Romans 12:8 says, if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Some versions say mercy, which is kindness and compassion. Everyone should be kind, compassionate and merciful. Ephesians 4:32 says, Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. You might have the gift of mercy if you are drawn to people who need help, are suffering, or in a difficult situation. If people look for you when they need someone to talk to, if you enjoy volunteering and helping in practical ways, you may have the gift of mercy or kindness. Regardless of whether you have the gift or not, you should be kind to everyone, all of the time.
Romans 12:8 says, If one has the gift of being a leader, he should try hard when he leads (International Children's Bible). Here is that verse in some different Bible translations:
If we are leaders, we should do our best (Contemporary English Version).
Whoever has the gift of leading should work hard at it (Easy-to-Read Version).
If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously (New Living Translation).
If it is to lead, do it diligently (New International Version).
The word for lead in Ancient Greek means to rule over. More specifically, it means to lead by example. The Ancient Greek work for diligently in the Ancient Greek can be translated quickly, eagerly and carefully. Most Bible experts believe that Paul is talking about leadership in the church in this passage, but I think that anyone who is in leadership should take their responsibility seriously.
1 Timothy 3:1-7 has some qualifications for those in leadership. They must:
Leadership is a big responsibility and those who have the gift of leadership should take their responsibility very seriously. Most people who have the gift of leadership are older, but many teenagers and young adults lead at kid's church and youth group. Can you think of some people with the gift of leadership at your church?
Romans 12:8 describes giving as a spiritual gift.
Whoever has the gift of giving to help others should give generously.
But it is also something that all Christians are called to do. Proverbs 11:25 says, Be generous, and you will be prosperous. Help others, and you will be helped. Proverbs 22:9 says, A generous person will be blessed because he shares his food with the poor.
A person who has the spiritual gift of giving uses the money and possessions that God has blessed them with, to bless others. The gift of giving might include things like this: giving to missions, sponsoring children in developing countries, giving to the poor, practicing hospitality, etc. You can be generous, even if you're a student and don't have much money. You can share your lunch with someone who forgot theirs, you can donate to charities, you can invite someone over for dinner (check with your folks). It's not how much you give that it's important, but your attitude when you give. In Mark 12:41-44 Jesus and his disciples were in the temple. They watched as many wealthy men put large amounts of money in the offering. Then a poor widow put in two small coins. Jesus said she had given more than all the rest because they put in their spare money, but she put in all she had. Even if you don't have much, give generously.
Romans 7:8 says, If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Paul says, So encourage each other and build each other up. We should all encourage each other, however, people with the gift of encouragement are extra good at it. Can you think of anyone who is really encouraging?
Unfortunately, people seem to be more interested in tearing other people down, rather that building them up. They gossip, criticise, tease and bully others. We can encourage people by complimenting them, helping to cheer them up when they feel down, listening to them when they need someone to talk to, sending a card on their birthday, or for no reason, hanging out with them when they feel lonely, giving them a hug, etc.
Try to be an encourager this week.
The gift of teaching is the God-given ability to study and learn from God's Word and to teach these truths effectively to others. Hopefully the pastors at your church have this gift. You might be able to think of other people such as your small group leader, or a mentor who is really good at explaining the truth in God's word.
Titus 2:1 warns us, You must teach what is right and true.
James 3:1 says, My brothers, not many of you should become teachers. You know that we who teach will be judged more strictly than others.
It's a big responsibility to teach others about God's Word. We should be grateful for those who teach us about God's Word - pastors, youth group leaders, small group leaders and others - the Bible says they will be judged more strictly.
John 13:14-15 says, I am your Lord and Teacher. But I washed your feet. So you also should wash each other’s feet. I did this as an example for you. So you should serve each other just as I served you. Jesus showed us how to serve and told us that we should all do it too.
According to Paul in the book of Romans, serving is also a gift. Romans 12:7 Whoever has the gift of serving should serve. You might be able to think of someone who is always helping out at church. Often these are small tasks performed behind the scenes such as setting up and packing up the chairs, doing the dishes after a church dinner, helping in kid's church, volunteering to help at the church working bee, etc. These people are not too proud to clean the church toilets and other less glamorous tasks.
I have the gift of serving. When I was a teenager I was awarded the Martha Award at church for always helping out. I didn't do things to be noticed, but just I loved Jesus and loved his people, the church. You are never too young to have the gift of serving.
Ephesians 4:11 says, These are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. The gift of evangelism is the God-given gift of being able to explain the gospel to non-believers in a way that leads them to faith in Jesus. The original Greek word means a missionary, or someone who brings good news. Thayer's Greek Lexicon explains that evangelists are those who preach the good news about Jesus to non-believers who are not New Testament Apostles. All of us a called to share the good news about Jesus, but some people are particularly gifted in this area.
Apologetics means being able to defend your faith. All Christians, including teenagers, should be able to explain what they believe and why to anyone who asks. You don't have to go to Bible College to do this. Here are some useful books that you can read:
10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (and Answer) about Christianity by Rebecca McLaughlin (I've just finished this book)
The Case for Christ (Student Edition) by Lee Strobel
Don't Check Your Brains at the Door by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler.
Originally the term Apostle referred to the twelve disciples that Jesus called. Some people believe that the gift of apostleship does not exist any more, however, Paul refers to himself as an apostle and he wasn't one of the original twelve. In 2 Timothy 1:11 he said I was chosen to tell that Good News and to be an apostle and a teacher.
The original Greek word means a messenger or someone who is sent. I believe that missionaries and church planters are modern apostles. There aren't many people who fit this definition, but they do exist. When you think about it, all of us have been sent into the world to tell the good news of the Gospel. Matthew 28:19-20 says, go and make disciples in all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and then teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. So, what are you waiting for?
This is a tricky one.The gift of other languages, or tongues as it is often referred to, is the ability to speak in languages that you haven't learned. Some people believe this refers to a heavenly language, and others believe that it refers to foreign languages. 1 Corinthians 14 talks about this gift.
The gift of other languages is speaking to God.
Those who have the gift of speaking in a different language are not speaking to people. They are speaking to God. No one understands them—they are speaking secret things through the Spirit.
It benefits you, not the rest of the church.
1 Corinthians 14:4
Those who speak in a different language are helping only themselves.
The gift of prophecy is greater because it instructs and encourages the believers.
1 Corinthians 14:5
I would like all of you to have the gift of speaking in different kinds of languages. But more, I want you to prophesy. The person who prophesies is greater than the one who can only speak in different languages—unless someone is there who can explain what he says.
It is for non-believers like the gift of miracles.
1 Corinthians 14:22
So the gift of speaking in different kinds of languages is a sign for those who do not believe, not for those who believe.
Only two or three people should speak in tongues and take turns.
1 Corinthians 14:27
When you meet together, if anyone speaks in a different language, then it should be only two, or not more than three, who speak. They should speak one after the other.
Someone should interpret what is spoken in tongues, or you should be quiet.
1 Corinthians 14:27b-28
And someone should interpret what they say. But if there is no interpreter, then anyone who speaks in a different language should be quiet in the church meeting. He should speak only to himself and to God.
You shouldn't stop someone from speaking in tongues.
1 Corinthians 14:39
And do not stop people from using the gift of speaking in different kinds of languages.
In Acts chapter two the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in other languages. These were definitely known languages because the people who had gathered there heard them in their own language.
Someone told me once that to test if something is true and from God, ask yourself if it gives glory to him. If it doesn't give glory to God, then it's probably not from him. If it doesn't, it's probably not. So, if someone is speaking in tongues, it should meet the criteria above and it should glorify God.
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.