Monday, October 24, 2011

God gave Gifts to Men

2 Timothy 1:6-7
“Therefore, I remind you to stir up the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
As I was reading and studying today, I was reminded of the gift that was in me, the gift that God has given me. You see, I am a hard headed Christian, who needs to be reminded often of the gift God has given me. Not only did He call me away from a full time job, and the financial support it offered to use that gift, but He also gave me the power to fulfill the gift.
Paul tells Timothy to “stir up” that gift that he was given. We all know that Timothy was a pastor, a leader of the church from the other epistles that Paul wrote to him. Perhaps Timothy was becoming disheartened because of the constant criticism of those whom he was teaching. My question today to the Lord was, “What gift have You given me, Father?” Is there a gift that God has given you that you need to “stir up”? I have one, and I have forgotten what the purpose of the gift is, which is why you are reading this today.
God has not given us gifts for our own use, but He has given us gifts to glorify and proclaim Jesus Christ. I have been given the gift of teaching, of writing what God is saying to me into various tools that teach others about Jesus Christ. But, there is doubt and fear as well. I go back and forth with my God. He says, “I want you to write this…” I say, “I can’t.” He says, “I have given you the gift, and I need you to write…” my heart becomes fearful and my reply, “But Lord, I cannot write that. I am not a very good writer, I am not a teacher.” His reply, which I always love, “I am not asking you to do it, I am asking that you bow to Me and let Me do it through you.”
The gift of God that is in each one of us is exactly that- a gift from God to be used by Him, and for Him and because of Him. We are the vessel that He chooses to use that gift through. The gifts we have been given are not rewards for being “good Christians”- no, they are gifts, given to us so that God may be glorified. If God has given you a gift, then it is for one purpose, to be a witness to Jesus Christ.
Acts 1:8 tells us that we are going to receive the Holy Spirit and we will be witnesses to Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, Judah, Samaria and the rest of the world. We know that Jerusalem is our home; Judea and Samaria are outside our home, and the rest of the world- well, that is the rest of the world. The gifts we have been given are not ours- they are His to be used as He desires, as He sees fit.
Paul goes on to tell Timothy not to be afraid. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” What have we to fear? Persecution, suffering? Are not the sufferings of this world not to be compared with the Glory that awaits us? Do we fear death? Do you not believe that when you are “absent from the body you will be present with the Lord”? So what is our excuse? Plain and simple- the fear that keeps us from submitting to God and the gift that is in us is our unbelief. We do not believe that God is and will use the gifts that He has given us.
What is your gift? What has God told you that you are to do with that gift? If you are not sure, go and pray about it, ask God to show you. Then go- be that vessel that He is asking you to be. If you have been given the gift of teaching, then teach- start in your home, your Jerusalem. If you have been given the gift of helps, seek out the areas in your church that need help, and support. God has given each of us gifts to Glorify Him. Paul is urging Timothy to “stir up” the gift that is in him. He is asking Timothy the same question God is asking us today, “Where is your passion for Me?”
We have become a complacent church. We have lost the fire, the passion, the desire for Jesus Christ in our hearts. God is calling us to revive, awaken the fire of God’s word in our hearts! Are we ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ? We have forsaken our first love, wake up, Christian! Do not be sleeping when the Master returns. He will not wait for us to “get ready”. We will say, “We are Safe”, but then, behold, sudden destruction will come upon us. Remember from where you have fallen. Ask and you shall receive power through the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Lord and His Coming! (The Lord burdened me with this morning; you may not be the one that needed to hear it- but someone else did. The Lord knows.)
What other purpose is there on this earth? What other reason is there for the gifts that we have been given? To lift up and encourage the brethren, turning their eyes back to Jesus. We have been given gifts to point people to Jesus- believers and unbelievers. Don’t hold onto the gift that is in you, but let God use it- bow down in humble submission to Him today, and let Him use you as He sees fit. What have you to be afraid of?
As I leave you today, I ask that you would go and pray and seek God’s gift in your heart. He has given gifts to men, for the purpose of proclaiming the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ. It is not your gift, it is His gift. He desires for you to be used by Him, He wants to work in you and through you not only for your benefit but for the benefit of those who see the gift of God in you. Let us not be afraid anymore- let us not hold back the profession of the faith that is in us. Let us “stir up” in one another the power, the love and the Gift of God. May the Lord bless you and keep you in all your ways, today and every day. To God the Father is the Glory forever and ever. Amen!