These first months as pastor of King of Glory I feel like I have been opening gifts everywhere I go. It is very clear that the Lord has blessed each one of you with gifts. Certain talents, abilities, and passions have become evident as conversations around God's Word have taken place. Reading a verse like 1 Corinthians 12:11 reminds us of this truth, "But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills." Can you imagine with your mind's eye how the Holy Spirit comes to each one of us with a gift? "Here's one for you, Pastor Brett. Here's one for you, ___." Doesn't that remind you of someone? (OK, OK, I know. It's too warm to think of Christmastime and Santa Claus, etc). I apologize. The Lord, in His infinite wisdom, custom-fits a gift or gifts that will not only bless you but those around you. God has placed us together as a congregation. He has uniquely given each one of us gifts. Perhaps He has given you a unique spiritual gift that will really meet the need of a person at church that really needs the gift that you have to offer.
Here are a few comments to ponder.
Discovering unopened presents in others. This takes simple observation. Watch what that person does naturally when nobody seems to be watching. Notice how that person is particularly gifted with handy-man skills and cheerfully offers to build something that will meet a ministry need. See that person graciously pour a cup of coffee with a smile. Listen to that Sunday School teacher open God's Word to precious little ears. Hear the sound of beautiful music flowing from the fingertips of a talented musician as they play songs to praise Jesus. Let's look around us and discover how God has blessed us with spiritual gifts that build up the body of Christ.
Discovering unopened presents in yourself. I would say take the time to observe yourself in the same way you observe others. What type of service to others excites you? Which talent leaves you feeling charged up and refreshed after using it? How have you seen Christ use you to bless the people around you? Secondly, I would encourage you to explore. Is there something new that you'd like to try? By trying new things we see first-hand if the Lord has blessed in that area or not. Personally, I wouldn't feel charged up after singing a solo or building something with my hands. I would be really drained. But give me a sermon to preach and my heart will be soaring as I open my mouth with God's Word.
This is not a selfish thing. In fact, quite the opposite. God doesn't give us spiritual gifts to have us open up and hoard to ourselves much like a young child would do with a special Christmas present. No, the Lord teaches us in 1 Corinthians 12:7, "But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." God gives gifts to you to bless you and others.
Christmastime is coming soon. But it's not too early to open these gifts and enjoy them.