Friday, August 21, 2009

Gifts That Differ

I am repeating this because I think it is good to be reminded of these truths.
And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:6-8 NASB

Recently I went to a wonderful retreat. We looked in depth at the motivational gifts of Romans 12. Each gift was assigned a color. God is light and as light goes through a prism the light rays are bent in such a way that the seven component parts of light are seen. The raindrops in a cloud do the same thing and we see a rainbow with its beautiful colors.

We were taught that each of us has one of the gifts that is dominant and is our motivational gift. However, as we mature because we have the Holy Spirit of God, we have a deposit of each of the gifts within us. As we grow and yield to the Holy Spirit these other gifts can grow.

As we spent time looking at the strengths and potential weaknesses of the seven gifts I found my appreciation of each one growing. God's design is as beautiful as any rainbow. That thought called to mind a wonderful song by the late Keith Green.

Stained Glass

We are like windows, stained with colors of the rainbow,
Set in a darkened room, till the bridegroom comes to shining through,
Then the colors fall around our feet, over those we meet,
Covering all the gray that we see,
Rainbow colors of assorted hues, come exchange your blues,
For His love that you see shining through me.
We are His daughters and sons,
We are the colorful ones,
We are the kids of the King,
Rejoice in everything.
My colors grow so dim,
When I start to fall away from Him,
Then up comes the strongest wind
That begins to blow me back into his arms again,
And the colors fall around my feet, over those I meet,
Changing all the gray that I see,
Rainbow colors of the Risen Son, reflect the one,
The one who came to set us all free.
We are like windows, stained with colors of the rainbow,
No longer set in a darkened room,
cause the bridegroom wants to shine through you,
No longer set in a darkened room,
cause the bridegroom wants to shine through you.

Near the end of the retreat we were asked to close our eyes and have a time of quiet meditation on what we had been taught. Immediately in my mind's eye I saw Joseph's coat of many colors torn and bloodied. My reaction was, "What was that all about?" The next morning as I awakened I sensed the answer to that question in my spirit. The Lord seemed to be saying that jealousy and misunderstanding of the gifts that He has bestowed to His people had left many bloodied and torn.

As I shared that with the group a woman immediately spoke up. She obviously has a strong teaching gift and she shared that God had shown her the same thing. She had been deeply wounded by the jealousy of others in her Christian community. Joseph was one of 12 and had been so horribly treated by his brothers. Their jealousy over their father's favor toward Joseph represented by his beautiful coat exploded into vindictive rage. God showed her how his 12 disciples spent an embarrassing amount of time in competition and contemplation over who we be greatest. However, God had taken her to Revelation 4:4 "And around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads." Who these 24 elders are was not the point the Holy Spirit was highlighting. It was the words "around the throne." That word around comes from the root word for circle. What God was speaking to her heart was that in a circle there is equal access. No need to vie for position and their focus was on Him who sits on the throne. I think all of us left the retreat with a deeper commitment to honor what He has done in us and others.

God places each one in the body as it pleases Him. 1 Cor 12:18 This is a season like no other when we need to celebrate the gifts that God has given to His body. If we are to be effective and faithful we must learn to deeply appreciate the giftings of others. According to Hebrews 10:24 we are to stimulate one another to love and good works.

MY PRAYER: Lord, I want to earnestly contend for the faith and not compete. What do any of us have that was not given to us by your blessed Holy Spirit? Our gifts are not for ourselves but to be used in serving others. Help me to celebrate what you have given your body to enrich us and impact a lost and dying world for you. In Jesus name and for His glory. Amen.
MY CONFESSION: We have gifts that differ according to the grace given. We will exercise them according to the proportion of our faith, with liberality, diligence, and cheerfulness. I stand on Your Word!

No comments: