January 11, 2024
- By Ed Powell
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"Neglect not the gift that is in thee.... Give thyself wholly to them." 1 Timothy 4:14-15
God has given to every believer a gift or gifts that they are responsible for using to His glory through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The purposes of these gifts are many. Paul mentions three in particular: for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ.
Paul challenges every believer, "Be steadfast, unmovable, abounding always in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
It is important to understand the Source of our gifts. All gifts proceed from and are empowered by the One and Self-Same Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. From the very beginning, and throughout our spiritual journey, it is He who works all in all! We are not to be proud nor boastful of whatever gift we possess. It has been given to us by the Holy Spirit, and will only be effective and fruitful when He is the One who empowers our gift(s) to be used for God's glory.
I often have stood admiring a magnificent building ascending high into the skyline, and have wondered at the countless features that are designed to make it functional and safe. You wonder why this tall structure doesn't fall over when the storms beat against it. Then I am reminded that it was built one step at a time. Before the superstructure was erected, a very deep hole was dug, prepared, and secured, that formed the foundation upon which everything was to rest.
A foreman told me of all the planning, preparation, and content that went into the foundation. I was amazed! Tremendous iron girders, a massive amount of concrete, and reinforcement of all kinds were all specifically placed to make certain the foundation would be absolutely safe and would secure the building.
Then I thought of the SURE FOUNDATION we have in Christ, and the gifts that He has given to us. How are these gifts manifested? Do they proceed from a shallow experience we may have had? Do they emerge from a life not enriched with grace, creating pride in some and envy in others? Does our gift contain the insidious seed of selfish interests that result in self-satisfaction?
Oh, to have our gift anchored in and secured by the ROCK OF AGES, deeply planted within the hallowed grace of God and undergirded with His love. Then, wherever God places us, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, the gift from Him will be manifested in meekness and modesty, in forbearance and forgiveness, coming from a heart committed to God. It will be manifested by His love that will supersede all of our actions, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Oh, that we might recognize the gift God has given us, not neglecting it through complacency or unconcern. We have a responsibility before God and will be held accountable to use our gift in the surroundings where God has placed us and to those that God brings into our path. Is your gift being used for His glory?
The fruitfulness of our life and the effectiveness of the gift (or gifts) that God has given us will not be measured by the grandeur of the superstructure but by the depth that our lives are embedded in the sure foundation of Christ.
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2024-01-11
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