Summary: A look at gifts and their purpose in the Kingdom of God. To be "special" means to be "used".
The Gift And The Giver
November 10, 2002
Introduction: How it feels to be the last person picked to play on a team
-sense of emptiness, worthlessness
-one who has no abilities
Psalm 139:13-16 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (NIV)
Ephesians 2:10 "For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (NIV)
In order to accomplish our God-given task we must possess gifts, abilities.
Ill-calling a plumber to come fix a problem, but he shows up with no tools.
James 1:17 "Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." (RSV)
1. "Gifts" Are A Gift From God
(Above average talent people are called "gifted")
We no more were able to choose our hair color, size, etc. than our gifts
Romans 12:6 "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us." (NIV)
a) Everybody has at least one gift
b) If "gifts" are a gift, then we are mere stewards
c) Stewardship implies responsibility/management
1 Peter 4:10-11 "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ." (NIV)
2. Gifts Are Meant To Be Used
a) Use it, or lose it
Matthew 7:19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." (RSV)
Parable of Talents -Matthew 25:14-30
Gifts can be regained, but like a rusty hinge, they need help- little oil and elbow greese
b) Applied gifts increase
Ill-workout muscles (I don’t become big simply by walking into a gym)
Ill-Berry Bonds-didn’t become great by sitting in the dugout
Ex-using our talents to increase them
If singing, then sing
If hospitality, then entertain
If helps, then help
If teaching, then teach
Ephesians 4:7, 11a, 12 "Grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. . . And his gifts were [given]. . . to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ." (RSV)
"Grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. . . to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ" ESV (English Standard Version)
"Christ has generously divided out his gifts to us. . . so that his people would learn to serve and his body would grow strong." CEV
3. Gifts Successfully Used Will Bring Glory To God And Not The Gifted
a) The right use (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
Ill-controversy over clapping after a special
b) The wrong use
Ill-gifts = tools for ministry, building the Kingdom
1) tools can be used to build up, or
2) tools can be used to tear down
Conclusion: 1. Do you know what your gifts are? (Knowing our gifts is a part of knowing our purpose)
2. Are you using your gifts (wisely to strengthen them and increase them)?
3. Are you investing them for God’s glory?
Maturing Christians are Christians who are faithful followers, doing the will and work of the Father. You’re either a helper, or a hindrance.