333. Gifts: It Doesn’t Say “If”

Note from The Storyteller:  If you have not read postings prior to the following one, I recommend you do so.  There is insight that may help as you walk the road toward spiritual maturity.  Go to www.waiting4thetrain.com.  Also, please forward this to everyone you think would be interested in and may benefit from the devotional postings.  Thank you!

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“I had lunch the other day with a friend from the church,” Stan began one morning.

Good time?” I asked.

“It was,” Stan said.  “We had, I think, a good talk about exercising gifts that God gives.”

Continuing, he added, “This friend had the somewhat common idea that he did not have any gifts to offer. His view was that God passed him over when gifts were being handed out.  He said he was either passed over or he wasn’t there at the right time.”

“I’ve felt like that, too,” I responded.

“Many people feel that way, or at least have felt that way at some point,” Stan replied. “However, the apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, again in his excellent choice of words, presents the truth that we all have gifts that are to be exercised.”

“All of us?” I asked.

“Yes,” Stan responded.  “It is to be noted that Paul used the word ‘since’ not ‘if’ when he was writing about gifts given by God.  If Paul had said ‘if’, there would be some room to argue that a person was not given any gifts.”

“But,” he continued, “that is not what he wrote.  He said ‘since we have gifts’, we are to do such and such.”

“Well,” I responded, “if that’s true, how does a person go about discovering the gifts that have been given?”

“That’s another subject for another day, probably many days,” Stan replied, “but the essential first step for me was to accept as true that gifts had been given.  I had to surrender to that truth and ask the Holy Spirit to open me to see what I had been given.  After that, it was a process of learning how to exercise those gifts.”

“And,” he continued, “it is a process that is to continue as long as I remain on this side of eternity. Discover and use the gifts I have been given.”

“However,” Stan concluded, “the essential first step is to recognize and accept as fact that we have all been given gifts to exercise.”

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And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly; if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.  Romans 12:6 – 8.

Prayer:  Thank you, Lord, that you have given gifts to each person, gifts that you intend to be exercised for your purposes.  I ask you to open me to see, understand, receive, and embrace all of the gifts you have given.  And I ask you to open each person to the same truth, that each person will be open to recognizing that you have, indeed, gifted him or her with exactly what you have for them.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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