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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Better When Used"

May 29, 2005

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There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:4

Some experts claim that musical instruments, like grand pianos, stay in better condition when played than when stored unused in a museum. The wood stays more sensitive to sounds when the piano is played.

As for human talents, it is generally held that we either use them or lose them. The great Polish pianist Ignace Paderewski was quoted as saying, “When I don’t practice for one day, I notice it; when not in two days, my friends notice it; when not for three days, everyone does.”

God has given each of us personal endowments – if not musical talents, then perhaps mechanical; if not for painting pictures or writing poetry, then perhaps for speaking cordially to visitors at church services.

On top of natural talents God has given us spiritual gifts. Some gifts of the Holy Spirit once given to early Christians seem to be discontinued now in the Christian community: speaking in tongues, miraculous healing, prophesying. But other spiritual gifts are distributed to each of us as God wills: comforting, counseling, exhorting, teaching, expressing faith through friendships, and the like.

So, whether we speak of natural talents or of spiritual gifts, a good principle to follow is this: Use them to the glory of God and for the well-being of others and ourselves. By using them, we keep them; but “spending” them, we enhance them.

Christians have every motivation for using their gifts. In that way they show their appreciation for what the Triune God has done for them. The Father “thought” (planned) our salvation back in all eternity; the Son, Jesus Christ, “wrought” it on the cross; and the Holy Spirit “brought” it into our hearts through the Gospel. We say our thank-You to God when we serve Him with our gifts.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for granting me certain gifts. Help me to use them to Your glory and for serving others. Amen.

(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at

Today's Bible Readings: Psalms 27-29    John 11:1-29

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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