Open the gift!

There was one Christmas when I was young and lived in Tennessee that was the most awesome. I came into the living room on Christmas morning to discover I had received so many great gifts from Santa. But one was a full sized GI Joe. He could hang on to a zip line and travel across the room. There were many other gifts but I remember that one most.

You know, there are some gifts that seem intangible…not right in front of you and obvious. Some gifts are actually with you. Sometimes we don’t even know it.

We all have been gifted by the Holy Spirit. However, sometimes, we fail to open and use the gift we’ve received. As a follower of Jesus Christ, we are called to use our giftedness for his glory and story and not keep our gift wrapped.

Paul says to the church in Corinth, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts…a spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” (1 Corinthians 12:4, 7). Paul goes on to list some of those gifts which include teaching, leading, helping others, healing, speaking different languages. These gifts are for building up the church and those around us according to Ephesians 4.

So, do a self inventory. What are you passionate about? How could that give glory to God? In what ways would your gift or passion help those around you? It’s time to be brave and courageous. It’s time to sit down, unwrap the gift, and start using it in your life and the lives of others. Don’t hold back. Jesus will give you the courage and ability to use what he’s given you.

Paul says in Ephesians 4:16, “Jesus makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” May God continue to bless you on your journey. Grace and peace.

Crazy for Jesus

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:13-14, “If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. Either way, Christ’s love controls us.”

As we discover how we are called to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, we are reminded that the world thinks we are crazy for following Jesus. Each of us are commissioned as disciples to live each day giving God glory through our words and actions with every fiber of our being. So, how are you living out your love with Jesus through your emotions, your thinking, your spirituality, and your physical life?

In his books, “Love Does” and “Everyone Always”, Bob Goff shows how he has decided to be a light on the hill for Jesus be standing for children’s rights all over the world and taking on witchdoctors in Uganda, Africa. He’s using his law degree and his heart to show his discipleship.

You and I may never go worldwide with our message of Jesus but what about your own community? How are you showing the love of Jesus at your workplace, in your school, in your neighborhood, with your family and friends? But, who’s to say you couldn’t go worldwide to share the message of Jesus using your gifts? Anything is possible with God!

So my encouragement to you this Monday is that you get risky! You step out. You make a decision today to do something crazy for Jesus! The world is in desperate need of the light you hold within you. Don’t wait. Get your journal out right now. Write down ways right around you that you can use your giftedness to make a difference for Jesus Christ.

I want the world to know that Jesus is more than a formula. I want them to know I’m a satisfied customer. He can and will change your world for the better. He already has so let’s show the world we are a little crazy…for the one who did something extraordinary for us! May the Spirit guide you and direct you. May the peace of Christ live in you. May your light shine brightly!