My sun porch

My sun porch

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The blessing of using God's gifts to serve others...

"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

God gives such great gifts to his children. He blesses us with talents that others can see and experience, and he also blesses each of us with spiritual gifts that others may not know we have. WE may not be aware of all the gifts God has blessed us with.

Then, of course, most importantly is God's gift of grace. Ephesians 2:8-9 says that grace is an undeserved gift that we cannot earn. Because it is a free gift to us, we should thankfully accept it and then willingly and freely be giving that same grace to all we meet.

Learning to be aware of and alert to the gifts that God has blessed each of us with is very important. How we handle those gifts is also very important. Why? In order to willingly and freely show grace to others, we need to serve others with our gifts. Freely and willing giving to others...harder than it sounds.

We are greedy people. We love gifts...God gives and gives and we take and take. We love to take those gifts and then many times use them for our own benefit. This leads to ambition, vanity and conceit. It becomes all about us, and letting the spotlight shine on us. "Look at me!"

Many verses in the Bible deal with the topic of humility, or being humble. We are to "clothe ourselves in humility." In return, God saves, guides, teaches, sustains, crowns, shows favor to, lifts up and exalts the humble. So, on top of giving us wonderful gifts, when we are humble in using those gifts, God REALLY blesses us!

A humble person values others more than herself and looks to the interests and needs of others instead of doing things out of selfish ambition and vain conceit. (Philippians 2:3-4) That doesn't sound like what our American culture teaches us, does it?

Showing grace and humility to others may have other advantages as well...advantages that have NOTHING to do with us! Being forgiving and putting others first is hard and counter-cultural. People aren't used to seeing that in our "dog-eat-dog" society. So, when we ARE humble and GIVE forgiveness and grace to others and SERVE others first with our God-given gifts, people are AMAZED! They wonder how we are able to do it. They wonder what we have that they don't have that enables us to be so giving. Then...they WANT what we have and reach out to God for his blessings as well.

This world is not HOPELESS! God is still touching others through his blessed children. You and I can be the instruments God uses to reach more of his children.

Dear God, Thank you for being so loving and giving to your children! Most of all, thank you for your gift of grace! Help us to thankfully accept the gifts you have given us and help us to learn how to use those gifts to willingly and joyfully serve others. Teach us to be humble and think of others before ourselves. You will bless us in so many more ways! Amen.

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