Discovering Your Gifts

Compare 1 Corinthians 1:4–9 with 2 Corinthians 1:20–22. What do these passages tell us about the promises of God and especially spiritual gifts prior to the second coming of Christ?

God promises that His church will manifest all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit just before the return of our Lord. His promises are sure. He has given us the witness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts to guide each of us to an understanding of the gifts He has given to us. It is God who gives the gifts and God through His Spirit who reveals them to us.

Read Luke 11:13, James 1:5, and Matthew 7:7. If we desire to discover the gifts that God has given to each one of us, what does He invite us to do?

We receive the gifts of the Spirit as we consecrate ourselves to God and ask Him to reveal to us the gifts He has given us. When our hearts are emptied of self-glory and our priority is to serve Jesus, His Spirit will impress us with the spiritual gifts He has for us. “Not until through faith and prayer the disciples had surrendered themselves fully for His working was the outpouring of the Spirit received. Then in a special sense the goods of heaven were committed to the followers of Christ… . The gifts are already ours in Christ, but their actual possession depends upon our reception of the Spirit of God.”—Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 327.

Spiritual gifts (see 1 Cor. 12:4–6) are qualities that God imparts so we can serve Him effectively. Ministries are the general areas we can express our gifts in, and activities are the specific events that allow us to use our gifts. Spiritual gifts do not come fully developed. As the Holy Spirit impresses you with some area of service, pray that He will lead you to a specific ministry to exercise your gift through an outreach activity.

What are your specific gifts and, more important, how can you improve those gifts for the Lord’s service?

Additional Reading: Selected Quotes from Ellen G. White

“Wealth or high position, costly equipment, architecture or furnishings, are not essential to the advancement of the work of God; neither are achievements that win applause from men and administer to vanity. Worldly display, however imposing, is of no value in God’s sight. Above the seen and temporal, He values the unseen and eternal. The former is of worth only as it expresses the latter. The choicest productions of art possess no beauty that can compare with the beauty of character, which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s working in the soul. {MH 36.4}

God can use every person just in proportion as He can put His Spirit into the soul temple. The work that He will accept is the work that reflects His image. His followers are to bear, as their credentials to the world, the ineffaceable characteristics of His immortal principles. {MH 37.4}”

The Holy Spirit, the representative of Himself, is the greatest of all gifts. All “good things” are comprised in this. The Creator Himself can give us nothing greater, nothing better. When we beseech the Lord to pity us in our distress, and to guide us by His Holy Spirit, He will never turn away our prayer. It is possible even for a parent to turn away from his hungry child, but God can never reject the cry of the needy and longing heart. With what wonderful tenderness He has described His love! To those who in days of darkness feel that God is unmindful of them, this is the message from the Father’s heart: “Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands.” Isaiah 49:14-16. {MB 132.1}

A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work. There must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing of the Lord, not because God is not willing to bestow His blessing upon us, but because we are unprepared to receive it. Our heavenly Father is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. But it is our work, by confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer, to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us His blessing. A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer. While the people are so destitute of God’s Holy Spirit, they cannot appreciate the preaching of the Word; but when the Spirit’s power touches their hearts, then the discourses given will not be without effect. Guided by the teachings of God’s Word, with the manifestation of His Spirit, in the exercise of sound discretion, those who attend our meetings will gain a precious experience, and returning home, will be prepared to exert a healthful influence. {1SM 121.1}

Content © 2020 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists®. All rights reserved. No part of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide may be edited, altered, modified, adapted, translated, re-produced, or published by any person or entity without prior written authorization from the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists®. The division offices of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists® are authorized to arrange for translation of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, under specific guidelines. Copyright of such translations and their publication shall remain with the General Conference.


Unlimited Possibilities


Differing Gifts: United in Service


God: The Giver of All Good Gifts


The Purpose of Spiritual Gifts


Discovering Your Gifts


Growing Our Gifts


Further Thought