Gifts without Foresight

I was looking over 1 Corinthians today to prepare for the 13 Letters Small Group Study we will be doing tonight and I came across the gifts part in chapter 12.  This is of interest to me because it deals with prophesy, speaking in tongues, and other holy spirit given gifts.  Some of these gifts we don't seem to talk about much in many of the churches I've been to for whatever reason, but that may be why I am so interested.  Anyways, before I go off chasing rabbits...God gives us certain gifts from the Holy Spirit.  They are different.  Everyone won't have the same gift or gifts.  Some are for a specific event or time and others might last longer.  Paul points out that they will all pass one day just as the earth will.

In explaining this, Paul gets into the subject and importance of love in chapter 13.  He tells us what love is and isn't and then he explains why love is more important than any of the gifts and should be the guiding factor in how we use them.  I know from personal experience that sometimes we can sit back and watch people who know what their spiritual gifts are use them and become awestruck.  At the same time its easy to look at ourselves and feel like our gifts aren't worth much or that they aren't as important as someone else's gift. 

We can spend more time worrying about meaningless, temporary things than meaningful, timeless things like serving God through love. 

I think we are programmed to be this way.  It's just natural. 

When I was a kid, we didn't have GPS.  No, we just had these ancient things called MAPS.  I remember in cub scouts and on out of town trips, adults would get a map (or a few of them) and would mark them up as they tried to find the fastest, most efficient route to get where we would be going.  Another point to note is that not everyone could be in charge of the map while you were on your way.  Only a person that could be trusted with the map could hold it and call out directions.  When I was younger, I wanted so badly to be the map person.  I thought I could call out directions from the map just as well as anyone else did-maybe better!!! I mean the important stuff was already marked on it. One day I got the chance.

I don't remember where we were going or why.  I just remember this sickening feeling way deep down in my stomach.  There was a chaos that succumbed me quietly as I stared at the map and tried to keep up with turns and directions.  I didn't know when to tell my dad to go a different way or if the highway changed names or if what to do if we had to detour.  It was crazy to say the least.  I learned very clearly on that day that even though I wanted to be that map guy and even though everything was written and marked the way it was supposed to be on the map, that if I wasn't equipped to know when and how to use it, it was all for nothing.  We would have been just as well off without the map winging it.  Probably better! The same goes for our gifts.

Don't worry about what another person has or is doing.  Worry about what you are equipped to do. While you may begin becoming equipped to handle the responsibility of another gift for a different time, focus on what is important.  Do what you can do, do it to the best of your ability, and make sure you focus on the most important things-like love.

If you love God, you will learn to love your neighbor.  You will learn His ways to do that and not your own.  If you love your neighbor, you will use what God has given Him to bring glory to the Father using what you have.  You may be equipped to mow a yard.  Mow out of love for God for your neighbor.  Show Him God's love how you can.  You may have knowledge.  Share it with your neighbor who may need it and show them God's love.  Do it because you want to give God what He wants because you love Him.  It is clear God wants us to bring glory to His name by loving others like He loves us! No gift is without purpose. No gift is too small for God to do amazing things with. 

Be encouraged my brothers and sisters!  Be encouraged!

And encourage others.  God bless you all!


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