We read in the Bible about God giving gifts to His people. In Romans 12:6-8, we read, ‘In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly’.
In Ephesians 4:11-12, we read about people who are gifts to the Church; apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. They are responsible for equipping and building up the Body of Christ.
In Corinthians 12:8-10 we read of spontaneous words or actions which are supernaturally empowered by the Holy Spirit to fulfil God’s purposes, in His particular timing.
It appears that each person receives at least one gift, and the purpose of the gifts God gives is to bless others. ‘However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ’ (Ephesians 4:7), ‘A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other’ (1 Corinthians 12:7), and ‘In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well’ (1 Corinthians 12:7a).
God-given gifts are not limited to Christians, and we see in the world around us those who have natural abilities and talents that bring enjoyment to others. But these gifts can be used to spiritually influence others, either promoting the kingdom of darkness or the Kingdom of God. So, what a joy it is to find Christians who have given their natural abilities and talents to God to be used for His glory!
The last time I did a Seed of the Kingdom, I wrote about fishermen, in danger of losing their lives at sea, crying out to the Lord. The day before my Seed was published, a sculpture was unveiled on the South Pier at Lowestoft as a memorial for lost fishermen. What a blessing to receive that news from a reader of Seeds of the Kingdom! The artist is a Christian who prays that his artwork, based on a few words of Scripture, will make a lasting impact on people’s lives.
The Gospel singer/songwriter, Marilyn Baker, gave her musical ability to God and asked Him to anoint her to write songs that would speak about His amazing love. A music professor at her college told her something had changed. Her previous efforts at harmony composition had been boring, but her new work was exciting.
Our church has organised teams to do a couple of project days as an outreach to local people in need of help. Some did interior decorating, some gardening and others baked cakes. The recipients were so amazed at the love and care shown to them. One lady said she was especially blessed to be given a cake. Nobody had ever baked a cake for her before.
In God’s Kingdom we see His infinite variety of gifts working together in unity to glorify Him. On Sunday I see there are those who lovingly serve others. Some greet people with a warm welcome, some serve hot drinks, some who look after the babies and toddlers, some teach the older children, some lead the worship with singing and playing music, some give testimony, and some preach the message.
When the sun shines through the glass chandelier in the entrance lobby of Ellel Grange, all the colours of the rainbow are reflected on the walls. Each colour is different from the others, but when each colour is joined together, their unity brings the perfect light which shines from the sun. To me this is a picture of the ‘manifold’, multi-faceted, varied grace of God. Each of us make our individual and unique contribution and together God’s love will be shown to the world.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the beautiful gifts You have given to us to shine forth Your glory in the world. Please help me to be content with the gift You have given me and to appreciate those gifts You have given to others without envy. I surrender my abilities and strengths to you and ask You to anoint them for Your purposes by Your Holy Spirit. May the Kingdom of Your dear Son, Jesus, be displayed in Your Church. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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