Use the Gifts that You’ve Been Given

Use the Gifts that You’ve Been Given

Each and every believer has been given gifts from God.  The Lord gives us the grace that we need in order to use each of these gifts.  Gifts are given to us for the advantage and the salvation of other people which is why it’s so crucial that we USE the gifts that God has given to us.

. . . for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.  (1 Cor 12:8-11)    

There are various gifts, but they all come from one God (our Father), one Lord (Jesus), and one Spirit (the Holy Spirit).  God is the giver of all spiritual blessings.  If we have any knowledge of the truth, or any ability to make it known, we must give all of the glory to God.

Whatever gifts that God wanted each one of us to have were the ones that He bestowed upon us.  As we mature in the life of faith, He may give us additional gifts.

The purpose for giving the church the gift of prophecy was to edify (build up), exhort (encourage) and to comfort the church.  (1 Cor 14:3)   We’re also to use our various, individual gifts to equip the saints for the work of the ministry.  (Eph 4:12)

In unity and dependence upon one another, we are taught to speak the truth in love and thus, we will mature into the full stature of Christ.  (Eph 4:13)  Hallelujah! 

Our Need for Improvement

Our Need for Improvement

This article is a reminder for each of us to focus upon our own, individual need for improvement rather than to look around at other people’s failings. 

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  (Mt 7:3)

The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  (Lk 18:11)

And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.  (Joh 8:7-9)

As human beings, we have a tendency to look at other people and compare ourselves to others.  Most of the time, we do that when we want to see ourselves as “not being so bad.”  Other times, we look around at the circumstances of other peoples’ lives and we feel jealous.  It is not good to compare ourselves to others; it is what the Bible would term as foolishness.

As the verses shown above demonstrate, we should never focus on other people.  (2 Cor 10:12)

Also, there are a number of Scriptures instructing us to avoid comparing ourselves.  (Exo 20:17; Mt 7:1-2; Joh 21:22)

Rather, we should focus upon Jesus Christ and yearn to follow in His footsteps.  As we focus upon Christ, He will shower us with His love and encouragement.  He will give us a purpose and a plan for our lives, as well as all of the grace and mercy that we will ever need to fulfill that plan.  (Jer 29:11; 32:19; Pro 16:4; 19:21; 1 Cor 2:9)

Let us trust the Lord Jesus to transform us in His own way, in His own time.  We are His workmanship, and He will see the work through to its completion.  (Eph 2:10; Phil 1:6)  Just trust Him and trust His plan for you!  God bless you.

Brotherly Love

Brotherly Love

Let brotherly love continue.  (Heb 13:1)

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another . . . (Rom 12:10)

But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another . . . (1 Thes 4:9)

What is “brotherly love”?  It is having a love for all mankind.  This is the kind of love that desires the best for other people; helps others; and prays for good things to happen to other people.

We are called by God to love all mankind because all humanity was created by God in His image, and due to that fact, can be called children of God.    The Lord tells us that if we say that we love Him but we hate our brother, then we must be lying!  (1 Joh 4:20)  Also, it is a commandment of God that we love one another!  (Joh 13:34, see also 1 Joh 3:11)

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  (1 Joh 4:7)

The Bible says that one characteristic of a true disciple of Jesus Christ is that they demonstrate love for other people.  (Joh 13:35)  The Word goes on to point out that brothers (and sisters) suffer together and share joy together.  (1 Cor 12:26)

Brotherly/sisterly affection and love covers [overlooks, forgives] a multitude of sins.  (1 Pet 4:8) 

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.  (Rom 13:10)  Brotherly and sisterly love for other people is a fulfillment of the highest law that the Lord has given to us, that we love one another!