Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Are You Using Your Gifts?

1 Peter 4:10

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:

profileSorry this was so late today.  I had it on the server but something happened and it didn’t go out.

OK – we’re a month past Christmas.  Don’t answer this e-mail out loud or even on this blog page – but are there gifts you received this year (or in years past) that you don’t use – have taken back – or have even hidden in the closet or downstairs?  Like a picture of dogs playing cards that someone gave you for over your mantel place?  Or that hideous lamp someone gave you that was taken back or hidden somewhere – to come out when they were coming over?

We tend to hide certain gifts it seems.  Most every family has experienced this – right?  Many times we exchange items we don’t like for items we do like.  That is partly why the day after Christmas is such a big shopping day – that and the sales that occur after Christmas.  If I could only convince my family that Christmas came a week later we could get some real deals – lol.

At times we get gifts we know we better hang onto – even if we don’t use it every day.  We hide/store it for those moments when we need to place it out because Aunt So-in-so is coming over.  Am the only one who has experienced this or are some of you right there with me – knowing exactly what I’m saying/writing?

I think some of us translate this practice to our spiritual gifts as well.  Let’s read a passage that talks about some gifts that God has available for us.  This is the entire 12th chapter of 1 Corinthians – an excellent passage on the gifts God offers.  I hope you take the time to read it all.  It will instruct us on the gifts!

1 Corinthians 12:1-31 – 1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.  12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

I’ve preach many a sermon series on the Gift of God and plan to again sometime soon.  If God has gifted us for the betterment of others – why would we hide the gift that God has given us?

As Peter was writing about the last days – the time that is either yet to come or upon us right now – he wrote about gifts.  Here is today’s passage in partial context.  1 Peter 4:7-11 – 7  The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9  Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10  As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

What are your gifts?  We all have them.  God wants to use all of us to the betterment of others.  He wants to use our gifting to serve one another.  Are we or are we hiding our gifts and only bringing them out once-in-a-while – if at all?  Are you using your gifts?

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

Sorry this was so late today.  I had it on the server but something happened and it didn’t go out.

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January 24, 2014 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , ,

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