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Friday, October 6, 2017

Gifted?

We all have different gifts. Each gift came because of the grace God gave us. (Romans 12:6 ERV)

Have you ever thought of yourself as "gifted"? In today's vernacular, that terms refers to someone with a special talent that almost surpasses what another would call "normal". A six year old who can play complex pieces on the piano may be referred to as "gifted" simply because the child has "mastered" the concerto. A mind given to the advancement of medical science, investing time and talent into the discovery of a new cure for a plaguing disease can be said to be "gifted". Regardless of how we view being "gifted", God may just view it a little bit differently. In his eyes, ALL of us is "gifted", but we may not fully appreciate just how "special" that gift is within us!

As Paul puts it, 'We all have different gifts. Each gift came because of the grace God gave us.' God's gifts are "grace gifts" - they are not specifically "talents" as we might see in the above examples, but they are special gifts nonetheless. Grace gifts are those which restore the broken, build up the downtrodden, and replenish the diminished. They are the gifts that bring stability where only chaos was once allowed to reign supreme. They are the ones that look hardship in the face and ask, "What can we take away from this experience?" Grace gifts bring peace where disorder and unrest once was, helps us discover truths once hidden, and soothes the heart so burdened with cares that life no seems worth living. These are God's gifts.

A couple of things about God's gifts:

- They aren't "developed" by constant exercise or practice. They are "grace-given" - placed within us and then used by God's Spirit to 'minister' through us to those around us.

- They may be exhibited in the form of a talent, such as song, the ability to write beautiful words on a page, or even the repeated 'service' of preparing hot meals for the homeless. They aren't the 'talent' as much as they are the grace and love behind that talent.

- They aren't for our own benefit. God's grace-gifts are for the people God brings into our lives, who cross our paths for even the shortest span of time. Their purpose is to build up, restore, and re-energize those whose lives have been messed up by sin. Yes, we benefit from these gifts, but we are not to hoard God's grace or love - it is to be shared in unselfish proportions with those who have need of it, too. Just sayin!