Thursday, March 06, 2014

THE GIFTS YOU HAVE

THE GIFTS YOU HAVE
While we are correct to understand that the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit have ceased (http://tinyurl.com/kg9djd2) we need not think that we no longer have gifts from God. Everything you have is from God. The strength, creative talents, resources and everything is from God. Accepting this, we have to decide if we are going to put these things into service for God.

Paul said, "present yourself as a living sacrifice to God" Rom 12:1ff. Why does he say this? Because, first of all, it's what we ought to be doing (Lk 17:10). But secondly because as a matter of utility, God has a work to accomplish in this world, and He wants your talents to be employed in that work.

Later in Romans 12, Paul talks about the body and the various members of the body each accomplishing their part in the overall function of it. Serving, teaching, giving, leading, mercy and things like this all require that Christians be living sacrifices. To be a living sacrifice to God, which is acceptable to Him, means putting yourself into the humble service for the greater purposes of God.

Let's begin right now. Send a card to encourage someone else. Show the love of God to the lost by inviting them to learn more about Jesus Christ. But someone a meal. Encourage the preacher by saying what you have been thinking (I'm not fishing here, honestly, but there are good preachers who aren't shown the appreciation they deserve). And work for the Lord so that whatever your hands find to do, do it to His glory. Talk with tenderness and love to your children about our powerful and good God. Live sacrificially. Think of giving instead of getting. Give without any care if you will be repaid. Teach the hard truth, compromise in no place, but care very deeply for the soul that's heard it (Jesus cried).

Living a sacrificial life unto God means having an undefeatable spirit in the face of opposition. Opposition? Why do you bring this up? In Romans 12 when Paul encourages the Christians to be living sacrifices to God, he brings up the attitude and spirit you must have when facing hostility of men. 
"14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. 20 “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:14-21. 
With humility of mind and an intense sense of mission to serve God, we shall overcome the threats of men. Will there be hardships for the servant of God? Yes there will be. But live above it. The greater cause of God is too important for us to be derailed by evil men. When you pray for the ungodly and repay with good those who do evil, you do so as a living sacrifice to God.

You are light. Jesus said to let your light shine not just when it's easy. He said blessed are the peacemakers and blessed are you when men persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you. As a living sacrifice to God, your mindset is different. You are always cognizant of the greater purpose of God who wants even the evil people to repent and follow Him. When Jesus took the insults and was "silent as a lamb before its shearer", so we go through troubles of this life with a sense of quiet grace.

Since you believe in God, ask yourself, "What service will I render to the cause of Christ today?" "How can I use my gifts to the glory of God?" 

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