[b said:Quote[/b] ]1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (NRSV)
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
[b said:Quote[/b] ]Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. -1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)
ONE of my relatives has a storage closet filled with gifts. Some are gifts that were given to her, and some are gifts she intended to give to others. All have ended up on the back shelf of the closet, unused and forgotten. If used, they could serve their intended purpose; sitting abandoned on the shelf, they are useless.
How many of us have unused gifts that were given to us by God? The Bible tells us that the Spirit gives each of us gifts to use for God's glory. However, we often put them on a back shelf and forget about them. Perhaps God has given the gift of teaching, but we are too afraid of failure to lead a Bible study. Maybe we have received the gift of serving, but charity work requires too much time.
In the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30), Jesus tells us to use what we have been given. Are we willing to take a look in the closet, dust off the gifts, and begin using them for their intended purpose: God's glory?
Beverly W. Dillard (Georgia, U.S.A.)
Giver of all good gifts, stir up in us the courage and commitment to use the gifts you have given us, that we may glorify you. Amen.