James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
As we begin this holiday season I just want to take time and note where all good things come from. Over the next few weeks, many will be spending time in thankfulness around Thanksgiving. Many will also be spending time thinking of others as we enter the Christmas holiday with giving on our minds and hearts. And, as the year ends, many become reflective on what another year has produced; both the good and the bad.
First of all, there are the material gifts. I have been blessed with more “things” than others. Still, I have been blessed with less “things” than others. Sometimes I have to stop in amazement and wonder why God allowed me to be born into the life I have. I could have been born into some other society or culture that has little to nothing as far as materials. I have never wanted for anything really. This is a gift from God. I had no choice over my birth or birthplace. Why was this gift given to me? God has a purpose in this life for me. I need to acknowledge His gift to me and use that gifting for His kingdom.
Secondly, I have been gifted in certain ways spiritually. As I read through 1 Corinthians 12, I recognize some of the gifts God has given me. There are times where I am envious of other’s gifts and how they use them. However, I need to recognize that I am gifted in certain areas where I can serve the kingdom of God. These are gifts given me by God to use and glorify Him. I am compelled to pay attention to what God has in store for my use of the spiritual gifts He has blessed me with.
A third part of us that God has gifted is in the area of ability. I have both physical and mental abilities that are useful in the kingdom. I share my abilities with many yet, my abilities are unique to me. This is an area of my life where I tend to not always give the God enough credit or thanks. When I rely on my abilities as if they are from me alone, I am reminded about the passage in Numbers 20 where Moses and Aaron did not give God the glory and misused the power and abilities given them when bringing water from the rock. The result was neither man would lead the people or enter the promise land. This is a sobering thought for when I have used or misused the abilities and/or power of God and have not given proper credit as to where I received this power.
These gifts that God has given us are that…gifts. These are gifts from an unchanging God. These are gifts to use for ourselves, for others, and for His service. Let us use them to His glory being ever thankful that He has granted us whatever portion we have received.
1. What are some of your spiritual gifts?
2. What are some of your material gifts?
3. What are some of your gifted abilities or power?
4. In what ways do you use these gifts for God’s kingdom work?
5. In what ways have you fallen short of using His gifts for kingdom work?
6. What needs to change for you to move in a direction of using God’s gifts?
7. This week, take time to write out a list of your gifts. Notice where you have used them. Notice where you need to use them more. Be sure to pray a prayer of thanks to God over that list.
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