Sent: Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Subject: “You Do That So Well”

Dear Ethan & Emily:

I find myself continuing this morning with “gifts” on my mind….and I want to again thank you so much for your gifts from yesterday.  I have already tried out the Bible software, Emily, and it is just fantastic….and Ethan, I can’t wait to have the massage, and your mother and I are looking forward to the Broadway concert in January.  Thank you again.

In addition to salvation and so much else, God gives each Christian “spiritual” gifts.   One of the classic passages on this subject is 1 Corinthians 12.  In  verse 7, Paul tells us why they are given:  “A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church,” and in Romans 12: 6, he defines these gifts:  “God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well.”

Have you ever thought about the spiritual gifts God has given you?  You may have one or several, but you do have them, as God gave them to you.  And when you exercise them, they benefit all believers…and you also are blessed.  We definitely need to use them: 

“…if God has given you the ability to prophesy (preach/minister), speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you.  If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well.  If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching.  If you gift is to encourage others, do it!  If you have money, share it generously (yes, giving is a gift).  If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously.  And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” (Romans 12: 6 – 8)

Our interim pastor made a statement in one of his sermons not long ago that impressed me and helped define this subject for me.  He said one way you can know your spiritual gift(s) is when omeone tells you: “You do that so well” or “you have been a blessing to me by what you have done,” etc.  Such expressions may be an indication of your special abilities in that area.

Remember…we don’t have to worry about how good or bad we are at something since God is the source of this gift and actually exercises the gift through us as we allow Him.  “…there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all…There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us.” (1 Corinthians 12: 4 – 6)

Make it a point in the new year to identify your spiritual gift(s) and experience the blessing that comes in using them to help others.  And don’t think that you have to be the “best” of something.  Everything counts and works to build up the body of Christ:  “…in fact, some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary.” (1 Corinthians 12: 22 but read vv. 12 – 26 about how all our gifts and abilities “fit” together to strengthen the church).

So…You may or may not hear:  “You do that so well”…but regardless, as you use your gift(s), you will be doing your “part” that makes the body of Christ “work.” 

Have a great day “living” the gift(s) God has given you….

All my love,