Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 27, 2018
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13
I love it when something in Scripture jumps off the page to bolster me. That’s what happened to me a few days ago when I was reading 2 Timothy 1:6-7 in which Paul is telling Timothy:
“. .. I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of hands. . . For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and self-discipline.”
This passage reminded me of four truths regarding the use of God-given gifts. If you sometimes feel fearful to use your gifts, you are discouraged because you aren’t as skilled at using your God-given gifts as you like to be, or you wonder if you have the capability, these four points are for you.
God-given gifts begin as sparks. It may seem small, insignificant, and that it’s really not helping anyone or doing much good. But that’s often how great gifts begin. That’s why we must “fan them” into a flame. How do you do that? By using them. You practice. If you have the gift of preaching, preach. If you have the gift of writing, write. If you can sing, sing. And remember not to compare yourself to someone who has been “fanning their gift into flame” for a long time. Their gift also started out as a spark. You will not do it perfectly, but God will perfect what you do.
You have permission to use your gift because God gave it. Sometimes I hear people who love to write and have a gift for it say that they aren’t sure if they should share what they have written with others. Maybe they feel ashamed, embarrassed or vulnerable. But here’s great news: If you have a gift, you have permission to use it. God gave it. He meant for it to be used to build up the body (Ephesians 4:11-13).
You can use your gift with boldness and power because you have been given the spirit of power. Sometimes, we can get hung up on what we can do and how much we are accomplishing. But if we remember that we operate in our gifting with God’s power, then we might be more prone to lean on Him. You can be bold because God is working through you to glorify Himself through your gift, and that’s lots of fun!
When you use your gifts, use them in love. Paul says that God has given us not only a spirit of power, but a spirit of love. Sometimes, it can be so easy to get caught up in what we are accomplishing and how much we are doing, that we forget why we are doing it. If you have a gift and you use it, but you don’t use it in love, it’s just no good.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Corinthians 13:1)
PrayerLord, how awesome that if you gave me a gift it’s because you intend me to use it. I don’t have to shrink back in fear of failure and I don’t have to be embarrassed that my gift will start as a small spark. Thank you for gifting me great gifts to use for you! Amen.
ApplicationUse one of your God-given gifts boldly today and thank God for giving it to you.
Related ReadingEphesians 2:10; Proverbs 22:29; 1 Corinthians 12:5-6
Post/Tweet todayThough imperfectly, faithfully exercise your gifts and God will perfect them by His grace. #WisdomHunters #Spark
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