Use Your Gifts (I Timothy 4:14)
I Timothy 4:14, Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
Many years ago an Italian recluse was found dead in his house. He had lived frugally all his life, but when friends were going through his house to sort out the few possessions he had accumulated, they discovered 246 expensive violins crammed into his attic. Some even more valuable ones were in a bureau drawer in his bedroom. Virtually all of his money had been spent buying violins. Yet, his misdirected devotion to the instruments had robbed the world of their beautiful sounds. Because he selfishly treasured those violins, the world never heard the music they were meant to play. It is even reported that the first violin the great Stradivarius ever made was not played until it was 147 years old!
Many Christians treat their faith like this man treated his violins. They hide their light, their knowledge of salvation, their knowledge of Jesus Christ, and bury their treasure and gifts that God has given to them. By not sharing what God has given to them, many to whom they could have witnessed, are left in spiritual darkness and poverty. The joy of knowing Jesus Christ has been kept from others that need Him. If you have made this mistake in your life, then change your attitude, follow the Lord, and do what His word commands. Tell the Lord, "I will obey because you say so."
Many Christians either hide or are unaware of their spiritual gifts. Matthew 25:25, And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. We can encourage them to get involved in areas where their gifts will shine the brightest and build others up. As each Christian is made to realize their spiritual gifts, the entire local church and the Body of Christ will profit. Among the everyday tasks God has enabled us to perform, there are special talents each individual possesses. Unfortunately, those unique gifts from God often get lost in the shuffle of life. As a result of business, stress and self-doubt, they are often thrown away, never to be used to their full potential. Some researchers estimate that half of all Christians have never shared their faith in Jesus Christ to another person. If that is true, ninety-five percent of the world’s spiritual violins have never been played! True love of our riches in Christ leads us to shine and share, not to hide and hoard.
Do you recognize another Christian’s spiritual gifts which are not being put to use? They may not even be aware they possess any gifts at all. II Timothy 1:6, Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. Encourage them by telling them what a blessing they are to others when they do the things God has gifted them to do: singing, managing, teaching, ushering, greeting, keeping peace between people in conflict, encouraging, or helping others. Tell them about opportunities in which they can use their God-given abilities to serve others. You may be the one who helps them see their spiritual gift.
Use whatever talents and opportunities God has entrusted you with to the fullest extent you can. Every church is made up of different people, each with unique, God-given abilities. Some people have the gift of preaching or teaching. Others are gifted in different aspects of ministry such as administration or music. All have an important part to play, and yet none is great in himself. These people must be willing to work together and use their combined gifts and abilities, or else the church will not properly function.
PRAYER: LORD, I want to discover my gift, find my place in kingdom work, and use my gift for Your glory. Renew my desire to serve You, God. Help me to let go of past disappointments, and forgive me for envying others’ gifts. I believe I am Your workmanship, uniquely gifted for the good works You prepared in advance for me to do. I seek not mine own glory, but Yours alone, Lord. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.
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