Back to Teaching the Bible…
This week, I will have the privilege of leading the winter session of the Soul Sisters Bible study. During the Advent season, we completed a short study on the Gospels at Christmas and from the feedback we received, it was a hit. It was something different from the usual Christmastime studies. Instead of focusing on the familiar stories of the birth of Jesus, we concentrated on the differences in the four Gospel accounts and studied some of the history of when they were written, the various audiences and the purposes of the books we have come to now and love.
So now, we are going to move further into the New Testament and study spiritual gifts, passions and various styles that God has endowed His people with. The apostle Paul makes it quite clear that each of God’s people has been given certain gifts that are to be used to the glory of the kingdom of God. We are not all the same. But it is clear that we are to work together and only by combining our gifts with others, can we truly be at our best and impact the kingdom.
The problem with most of us is that we know what gifts we may have been given, but we rarely take time to appreciate the gifts that those around us are endowed with. And it is important to recognize the God Himself chose the gifts that He decided to give to each of us. That means that part of our creation included God specifically giving us the tools to complete whatever task He has divinely charged us to complete.
When you take time to think about that, it follows that there is something that you do that is better than anybody in eternity past. Likewise, there is something that you can do better than anybody will in the future – ever. That’s why you are here at the time and place that you are in. You have some assignment to complete and God knew exactly where to place you to give you the best possible chance of success.
I believe that there are several fundamental truths at work here. First, God doesn’t waste anything – so whatever experiences you have had are preparing you for the future. And… God never moves you on to another assignment until you have learned whatever it is that you were supposed to master in your current position. These things seem simple on the surface, but they are more difficult in practice.
That’s because we are human and make errors. The great goal here is to move from where you are in your life to where God has divinely created you to be. I have spent most of my career helping people find their giftedness and have tried to assist them to get to where they were designed to be. So later this week, another group of people will have a chance to determine their gifts and try to use them for the glory of God.
There are many verses on the various spiritual gifts. By some counts, there are as many as 22 different gifts. Our verse for tonight, from Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, reminds us that spiritual gifts are from God. He tells us, in 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.”
My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to use our gifts in unison for His glory and the church on earth. My prayer is that we will all take the time to pray that God will reveal our gifts to each of us so that we may also appreciate the differences that God’s people have. In this way, we may be more tolerant of one another and rejoice in the diversity of people who make up God’s chosen people. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…