On Monday I talked about the importance of knowing what God's mission for your life is. God has a plan for our lives, and until we figure it out, we will lack real direction and purpose. God has given us special gifts to be used for things other than our own benefit. We are told about these gifts in the first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 12. But there is an important point in this chapter that we need to understand, and that is found in 1 Corinthians 12:7- "To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." The purpose of the gifts we have is so that we can use them for others; and the primary place we are called to use them is in the church.
Often people think of the church as a building, or an organization, or an institution, but in short it really is the people of God gathered together to worship God and do the work of God. (For a much more thorough understanding of this Rev. Mark Roberts, of Irvine Presbyterian Church is doing a series on the church on his blog; www.markdroberts.com) The church is very important. It has been designed by God to provide a place for fellowship, support, challenge, and
ministry. But even more, it is the best place where people can discover and use the gifts God has given them.
God has given us these gifts and calls us to open them up, discover what they are, and then share them with others. In this way we not only bless the lives of others, but bless our own lives as well. When you give yourself away, you will experience the joy of the Lord in your life. It truly is more blessed to give than to receive.
So I want to encourage you today, if you don't know what your gifts are, to seek to discover them soon. You can find online spiritual gifts tests (for ex. http://www.kodachrome.org/spiritgift/), or you can talk to your pastor, or you can read 1 Corinthians 12 and seek God for understanding. If you do know your gifts, what is keeping you from using them?
As we use our gifts, not only will others benefit, but the church will benefit, you will benefit, and even more, God's kingdom will benefit. Tell me what you think. God bless.