BY REV. JENNIFER HESEBECK - EXCELSIOR UMC/FAITH COMMUNITY CHURCH OF MILFORD
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul lists some of the gifts that God has given to different people, in hopes that they will realize: "God can use me! God can use me just the way He made me."
In Romans 12:6-8 this is what he says: We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Now, there are a lot of other gifts talked about in the Bible – this is one list, there are three different lists of different gifting options that we have if you want to do more study on this. We've got Romans 12, there's 1 Corinthians 12, and you've got Ephesians chapter 4. Read these passages and you can see how it is that God has gifted you.
But the main theme of this is: We all have some gifts that God's given to us, and we need to use them for His glory.
Some gifts are more obvious than others; some are more public, some are more private. Some are seen by many, some are seen by few … but they’re all important. It doesn't matter how visible they are. At the heart of our faith communities are a lot of people who do a lot of things, in the background, that no one ever sees.
It doesn’t matter what you do…do something – because the body of Christ needs you.
Volunteer at a local church or faith-based organization, pick up a piece of trash in the parking lot, lead a Bible study, contribute to a mission, be a prayer warrior, serve a meal, teach a class …
When we serve outside of our church, we're trying to show people Jesus. And when we serve within the church, we do so to edify and unify the body of Christ, and we come together to make a difference. It's ongoing transformation and active participation.
Whether it's time for you to accept Christ, or it's time for you to recommit to Christ… it means trading your old identity for a new one — from spectator to participant, from unwilling to transformed, from uncertainty to security.
God wants to do that in you, and He does His best work when we’re willing to admit that we need Him. Move forward in faith and be prepared to be amazed, humbled, overjoyed, and fulfilled with the work God does in you and through you.
Thanks be to God for the way He's gifted us for His glory!