Encouragement for Today - June 15, 2011
June 15, 2011
"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)
Five years ago I took a spiritual gifts test and failed! Well, in my mind, I failed.
I had high hopes that the test would confirm that I have the spiritual gift of wisdom, discernment, evangelism or mercy. You know...a good, useful gift. A change-the-world kind of gift. I was crushed to discover that I do not possess any of what I perceived as "good" gifts.
Since I was sure I knew myself better than this silly test, I took it again. I ended up taking the spiritual gifts test five times! Sadly, each one confirmed that I was stuck with the frivolous gift of hospitality. Seriously? I wanted to be a wise sage and soul-winning evangelist, not a hostess!
Shortly after my testing marathon I read today's key verse. Reading it a second time, my eyes lingered over the words "whatever gift." It doesn't say, "Only those with the gift of leadership or evangelism go and serve." As I pondered this verse I realized that as a body of Christians we could not accomplish nearly as much if we all had the same gifts. I embraced my gift of hospitality and God showed me He could use my ability to create a fancy meal or decorate a beautiful table to make others feel special. I can administer God's grace through what I thought was fluff!
What gift(s) has God given you? If you haven't yet determined your spiritual gift(s), spend some time thinking about what you do well, what hidden talent you may have, and what you have a passion for. Ask your friends what they think your talents are.
Then ask God how you can use these gifts to share His grace with others. If you are a musician, consider playing at a local retirement center or soup kitchen. If you love to scrapbook, consider organizing memories for someone who is unable to do so. If you have great computer skills, consider helping women at a shelter put together resumes or teach computer skills to help them secure a job.
I have learned that my "frivolous" gift of hospitality is not so frivolous after all. Extending hospitality, simple or extravagant, is a tangible way to share God's love and His grace with family, friends, co-workers, and strangers. My prayer is that every day God will provide me with new opportunities to use the gifts He has bestowed upon me for His kingdom and for His glory.
Dear Lord, thank You that You have gifted each of us differently. Help me discover the gifts You have given me so I may use them to administer Your grace to everyone around me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Visit LeAnn's amazing She Cooks site today for an awesome giveaway and to see how LeAnn is using her gift of hospitality to reach others with the grace of God. Come for recipes, menus, and special event planning, and stay for much more! LeAnn is looking forward to spending time cooking together.
Shaped with Purpose Workbook and CD: Discovering Your God-given Gifts, Passions, Personality and Abilities by Renee Swope
How can I purposefully use my spiritual gifts to share God's love and grace with those around me?
Reflect on 1 Peter 4:9-11a, "Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ." (NIV)
Am I truly being a good steward of the gifts entrusted to me by the Holy Spirit, using them to serve others and to glorify Christ and not merely for my own personal gain or enjoyment?
Romans 12:4-6a, "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." (NIV)
1 Corinthians 12:4-6, "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men." (NIV)
© 2011 by LeAnn Rice. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105