A gift, as defined by dictionary.com, is “something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient or without its being earned.”  Today in Romans, we dive into a passage that talks about where spiritual gifts come from and how they are meant to be used. Discerning what our gifts are and when to use them can be a trick in our fast-paced world.  Let’s slow down and listen for how Jesus wants us to spend our day. Kim

(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ Tell of a time that you served the Lord and were on FIRE...it was soooo WONDERFUL!
_ Process with each person in your group (if there is time...hopefully you can make time!) why that particular act of obedience was fun for them and others who experienced it with them.  Acknowledge the gifts of the people in your small group.
_ How can you encourage someone you are walking within using their gifts as they walk with Jesus?

Father God, your truth in 1 Cor 12:4-5 says, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord.”  Thank you Lord for Your Spirit poured out on each of us. Will you help us be content in You and what you have made us each individually to be in your Kingdom?  Will you move in our hearts today so we delight in Your will for our lives? Will you give us the strength not only to know Your calling but to do it?! Thank you for inclining Your ear to hear us today, Jesus.

DISCOVER  [Romans 12:6-8]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)

6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

_ Fill in the blank with one word...Having gifts that________? Does that surprise you?  Why or why not?
_ How are gifts “doled out?” Vs 6
_ What should we do with the gifts that are GIVEN to us? Vs 6
_ Intentionally, I am asking again, what should we do with the gifts the Lord gives us? Vs 6
_ Who doesn’t love Paul’s repetition and wordplay...think of the old Nike slogan - “JUST DO IT!”

The Message
So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.

6-8 If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.

_ How does Eugene Peterson’s interpretation of this passage in the Message, help you see the same Scripture in a different way?  Why might it be useful to your walk to read a familiar passage in another translation?

+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and how does the gospel compel me to respond with a simple step of action/obedience?  (Here are some thoughts to discuss in break-outs)
_ Where are you being invited to use your God-given gifts?  Who in your life will hold you accountable to follow through?
_ Are there any areas in your life that Jesus is inviting you to stretch with His strength? If so, what area?  

+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus and what is your next step with them, how can we help?