Friday, April 22, 2016

Praise week - Friday

I'd like to finish our week of praise for God by offering Him praise for the talents and spiritual gifts He gives us, so that we can help others and glorify Him.

We've been focusing on what has been "incoming." What we have received.
I'd like for us to think today on "outgoing," what we can do to bless others. This is one time that re-gifting is required, not frowned upon!

We all have talents. Some have more than others. My grandma used to say I had a talent for getting into mud to have fun, but we're talking about something else, here. (Grin) We may have talents and skills that enable us to do many things. But a spiritual gift is something even more special -- when we accept God's gift of salvation, and the Holy Spirit takes up residence, He brings with Him the gift (or maybe gifts) that God has given to us. We don't choose them; God does. He doesn't give us a list to choose from, or a "gift card" that we can use to select what we want. He decides.  Our decision is whether or not to "unwrap" and use our gift, or to "hide our light under a bushel basket."

Here's what we are talking about: a spiritual gift, according to one of my commentaries, is a "God-given assignment, capacity, and desire to perform a function within the body of Christ." Kind of like a birthday present for your new life in Christ.

Ephesians 4:12 tells us that God gives gifts "for the training of the saints in the work of ministry." The commentaries will tell us that that word also carries other meanings which all could be involved in our using our gift: not just training, but preparing, and repairing. In other words, helping other people live their lives. Helping them as they seek to train themselves to better serve Christ, perhaps preparing them for obstacles they may face, or restoring them after a time of sin or sadness.

How do we know what our gifts are? Well, is there a need at your church or in your community that you can fill? Work hard at that . . . and then step back in prayer and thought, and evaluate. Is your work giving you joy? Is God providing you energy and strength for the work? Are you seeing God glorified? If so, you may just have found your gift, or at least you are zeroing in on it! If not, try again, to find a way to work and bring glory to God.

Let's use the gifts that God has given us so freely, and glorify Him!
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
Thanks for joining me on this week-long journey of praise! I hope that we will continue to praise Him as the days go by!

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