Sunday, February 2, 2020

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Use Your Gift According to His Will

As I continue this series on chapter twelve of Paul’s letter to those in Rome, I will be looking at the different gifts given to each of us by God, not only to serve Him but also to be used to serve others. Paul, in this chapter, discusses how to live as a sacrifice to God. Each day, we have an opportunity to do something that brings glory to the Father and, in the process, we are able to use those gifts to serve others. As we use those gifts, we must always remember where they came from. They did not magically appear or just pop out of nowhere. These gifts come directly from God and need to be used to glorify Him and to serve those around us. We should not use our gifts as a means of generating worldly profits. 

In chapter six of Paul’s first letter to Timothy, Paul writes to the young, budding preacher there at Ephesus, “But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.”

Money, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. Using our talent to provide for our daily needs is one thing. But, it is entirely different when you use your God-given gift to line your pockets at the expense of God’s people. The evil part of money comes when it becomes our one and only desire and our passion. We are no longer interested in glorifying God with the gift given to us by Him. It is our perversion of that gift that causes issues. The love of money only leads to ruin and destruction. When we spend more time selfishly working to milk the gift for all of its worth, we begin to wander away from the true faith.

For example, SFIHG Ministries does not sell items for donations. All of the donations that we receive goes into furthering God's work by sharing the Good News with all. My wife and I have given Bibles and crosses in the name of the Father to those who desperately need the Word. What little money that is left is used to build the ministry and grow it to reach more people. Websites and tools are not cheap, but providing the Word of God without cost is the first priority of our ministry. We have been very blessed by those who have become partners in sharing the Gospel and love of God to all. Over the years, our ministry received gifts from those who desired to give of their abundance to us to help those in need and provided them with Bibles without charge. No one should use his or her gift from God to profit from it. 

Starting with verse six, Paul writes in Romans, “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”

There are a couple of key points that Paul makes regarding the gifts we receive from God. The first is that all gifts come from God and through His grace. That means that the gifts cannot be earned or purchased. He gives them to us in accordance to His will and we are to use them to glorify Him and to serve those around us.

James, in chapter one of his epistle, writes, “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.”

Because of God’s very nature, whatever He provides is good and perfect and it comes directly from Him. So, the gift we receive must be used for good only. It should never be used to further our own selfish desires or passions. 

The other thing to consider is that we are not to squander our gifts but to use them well. Look closely at what Paul writes. He reminds us to use our gifts well and not to just “phone it in”. If we serve others, we must do it well. If we teach, we must do it well. The gift must never just be taken for granted or lightly. The use of our gifts should always show those around us where they came from and who is glorified by it. 

Peter, in chapter four of his first letter, puts it this way, “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.”

Peter drives the point home very well. When we use our gifts as intended by God, the outcome of their use is always the same. God, not us, is glorified. God supplies us with everything that is needed to use our gifts to their fullest potential.

When we realize that what we received from God are truly gifts from His bountiful hand, we are able to fully understand how we are to use those gifts. The use of all gifts should do two things. They should glorify God and should be used to serve others. 

As you continue your walk with the Lord, seek His will in everything you do. Use the gift you received from God in accordance to His will and in keeping with the example of His son, Christ Jesus. As you act as God’s living sacrifice daily, you can rest assured that you will always stand firm in His grace.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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