Scripture: Romans 12:1-8
Observation: Paul encourages believers to be a “holy and living sacrifice” for all God has done for them. He encourages them to embrace the ways of God rather than simply the ways of the world, and tells us that when they do that, God’s will will become obvious. He encourages them not to think they’re better than they are and reminds them they’re all part of one body. He closes by listing different spiritual gifts and how we must use them well.
Application: Think of the best gifts you’ve ever gotten. My range from an iPad I got in 2007 when iPads were still a “new” thing to an awesome mug that says “Be the Leslie Knope of whatever you do” (#knope2012forlife) to an electric blanket that I teased my mom about buying me until I realized IT’S AMAZING. I’ve received more than my fair share of personalized gifts, including a portrait of me and my husband that one of my uber-talented college friends painted for me for my wedding.
Receiving gifts is pretty amazing, right? I love that feeling you get when you receive a gift that’s so thoughtful, so personalized, so very you. It means someone loves you and knows you enough to give you the perfect gift.
God loves you and knows you enough to give you perfect gifts, too. In verse 6, Paul tells us this:
“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.”
In his grace. It’s not because we deserve gifts. It’s not because we worked hard enough to get a gift. It’s not because we knew the secret code word to pray and ask for a gift. It’s because God is so good and so gracious that he’s given us gifts.
Yes, even you.
You are filled with spiritual gifts. I don’t know what they are. Maybe they’re some of the ones Paul mentions – prophecy, serving others, teaching, encouraging others, giving, leading. Maybe they’re different, from God’s great variety of spiritual gifts – administration, hospitality, craftsmanship, apostleship, knowledge, wisdom, discernment, intercession.
There’s no such thing as a believer without a gift. You have gifts from God that come together to create and define your purpose. He has a plan for you – a plan that is infinitely better than anything you could come up with on your own.
It’s up to you to chase it. Discover your gifts. Use them. Live out your purpose.
(I did a message a few months ago about these verses and spiritual gifts. You can check it out here.)
Prayer: God, thank you for filling me with gifts and a purpose through your grace. I pray you’ll help me continue to discover and refine those gifts and use them for your glory. Amen.