Romans 12:3-8 - For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Do you know what it's like to become a member of God's family by faith in Jesus Christ? It's like being at home with Christ Himself. It's being more at home with Him than with anyone or with anything else in the whole world. This is why the Word of God often describes people who believe in Jesus as their Savior and follow Him as being "in Christ." You are still you, of course, with your own personality, gifts, and abilities, but in Christ Jesus you truly become yourself, redeemed as a son or daughter of God, by faith in Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.
Use your gifts the apostle Paul said. They were given to you to be used. Gifts are given to be cultivated; talents are given to be invested for growth and progress. All the gifts we are given by God are meant to be used, to glorify Him and to edify those around us. Maybe you have the gift of proclaiming the Good News of Christ. By all means use it. Use it right where you are, without pride, to the limit of the faith God has given you.
One gift many people have today is to be able to contribute, to give of themselves and their finances. Material resources go a long way toward blessing the kingdom of God on earth. They too were given to us to use in God's service. And for those who are so blessed, they are called to give, and give freely, as Paul also told us (see 2 Corinthians 9).
Our world needs the spirit of true charity, characteristic of the body of Christ. Without this, as Paul said, everything else becomes a "noisy gong or a clanging cymbal" (1 Corinthians 13:1b). Blessing others with our lives, and doing so cheerfully, that's the way to use the gift that is in you when you are "in Christ." Faithful child of God, use your gifts with all your heart as Christ gave Himself for you with all His heart.
WE PRAY: Heavenly Father, led by Your Holy Spirit, may I give cheerfully to others. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
From "No Exaggerated Ideas About Yourself," a sermon from Rev. Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. You can begin using a gift at any time in your life. What's some gift you can begin using now?
2. Are there any common denominators in the list of gifts Paul gives us in the passage above?
3. What gift(s) has God given you to serve and bless others? One way to consider this is to take our EveryGift Inventory. You can find it here: www.lhm.org/everygift.
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