Saturday, April 19, 2008

I never considered myself a gifted person....

"Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully." Romans 12: 4-8 (NIV) I have been drawn to the Bible lately in search of a specific purpose -- to learn more about the "characters" in the Bible and how their actions (good or bad) impacted where we are today. Not surprisingly, all aspects of these people and their action, righteous and unrighteous, fulfilled God's promises and prophesies. Initially, I began my search in getting to know Esther a little better. I had read her story many times but never stopped to ponder the depth of her role in history. She may have started out as a young orphan girl taken into the home of a distant uncle. She was not mistreated but as a Jew she had her place in society, so when the King needed to find a new bride because he deposed his prior queen for not obeying a command, Esther went along with many other young girls to be groomed to go before the King. In the end, Esther was chosen to wear the crown and all along the King had no indication she was of Jewish decent. Through a series of circumstances moved into place by the hand of God, she was able to not only save the Jewish people but allowed them to become elevated and protected across the lands. Esther may have felt she had nothing to offer but God used her and her uncle in a mighty way. Her actions and courage paved the way for the Jewish lineage to continue to grow and the house of Jesse to stay in tact, thus the Lord Jesus would one day come from that branch of the family tree from the house of David. She is a true example of a little ripple becoming a tidal wave with the power of God behind her. The last week, I have spent time in Nehemiah. Again, a man after God's own heart. He was so devoted to God that even in his service to the king as the cup bearer, he paused to pray prior to answering questions from the King. Once Nehemiah was given permission to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem, he too was given carte blanche and safe passage to make it happen. What appealed to me most in the story was how the different people from diverse backgrounds all pitched in to help rebuild. Some of these folks were blacksmiths, perfume makers, rulers, store owners, common folks, families, etc. In addition, I found it interesting that everyone did not repair the same amount or in the same manner. Some only repaired in front of their homes while others repaired from one gate to another. All the while, they all seemed to be in tune with the same goal - to rebuild the wall. None of them fell to the mockers and everyone appeared to be ready to guard their fellow workers as they labored around the clock to make the wall a reality. God is so good at showing us that each of us have gifts, even when we don't think we have any. Esther thought she was nothing more than a young Jewish girl who probably felt she would be sold off into slavery and there was no other future for her, much less the one that she ended up living. Nehemiah and his fellow builders, worked in any capacity they could and gave what they could with labor and resources to complete the job. This is similar to the church body today -- we can all give a little or a lot in time, resources, money, gifts, etc and it will all come together to be just enough, but still more than we imagined to reach God's goal for us. So the next time you think, I don't have any gifts -- (I say this a lot myself), remember God can use ALL of us. We don't have to sing like angels, paint like Picasso, play music like Mozart, act or write like Shakespeare -- all we have to have is a willing spirit, heart and mind to do whatever the Lord leads us to do and to be a part of. Remember, if He leads you, He will equip you to do great things. As Mordecai told Esther in 4:14 "And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" Now you can substitute whatever you're doing for the royal position and the same can be said for any one of us. So, what "position are you in for such a time as this?" Maybe we'll be working together -- but let me warn you - I can't sing !! Dear Lord: Thank you for the gifts you have given me. I too often do not perceive the things or inclinations as gifts. More over, I typically think of gifts as talents such as in the arts. Forgive me for not keeping my spirit, heart and mind open at all times to be ready for you to show me the gift you want me to use. I want to hear it said that I am going through something or doing something for "such a time as this." Thank you dear Lord for equipping us to work together and complete Your goals. In the wonderful name of Jesus - AMEN There are some good spiritual gifts tests (inventories) out there on the web to help you get to thinking of what gifts the Lord has given you that you may not even be aware of. Here is a link to a pretty detailed one that gives you a score, thus no adding on your part. Once you get to the page, just scroll down past the video link and start the test. It does not ask for any personal information or for anything to be completed other than selecting the answer that best fits you. Application:

  • Do you have any gifts? talents? If so, how is God using them and/or has He used them in the past?
  • Are you open in mind, body and spirit to do God's will and trust that He will equip you for His calling?
  • Pray that the Lord will open your eyes to see His purpose for you. Remember, He may not plan for you to do it all alone.

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