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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...




Vantage Point: Gifts: Making the Most of Them

By Ken Horn
Dec. 23, 2012

Christmastime makes us think about gifts. Gifts are important to God too. Every good gift comes from Him (James 1:17). Let’s look at four things we do with gifts.

Receiving   

God never leaves anyone out (1 Peter 4:10). But not everyone is given the same gifts (1 Corinthians 7:7). Though He’s the same wonderful Giver, there is rich diversity in what He gives (1 Corinthians 12:4). He gives “gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us” (Romans 12:6, NKJV). No one is ever shortchanged (1 Corinthians 1:7; 1 Timothy 6:17). What God gives is always a perfect fit.

You need to learn how to use some gifts. That doesn’t just come automatically. Like a new smartphone or computer, you have to learn how to use them (1 Corinthians 12:1). Sometimes frustration precedes fulfillment as we use God’s gifts to us.

We teach children to appreciate gifts and take care of them. Spiritual gifts require the same care (1 Timothy 4:14).

Be sure to get the full value of your gifts (2 Timothy 1:6). And remember, some gifts can have hidden value or become more valuable/useable with age.

Giving

Christians are givers. Children focus most on receiving gifts. As they grow and mature, they begin to learn (hopefully) that giving is an important part of life. Spiritual maturity develops this quality in Christians. The Bible is clear that Christians are to give generously and cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:6,7). There is no resentment in a gift a believer gives. Rather, it delights his or her heart.

Sharing

Believers are gifted for the purpose of sharing their gifts (1 Peter 4:10) and benefiting others (1 Corinthians 12:7). Our lives are to be guided by what has been given to us to use for others (1 Corinthians 7:17). God’s purpose is for you to use what He has given you.

Returning

People frequently return gifts that have been given to them. But there are no refunds on spiritual gifts (Romans 11:29). Likewise we are not to shove them in a closet and forget them (1 Peter 4:10). Gifts and abilities entrusted to us (as stewards), if used, will bear fruit. If not used, we lose big time (Matthew 25:14-30).

Everyone benefits when we make the most of our gifts.

Ken Horn
Editor

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