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December 2 | Romans 12:6-18


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Humbly Gifted

by Mary Alice McGinnis


If you were to ask for the greatest gift you could be given, what would it be? How would you identify the deepest longing of your heart?

  • Most of us think immediately of the basics of provision--more wealth, more possessions, more material things.

  • Then it may progress to the desire for protection, feeling safe in a crazy world. A longing for peace and security.

  • Digging deeper, we may discover that what we really want is a sense of belonging. Who are my people? Where do I fit in?

  • Going deeper still, we may see that we have a deep desire to be unique, finding confidence in who we are as an individual.

  • Finally, we may find ourselves longing for impact, purpose, and significance. Feeling like we are playing an irreplaceable role in something bigger than ourselves.

Psychologists say these are basic human needs. Often, we spend our lives in endless pursuit of these deep desires, the highest being the search for significance.


Today’s reading tells us something about gifts.


“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.”


God is the master designer of all human giftedness, molded and shaped together to bring Him glory in His master plan. These gifts are precisely that, gifts. Unearned, unmerited, undeserved. How would it change our view of life if we really embraced this truth? If we really took to heart that God willingly lavished each of us with our own special uniqueness, to be used by Him in His bigger picture?


There would be no need for striving to prove ourselves

There would be no more need for us to compare ourselves to others

There would be no need to exalt ourselves over others in order to feel more significance

There would be no need to shrink back in fear of failure


Grounding ourselves in the lavish under-served gift of grace given to us, instead of striving after self-seeking significance, we can be supernaturally empowered to humbly serve one another.


Paul uses these phrases to describe this counter-intuitive use of gifts. We are gifted so that we can humbly serve.


Love will be sincere - not with a hidden agenda or ego-seeking significance.

Honor one another above yourself - instead of tearing others down to feel more important.

Be joyful in hope - instead of complaining. My hope is in God, not myself.

Patient in affliction - instead of feeling discouraged. God has a plan.

Faithful in prayer - instead of relying on self. God is the source of all I need.

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need - instead of fearing I won’t have enough.

Practice hospitality - instead of closing off my hearts and home in self-protection - to those I feel are less than.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse - God’s under-served grace is bigger than what others can do or say to me.

Rejoice with those who rejoice - instead of begrudging other people’s joy, fearing others are more favored.

Mourn with those who mourn - instead of judging other’s pain.


Recognizing our giftedness is exceedingly unmerited keeps our pride in check. Pride is self-focused—either in self-doubt, or in self-sufficiency.


We have received God’s undeserved gift of His favor because of Jesus' death on the cross. He has invited us into being a part of His family, His Kingdom.


He has an irreplaceable role for each of us to play. It’s not about us. And through His Holy Spirit, in humility we are enabled to “never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” And “as far as it depends on us, to live in harmony with one another.”


PRAYER

Thank You Lord, for the gift of Your grace, through Jesus Christ. Remind us Lord, that You have uniquely gifted us and given us an irreplaceable role. We have done nothing to deserve it. We have nothing to prove. Forgive us our self-seeking, egocentric pursuits for significance. Thank You for inviting each of us into Your Master plan You designed before the beginning of time, to humbly serve others and invite them into Your abundant grace and belonging in the Family of God.





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