Vol. 3, No. 43
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it . . . –Romans 12:6
Imagine that it is your birthday. The time has come to open the last gift (the last might always seem best, even if there is only one gift).
The only thing inside is a check . . . but you gasp at the amount! You have never received a check with so many zeroes to the left of the decimal point!
Oddly, the “Payable To” line is blank. Then you discover a note, simply stating you may write-in anyone’s name but your own. Nuts!
What? You mean the money is not for me?
No, it is really your money, but it is not for you.
What kind of gift is that???
The gift is the gift of joy . . . the joy you receive from giving away what is yours for the benefit of another.
Romans 12:6-7 is a reminder that on our spiritual birthday, the day we came to be a child of God, God gave us each a special gift . . . called spiritual gift(s). The list in this chapter is suggestive of some of the enormous checks God has written to individuals in the Body of Christ.
Too many of us miss the repetition of words in the verses –”if. . . let.” “If” a man has a certain gift, then “let” him use it for others. Spiritual gifts challenge us to make the jump from being consumers (with the gifts we receive) to become investors.
The unique spiritual gift that God gives to you is intended to be used as an investment that you can make in the lives of other people. That gift can make an eternal impact as you give it away. Submitted to Him, God will use that gift to change lives. By the use of your gift, some will be introduced to the Savior . . . by the use of your gift others will mature in their faith.
By the way, what are you doing with your gift . . . being a consumer or an investor?
God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings. –1 Peter 4:10
A thought from Paul Tripp . . . Come Let Us Adore Him
Jesus knew he had come not just to preach the Gospel of sacrifice, but also to be that sacrifice, yet He was perfectly willing.
One of the dark character qualities of sin that we do not recognize as much as we should is unwillingness. We are often unwilling to do what God says if it does not make sense to us. We are often unwilling to inconvenience ourselves for the needs of someone else . . . unwilling to wait . . . unwilling to be open and honest. We struggle to be willing to say no to our own wrong thoughts and desires.
Here is what the Christmas story is all about: a willing Savior is born to rescue unwilling people from themselves because there is no other way.
Jesus was willing . . . how is your willingness?