The Gift that Keeps on Giving!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you! This season hopefully is filled with joy and blessing for you, however if things are difficult or unpleasant for you I pray that this serves as a word of encouragement to you. During this season we make time for family, to show that we love and care for them, and if we have the means – we give gifts to bring joy to the ones we love. In the midst of all of this, the message of Christ’s entry into the world as human gives us hope for our lives and reminds us to be joyful and celebrate because He has overcome the world. What I want to focus on in this post is not the joy of giving, or the true meaning of Christmas, which are all good messages – and timely for this season. The main message of this post is on the gifts (either given to us or from us) that keeps on giving long after it has been presented.
What makes a good gift? Some would say it’s a good gift if it’s what the person receiving desired. Others would say if it’s practical, something useful to the person receiving it. Still some would say if the gift is thoughtful, considering the personality, interests, and even the dreams or goals of the person receiving. Honestly, all of those responses are great answers, and anyone would be happy to receive a gift in any of those categories listed. The Gift that was given to the world, Jesus Christ is the Gift above all gifts in the sense that He came to destroy the works of evil (1 John 3:8), restore abundant life to all people, and give His life to pay the penalty for our sin. Material gifts are good, but will not last forever, Christ as the Gift to us offers everlasting life to all who believe and receive Him as Lord and Savior. The Gift keeps giving us joy, peace, forgiveness, love, direction for our lives, comfort, and opportunities for us to participate in His mission of gifting and re-gifting to all humanity.
Now that we have established that Jesus Christ is The Gift, He keeps on giving to all those that believe in Him by releasing spiritual gifts, abilities, talents, and anointing those who are skilled to use for the building of the Kingdom. In 1 Corinthians 12 various spiritual gifts are listed and acknowledged as all being from the same spirit, who is the Holy Spirit. Some of the gifts mentioned are obviously supernatural abilities, such as prophecy, healing, speaking in & interpretation of tongues, and working miracles. Other gifts seem to be natural talents, like teaching, words of wisdom, helps, and administration, but supernaturally effective when submitted to Christ. There are also ministry callings that Christ gave that was different from the Aaronic Priesthood. Ephesians 4:11 lists the “five-fold” ministry gifts/callings/offices that Christ gave to the Church. The whole 4th chapter of Ephesians is really good to read regarding this. 1 Corinthians 12 gives more insight on the ministry gifts in comparison to spiritual gifts. The good news to anyone who desires to have spiritual gifts is that they were given freely to the Body of Christ, you do not have to be in a ministry position such as an Apostle, Prophet or Evangelist to have spiritual gifts operating in your life. Just seek God, to know Him more intimately, and give your desires to Him and He will reveal to you the gifts that He already gave to you. Also make sure that you are connected with a ministry that operates in spiritual gifts, that is the best way to get “activated” in spiritual gifts because the atmosphere of that ministry is already welcoming to the Holy Spirit to work in and through the people who attend. There are other ways to find out your spiritual gifts, you can do a type of “personality test” that is called a spiritual gift assessment. This type of test, if you answer honestly, will give you an idea of the types of spiritual gifts you have or could develop, and the types of ministry that you would likely thrive in. I was advised that taking this type of test every 3-5 years is a good idea because interests change, personalities can even change – if you are being transformed by the renewing of your mind, also the grace or anointing for a particular gift may be assignment specific so seeking the Lord to find out what else He is gifting you to do is a good idea.
Just like when King Solomon built the temple and he sought out the most precious and luxurious materials, and hired the most skilled craftsmen to design and construct it, so is it the same with Christ and the building of His Kingdom. The gifts that God gives us also include material resources such as money, businesses, relationships, and technology. All of the gifts – spiritual and material- work together, similar to the Body of Christ, for the building and expansion of the Kingdom of God. 1 Timothy 2:4 teaches us that it’s Christ’s desire that “all would be saved and come into the knowledge of the truth.” This is why the gifts were given to us! Everything from the salvation from and forgiveness of sins to words of knowledge and miraculous healings were given to us to “draw all men unto Him” (John 12:32). In Genesis Adam, Eve, and all of mankind was admonished to “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion,” over the whole earth and all living things in it (Genesis 1:27-28). This is the original design of the Kingdom of God, however mankind fell to sin and the plan for Christ to redeem us was executed. Before the spiritual and other gifts could be given to all who would receive, Jesus had to come to earth to show everyone that the gifts were available and how to use them. When we follow His example, using the gifts to demonstrate, exhort, edify, and perfect those God entrusts to us, whether saved or unsaved, Kingdom expansion is underway! Every time we give to those in need, volunteer our time in service to others, and speak words of life and love to those that are down and out Kingdom is being constructed! When miracles break out and words of knowledge, wisdom, and prophecy are spoken with the power of God the Kingdom is at hand!
Christ is The Gift that keeps giving, as we learn and grow to be more like Him, reflecting His image – we become like Him in the sense that His gifts in us keep giving Him the glory when we use them according to the original purpose to build His Kingdom.
Let Us Pray: Father God thank You for bringing us through the year 2017, thank You for teaching and revealing to us more of You and Your ways. Lord thank You for Your love, mercy, and grace that has been keeping us in every situation we face. Lord we thank You for being alive and active in our lives, You answer our prayers, You respond to our call, and comfort our tears and cries. Lord You are a gracious and generous Father, You are faithful to give good gifts (Matthew 7:11, James 1:17) to us whether we are in need or present out desires to You. Lord You reveal our true identity that You designed from the beginning by giving us gifts, talents, skills, and abilities as a praise and glory to Your name. Lord we repent for not seeking to use every gift, resource, knowledge, endowment, or any other thing that You have blessed us with for Your Kingdom and Glory. Lord please forgive us for minimizing or downplaying anything that You want to use in us to bring people into relationship with You. Lord create in us clean and willing hearts to be tools in Your hand, to be the clay on Your wheel, and to ultimately be reflections of Christ as the Gift that keeps giving. You blessed us with an inheritance through Abraham to be blessed to be a blessing so that all the families of the earth are blessed (Genesis 12:2), please help us to live according to this promise. If there is any place in our life, hearts, minds, wills, or spirits that is lacking please supply the resources we need of every kind that we may fulfill our purpose in You. Lord please activate, stir up, and bring to the forefront the gifts, skills, talents, abilities, and resources that You have blessed us with that You want to use in this season and the season to come. Lord please help us to walk worthy of every gift and calling and let not one praying this prayer shrink back from using what You have gifted us with. Lord let not fear, timidity, passivity, procrastination, distraction, unworthiness, shame, condemnation, or any other foul wicked thing stop, block, or discourage the use of the God given gifts that You have so generously graced us with. Lord as we seek out Your purposes and plans for these gifts, please confirm the correct route to take by opening up opportunities to serve, give, and bless with the gifts and talents You gave us. Lord let none of the gifts You gave us fall under manipulation, performance of the flesh, control, exploitation, being cut off early, or suffocation in the name of Jesus. Lord help us to speak life into others by recognizing and edifying the gifts we notice in others. Lord thank You for allowing us to partner with You for the building of the Kingdom and saving of souls. Lord thank You all this we ask in Jesus name AMEN!
Thank you for reading! If this has blessed you, please share the blessing with others by sharing! Enjoy and celebrate this Christmas holiday!!!
♥♥♥ Blessings Always,