December 30, 2016
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith … if it is giving, then give generously …” Romans 12:6,8b (NIV)
My friend’s kidney was shutting down. I felt helpless and wondered: What can I do?
The question hit me hard. If my kidney is a match, will I donate it?
I had an internal struggle between what I would lose and what she would gain: I only have two kidneys; what if something happens to my other one? But my friend is dying. What if my kidney will give her life?
After praying about it, I nervously called the Medical University organ transplant department and registered as a potential organ donor for my friend. They gave me specific instructions and explained they would run more tests to see if my kidney was a match.
Then I waited.
After a battery of tests, the organ transplant people called to say my kidney wasn’t a fit.
I was disappointed I couldn’t help my friend as time ticked away. Every moment mattered as her kidney was shutting down.
Soon after the kidney experience, I heard a sermon series about Romans 12 that detailed the seven spiritual gifts:
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully” (Romans 12:6-9, NIV).
Before this experience with my friend, I’m embarrassed to say I’d never thought that giving “generously” was a spiritual gift. It’s a gift no one talks about.
These other six spiritual gifts seem to naturally appear in sermon messages often: prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, leadership and mercy.
Yet giving generously to the needs of others comes straight from the Lord. He gives us the desire and the joy to give.
Giving a few dollars to the collection plate at church or offering spare change to someone ringing a bell with a bucket doesn’t really require much of me. But giving generously — and sacrificially — is led by God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
And God rewards those who give. Proverbs 28:27a says, “Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing” (NLT).
Thankfully, my friend finally received the good news that a kidney was ready for her transplant! She was perfectly matched with an anonymous donor who gave life to my friend.
That was three years ago. Today, she is doing beautifully with her new kidney. And she’s alive because of someone else’s gift.
In this Christmas season and every day, may we prayerfully and joyfully use our spiritual gift of giving generously to meet the needs of others. And thank the Lord in His kindness, for blessing us as a result.
Father God, giving generously is a struggle for so many of us. It doesn’t come naturally. We know it’s a gift straight from You, Lord. Please help us open the doors of our hearts and generously give, so we, in turn, might change the world for Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Hebrews 13:16, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (NIV)
2 Corinthians 8:3-4, “For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.” (NIV)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
When is a time that someone sacrificially gave something to you when you needed it the most?
When have you given generously to the needs of others? How did you feel as a result?
© 2016 by Danya Jordan. All rights reserved.