Tuesday, October 23, 2007

October 23, 2007

How are YOU using your gift?!

It is amazing to me how God gifts each of us differently. We know that God gives believers at least one, sometimes more, spiritual gifts at the moment of their conversion. These spiritual gifts are to be used within the Body of Christ (the church) to equip the saints and to further His kingdom. Gifts like teaching, encouragement, mercy, giving, tongues, administration, etc. are just a few of those gifts spoken of in passages like I Corinthians 12. It is, therefore, very important that we know what our particular gift(s) is so that we can utilize that gift within the Body.

But God has also gifted us with varying talents and abilities that we can also use for His glory. Some of us like to write...it is our passion. It's more than just something we LIKE to do, we HAVE to write. We are always writing in our heads even before we get it onto paper.

Our women's ministry at our church has just begun a Christian Writer's Group and I am loving it! I am just blown away by the talent of the women who are attending this group!!! From all walks of life, all ages, all different backgrounds...but all sharing one common thing...the LOVE for writing!

As I listened to some of them sharing things they had written Sunday night, I was so blessed. And, to see how even in the little things like writing a letter, God is using them to bless others. Some of us may never publish a book (or maybe we WILL..who knows!), but we can take our gift and use it to bless another life even by just sending an email or writing a letter.

We heard testimony after testimony of how those letters had touched THEM or how their letters had been a blessing to someone else. In this day of high tech iPods and Blackberries and cell phones, we tend to just dash off a quick message or text someone in "text language". But there is nothing that can replace the written word spoken from the heart. It is a gift from the Lord.

There is the gift of being artistic. That is definitely NOT my gift, but it is a gift that many possess. One young woman in our church, a freshman in college, has used her gift to draw a comic book that will appeal to the younger crowd, but it points them to Jesus and concludes with the plan of salvation. She has worked for months on this book along with a couple of adults in preparation for the Halloween festivities at our church. The children will be able to not only read the comic book but will actually see it acted out as they walk through a live portrayal of it. This young woman has also done the art work for this. Hours and hours of her time have gone into this. Yet she is using the gift that God has blessed her with for His glory. When we get to Heaven I am convinced that there will be untold people around the throne who will be there because Lindsey chose to put her gift in His hands and let Him use it to reach others!!

Still others possess talents and gifts such as those who are musically inclined or can organize events; those who are gifted in the area of motivation and can spur others on to a goal. God has blessed each of us with some type of talent or ability. We can use it for selfish purposes, hide it under a bushel, or we can offer it up to Him and allow Him to use it for His glory to bring others to Him.

I had an aunt who was a marvelous cook. She would have been the first to tell you that she had no talents or abilities. She could not sing, paint, teach Sunday School, speak in front of a crowd. or anything remotely near those things. To her she was just an old country cook. But she loved to cook and share it with others. She would call the police department or the bank and tell them she had made them a cake, if someone would just come after it. And come they would! She never saw it as ministry, but it was. She blessed them with her cooking. She gave out of the abundance of her heart. She had no ulterior motive. She expected nothing in return. If they tried to pay her, she was insulted. It was her gift and she loved sharing it.

My mother is an avid gardener. She loves growing daylilies, but she also grows tons of zinnias and other flowers just so that others can come and reap the bounty to use for church altars, weddings, centerpieces for parties, etc. She is thrilled when someone calls and says "Do you have any flowers I can get?" She will send you home with armloads. It is her joy. You would think with all those flowers, her house would be filled with lovely bouquets, but it is not. She prefers to see them in their natural setting and let the others pick them for their use. She works so hard all summer long through the drought and heat, just babying them so that she could keep them alive "in case someone needs them". Gardening and giving them away is her gift. She loves blessing others with them.

What is YOUR gift? You have at least one spiritual gift and you also have talents and abilities that you may have never even considered a "gift". What do you love doing? How can you use it for God's glory? How can it be a blessing to someone else? Think about that today. Ask God to show you what your particular gifts are and dedicate them....no matter how big or how small....to Him.

Your little will become much when placed in the Master's hands.

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