Summary: The first lesson in this two lesson series took a look at our "free" gift from God and what it provides. In light of the gift we as Christians are challenged to share what we have been given.

This morning we began our study on “Our Gift…from God!” by identifying His gift to all mankind – once applied to our lives Jesus blood provides:

• Justification…(Romans 5:16-17)

• Sanctification…(1 Cor. 6:9-11)

• Preservation…(John 10:28-29)

• Identification…(1 John 3:1; Rev. 2:17)

• Reservation…(John 14:1-3)

• He also gave us the ability to choose to accept or deny His gift.

Tonight I want to begin by taking a look at the words of Paul to Timothy a young preacher – some things that we today still need to apply.

1 Tim. 4:13-15

As our scripture reading begins – the only way to “understand” and “know” what God expects out His children – begins by knowing His word.

Paul tells Timothy, “I’m coming – get ready by carefully searching and studying the scriptures.”

Old preacher once responded to the question, “when do you know you are ready to preach?” – “When you’ve studied so much you can’t keep it to yourself.

Be studying God’s word we find the necessary encouragement to “fight the good fight” – to have the necessary armor to battle Satan in our daily lives - and we can find how to be pleasing in His sight.

Our first response to God’s gift as a child of God is to get in and stay in His word.

One of the interesting points of the story of the prodigal son is how Jesus paints the picture of the son who leaves – and while he’s gone lives life to the hilt – notice this in Luke 15:15-19:

Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’

Did you notice what happened while he was gone – he forgot who he was.

Luke says, it wasn’t until “…he came to himself…” did he realize the Father’s house was the place to be all along.

It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day living of life – don’t lose sight of all that God is done, and does, by forsaking time in His word.

Notice again in our scripture reading the second thing Paul tells Timothy and us – 1 Tim. 4:14

While our gift has not been given by the laying on of hands – we have the same gifts as Timothy – the same charge to share the message – to pay careful attention so that we do not neglect [our] gift…

You’ve heard that old saying “use it or lose it” – hand in hand with staying in God’s word – we must stay active or we may find ourselves losing what was given us.

You have a gift.

Maybe that gift is talking to people about their problems – or maybe it’s just listening.

Maybe you are good with your hands and can make repairs to a widow’s car or home.

Maybe you love to shop and could help someone who has now way or needs some things.

It is up to us how involved or uninvolved we will be. Paul put it like this in a prayer he shared with the Ephesian church (Ephesians 3:14-20)

In considering what God has done – considering what he continuously does – Paul says, “you decide what you will do.”

Paul also shared this with the Corinthian church in 1 Cor. 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.”

No matter what the job – it’s all for the honor and glory of God.

Side bar thought – bible tells us elder apt to teach – must be able to teach not preach. It’s the same with all Christians – we must be ready and able.

The gift we are discussing is that which we have been given the ability to do. It’s not what we like/want to do.

There are those things we all have a responsibility to do – as Paul even said regarding the process of preaching has “planting”, “watering”, “working”, “increase”.

Maybe you are good at helping people find their talent – just don’t stop!

That takes us to our third point from our reading – we must make God’s gift a part of our daily life.

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