For more help use this Bible Study method
Gifts Set on Fire
by Pastor Jeff Morlock
Leonardo DaVinci lived in the 14th and 15th centuries, but both his art and his discoveries are still being discussed, if not completely understood, by the greatest minds of our time. DaVinci drew sketches of a battle tank and a helicopter at the time when a person who owned a horse was considered to be well off and flying was reserved for birds and insects. His art is still considered a mystery, not only because of the advanced techniques, but because some believe there are some hidden messages in the amazing images he created. Perhaps you know someone who is abundantly talented in some way. Are you tempted to compare yourself to them and conclude that you are not gifted at all? Or that your seemingly meager gifts don’t matter? God’s word says otherwise. “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them… Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:4, 7) Timothy’s gift was preaching the gospel. Yours may be a joyful disposition, the ability to make friends, or a readiness to listen when someone is hurting. Do you have a good memory, a receptive mind, or a compassionate heart? Are you naturally an encourager or someone who knows how to fix things that are broken? These are not small giftings at all, for when leveraged by the Holy Spirit, they can have eternal impact.
But there is a risk. What if I use my gift and fail? What if I’m not good enough? What if others aren’t receptive? These “what if’s” represent our fears. They are not from God, nor are we the first to struggle with such fears. Timothy, too, needed to be reminded by his mentor, Paul that, “… the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” Finally, Paul’s invitation to Timothy was, “… join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.” Using our gifts for ministry is usually messy and almost always comes at a cost. But it is worth it. For Jesus has not only redeemed us from something – the guilt of sin and the fear of death – but also for something – for serving Him and the world with our gifts. A deed of love done in His name can mean more eternally than a painting or invention of DaVinci. This is not to minimize great talent; it is to maximize what Christian love can do with even the seemingly most modest gift.
Spend some time in prayer, asking God to show you what gift(s) he is calling forth in you right now and how he wants you to use these gifts to join him in his work. Who is he calling you to bless and how? Conclude with this prayer: "Holy Spirit, empower me to fan into flame the gift that is in me, for your glory and the benefit of your people. Amen." * If you have a love for the Scriptures and a gift for writing, please consider whether the Lord may be calling you to be a contributor to this daily worship blog. There is much flexibility and you can determine how often you are willing to post. For more information, contact Judy Webb, email@example.com or me, firstname.lastname@example.org.