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3rd April 2016
God loves giving His children gifts. Anything you have within you – the gifts, the talents, the abilities – is how God has made you and the gifts He has given you. Grace has been given to you. The gift of salvation is freely given to us. We don't earn it, we don't deserve it. God's saving mercy meant that, through Jesus, God grabbed hold of us and drew us to Himself.
When we know we didn't earn the gifts of God, we don't need to strive to keep them. God, our loving heavenly Father, loves to give us gifts. This passage in Ephesians lists some of the gifts God gives – apostle, prophet, teacher, etc. It's not an exhaustive list. Elsewhere faith, healing, generosity, encouragement, miraculous powers, and others are mentioned. The gifts God gives aren't about what we can do for others, but about who we are.
There's great variety in the gifts God gives. So often we look at other people and we want their gifts, rather than recognising how God has made us and what He has given us. What's your shape? What's the unique way God has made you to be? When you know who you were created to be, you can find real peace and stop striving to be someone else. God wants us to be at peace with who we are and our unique contribution. When you know who you are, you can fully show up.
Why does God give gifts? This is the beauty of our God! He doesn't want minions but sons and daughters. He gives us these gifts to equip His children, for the building up of the body of Christ – for the common good. Our gifts are to bless, build up and equip those around us. God gives us things so that we can give them away freely for the good of those around us.
Instead of asking: 'How can I use my gift?' a good question to ask is: 'How can I serve the rest of the body?' The gifts function best when we are ourselves. If your gift is encouragement, find people to encourage. If your gift is generosity, then take opportunities to give away your time, your resources, etc. If your gift is prophecy, look to prophesy – and not just on Sundays!
The key ingredient for the gifts functioning well together is unity. The Bible says that where there is unity, God commands a blessing. If you want to mature as a believer, unity is key for our spiritual health. It's the forming of a whole from separate parts. It's not uniformity. Uniformity is about control. It makes everyone look the same. But unity is about accepting, welcoming and celebrating diversity and difference – it's accepting it without being threatened by it. Unity is when we fully accept others without being threatened by them.
How are you with difference? Do you welcome it or are you threatened by it? We're meant to be family together, people from different backgrounds doing life together. But we're called to walk in a manner worthy of our calling! That manner is humility, gentleness, patience and bearing with each other in love.
There is real power when we stand united. There's power when we come to together, with all of our differences, as a united family. It's all founded in love. It's all about love. Love is the only motive that you and I need. The key ingredient to hold our unity together is love.
Posted by Santino Hamberis