When we open up gifts on Christmas morning, we receive things that will eventually wear out, dry up, break down, or get thrown away. But the gifts that God gives us improve with use. Whether preaching, teaching, singing, serving, helping, guiding or giving. God’s most precious gift, His Son, gives us life. His second most precious gift, if only because it is conditioned on the first, is His Spirit. And through His Spirit, we receive all manner of special and unique gifts, specific to us, to help us serve the larger body. Your combination of gifts is unique to you, and no one else can do what you have been gifted to do. Are you willing to use His gifts today?
Do you know that eagerness when you watch someone else open the gift you prepared for them? You know the feelings that run through you. Anticipation, eagerness, excitement, and joy! You look forward to seeing the smile on their face at something you gave to them. As you get older, this feeling becomes more precious. Especially to hear the squeals of delight of little ones shredding Christmas paper. You know the joy of seeing a satisfied recipient, and you probably also know the despair from someone who didn’t appreciate your gift, and cast it aside.
Consider for a moment God’s point of view. He has sent His Son into the world as His gift. Some accepted Him. Some rejected Him. He sent His Spirit into the world as a gift to all that would receive His Son. Some accepted Him, others rejected Him. The Holy Spirit gave gifts to all who confessed Jesus as their Lord. Some accepted those gifts and used them. Others turned their backs, saying the gifts were too hard, or not what they wanted. Knowing how we feel when others open our gifts, can you imagine God’s face and turning away from His?
All of us have been given gifts to use for the glory and growth of the church. This church depends on you. No one of us is expected to do it all, otherwise, only one person would have all the gifts. But each of us has a gift from the Lord. Each of has a responsibility to the whole, whether great or small. As a Christian, you need to discover that gift, and use it, for the church depends on you. Her growth and service depend on you to utilize your gift.
If you don’t have one those gifts yet, because you’ve never committed yourself to serving Jesus, then today is the day to start. Don’t let another day go by without putting your lot in with Christ. Believe in Him, Repent of your sins, Confess His name, and be Baptized for the forgiveness of your sins, and the free gift of the Holy Spirit. Today is your opportunity to be a part of the body of Christ. The Savior we serve was born in a manger, but died on a cross for you.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. (1Co 12:4-11)