogger LeAnn said...

Thanks so much for your comments! I have taken several different Spiritual Gifts tests (mostly trying to get the results I wanted). Most churches have favorites. I have taken one at my church but I don't remember the name. There are also several online so you can probably do a search. Here's a link to one that I know is reputable: http://www.churchgrowth.org/analysis/index.html

Praying you discover your special and unique gifts and that God provides you with opportunities to use them for His glory.

Sweet Blessings,
LeAnn

Anonymous Antique Mommy said...

Hospitality is definitely my gift and I've never once thought of it as frivolous or less (or more) worthy than any of the other spiritual gifts. Many a sage and wise soul-winning woman was quietly in the back dishing up the chow, avoiding attention. Serving, feeding, strapping a towel around one's waist is the very foundation of evangelism.

I also think that just because we don't have a particular talent for something doesn't mean we are relieved of duty. Sometimes God calls us to do the very opposite of what we are confident doing (thinking of Moses and his speaking abilities.)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Leanne, I am so glad that I read your devotional for June 25. I, too, have the spiritual gift of hospitality and have always loved since a teenager to cook and share with others. As a young married woman, my husband was a police officer and had to work most holidays. We lived hours away from family. So, God provided a way for me to use the gift that He had given me through my preparing Christmas dinner for the local inmates in our city jail where my husband served as a police officer. He would pick up the homeless on the street and take them into the jail for the night explaining to them that they would have a warm place to sleep for the night and his wife would prepare them a Christmas dinner. We had so much fun. Of course, now that is out of the question due to new rules and regulations. My husband is a pastor now, and I enjoy preparing for our church family. Like you said it seems as though it is a lowly gift but not in the eyes of God. The important thing is to serve Him with whatever gift he has blessed us. I love serving Him using the gift of hospitality. I'm so excited for you and what God has planned with His new ministry through you. I will be praying for you and looking forward to hearing more about it. May God bless you and your son, Nick, in a very special way. I hope that your celebration of your husband's birthday was very special.

J.D.

Anonymous Lisa V. said...

I'm still trying to figure out where my spiritual gift(s) lie yet what I indeed have learned more deeply recently is that no matter how I'm called to serve, in whatever I'm doing to serve God, the Holy Spirit will give me the ability and that's ultimately what's most important. Not my ability, but His. Just answer Him, "I will God".

Anonymous Laurie Neumann said...

It's funny, how we can envy others with the "big" spiritual gifts. I can relate to what you have said. I have been known to have the gift of administration - well, that sounds kind of boring, doesn't it?

But,in reality, God doesn't make mistakes, and if that is one of my gifts, I need to find ways to use it for His glory.

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