Giving gifts has been an age-old custom. In almost all cultures and societies, giving gifts has become a vital part of social etiquette and is expected as a way to show respect to the giver and the recipient. There are many ways to give gifts, but there are also many rules on when and how to give them. These rules usually come into play when you are choosing the right gift for someone.
First, what are spiritual gifts? A gift or any gift is an object given to another person without the expectation of anything in return or compensation. An object given as a spiritual gift is not necessarily a religious item; it could be a book of the Bible or something else that the person has a strong desire to receive. While gift-giving may involve some expectation of compensation, a spiritual gift is more meant to be free.
What are spiritual gifts in the first place? They are gifts that are given out of a deep yearning to learn about the gifts and talents of another person. Gifts can include knowledge, skills, talents, abilities, etc. The most common gifts given out of a sincere yearning to learn about another person’s abilities and gifts include knowledge, skills, abilities, etc., while gifts that are more specific are often more meaningful for the giver.
Gifts of prophecy are among the most common and important of spiritual gifts given out by Christians. What makes prophecy special for Christians? Prophetic gifts have two sides to them. On the one hand, the prophecy itself is a God-given ability that almost every Christian possesses in some way. The second side to the gift of prophecy is that, in addition to being a God-given ability, prophecy enables the recipients of this gift to experience an increased sense of peace and harmony within themselves as well as with others.
The term “gifts of prophecy” does not refer to specific types of prophetic words or to a certain order of languages (i.e., “and thus,” “in whatsoever”). Rather, gifts of prophecy are to be exercised in the ordering of prophecy itself. In other words, to exercise the gifts of prophecy means to exercise the ability to listen deeply to God’s voice in order to discern the things that He wants us to know. Gifts of prophecy are not to be relegated to certain types of language or certain levels of maturity; on the contrary, the wisdom which is found in the Word of God is available to everyone, up to and including teenagers!
What are the three main spiritual gifts which are exercised in the practice of prophecy? The gifts of knowledge, vision, and imagination are three areas in which we work on ourselves by working in prayer and meditation. By using our natural resources–especially the natural resources which He has blessed us with–we work on developing our gifts in each of these three areas. Sometimes we will need to consult the Bible to determine what additional information we might need in order to exercise our spiritual gifts in accordance with the demands of God. Nevertheless, this is not always necessary.
A common practice in the United States among some groups is for a teenager to give a Bible to a stranger on his or her first birthday. This is an amazing example of gifting. No one has to know anything about the recipient in order to give a Bible to a stranger on their first birthday! On the other hand, there can be occasions when it would make sense for a younger person to give a Bible to someone who is much older. However, no matter what age bracket the gift giver is in gift giving in the form of prophecy should always be done through the influence of a competent, trained, and experienced spiritual leader.
In summary, the gifts of prophecy, discernment, and knowledge are the three areas through which the Christian lives. Through the gifts, he can walk more abundantly, he can teach effectively, and he can share with others the riches of His Gospel. In sum, Christians are blessed to have such wonderful resources available to them.