As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
–1 Peter 4:10
God has given each one of you a unique spiritual gift to use in fulfilling His purpose. This week, we will look at each of the seven spiritual gifts listed in Romans 12:6-8.
Romans 12:6 starts by talking about the gift of prophecy. The gift of prophecy is not foretelling; it is forthtelling. It is the desire to present God’s Word in order to convict people of sin and their need for a right relationship with God. A person with the gift of prophecy wants to present God’s Word in such a way that it will cause people to turn away from their sin and toward God.
When I think of somebody in the Bible who had the gift of prophecy, I think about the Apostle Peter. In Acts 2, Peter preached that great message at Pentecost. Thousands of Jews had come from all over the land for the celebration of Pentecost, and Peter presented Jesus as the Messiah. What was the reaction of the crowd who listened to Peter? Acts 2:37-38 says, “They were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’ Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” Peter was able to present the Word of God in such a way that it caused people to want to turn toward God. That is the gift of prophecy.
There are some unique characteristics of this gift. A person with the gift of prophecy is usually very persuasive. He is able to persuade people either individually or as a group. Second, he or she usually has the ability to speak well. Third, a person with this gift is highly opinionated. To them, almost everything is black or white. Fourth, a person with this gift is discerning. That is, he can see through people easily. He can evaluate people’s character and even their motives. The reason for doing so is so that he can turn them toward God.
There are some dangers that go along with the gift of prophecy as well. First, a person with the gift of prophecy needs to guard against being proud of his or her speaking abilities. Second, if a person with this gift is not careful, he can find himself depending on his speaking skill rather than the power of the Holy Spirit. And third, a person with this gift has to watch out for being insensitive to other people’s feelings. Again, the goal of someone with the gift of prophecy is to break through people’s hardness of heart, but he or she has to be careful about insensitivity to other people’s feelings. That is the gift of prophecy.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “You And Your Spiritual Gift” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
The principles in this week’s study are adapted from Don Crossland.