Prize Winner Profile
Posted by Rev. Jeff Dixon, Senior Equipping Minister at Covenant Community Church on Nov 1, 2000, 12:59
You look at it in the mailbox and your heart skips a beat. It is an envelope informing you that you could be the big prize winner. It is a personal letter with your name in great BIG letters. You can hardly believe it, you look around to see if there are any cameras present and you tear open the letter.
You realize that you are only a potential winner. Then with a shrug, we mutter to ourselves that they just don't give prizes like that to someone like me. If you have ever felt that way, then this article is going to be good news for you because you are a prize winner. I want to share with you the profile of a prize winner. The giver of the prize is God Himself, the prize is a unique giftedness designed just for you, and it is yours! Now while that is good news, there are some things that you need to know about this prize you have been given. That is the focus of the next few paragraphs.
In 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 we read the backdrop of our topic. Paul is the writer and he is answering some questions that were asked by the church at Corinth. The church there realized God had given them gifts that were to be used in ministry. He has given you gifts to be used as well. There are over 20 gifts mentioned in Scripture and the teaching and instruction is clear. Every believer will have at least one. So now let’s look at what we need to know.
First it is important to understand your gifts and others as well. In verse 1, Paul says “I want you to understand about spiritual gifts.” Another way of saying it is that we need to have a clue, being clueless is useless. Paul is telling them that there is something vitally important about understanding how God gifts people for the work of ministry.
I read one time about a rich oil tycoon and a dirt farmer that was sitting on a property full of oil. The question was asked, “What is the difference in the two men?” The answer was information. The reason, they were both rich, just one did not know it. There is a need for all of us to have information concerning the things of God. We need to be able to check things out in Scripture. The reason is because we must not be clueless. God is not in the business of trying to hide things from us. He wants us to understand the essentials. We have a responsibility to do so. The truth is you are gifted. It is one of the things He gives to you, so get ready to use those gifts.
Next notice there is a responsibility that comes with the gift. In verses 4-6 we read, “There are different kinds of gifts, but they are all from the same Spirit. There are different ways to serve, but the same Lord to serve. And there are different ways that God works through people, but the same God. God works in all of us in everything we do.”
We have a responsibility to see our gifts for building up the body of Christ and there should be unity in the fact that the gifts come from the Father. The unity of the church is not in the gifts, but in the presenter of the gifts. If you look closely at those verses, we discover the fact that we are all gifted differently, but gifted by God. The teaching is clear that we must use those gifts, but remember who it is we are working for. I remember a person who was involved in a social ministry that helped meet the needs of the community. That was their calling and I believe where some of their giftedness was best used. The problem was that this person forgot that others might be called to different areas of ministry. The person got very judgmental about those that did not participate in the same area they did. In that moment they lost sight of why and who they were working for. Unfortunately when those priorities get out of place, then often the effectiveness a person has is lost as well. This was the case here. Please see the need to use your gift, use it where God leads you, and realize that others will be doing the same. We are part of the same team, working together FOR HIM. There is unity. If you forget it, you are running the danger of becoming spiritually arrogant.
Then see there is a clearly stated purpose to our giftedness. In verse 7 we read, “Something from the Spirit can be seen in each person, for the common good.” That is what the gifts are for, not so that you can be great, but that the common good of impacting the world for Christ is accomplished. Ask yourself a serious question, “Am I using the gifts that God has given me. . .and am I using them for the common good ?” Are you an active part of building up and supporting the body of Christ as it strives to impact a dark and desperate world?
We need each other. Together we can make a difference and working together to touch and change the world with the love of Christ is by God’s design. It should also be noted as we read verses 8-10 that we are going to have different gifts. Yet when we mix all of those gifts together we can accomplish great good for the Kingdom of God. This diversity, when it comes to gifts, is good. It is a part of God’s master design. He did not create us to be alike and bland. If we are bland, the blandness is our own creation.
One year as the holidays approached the usual requests were made for family members to provide their gift wish lists. As always Dad was the one who never took the time to put together a list. After much nagging over giving them some idea of what to buy him for Christmas, the father suggested they get him a gift that the whole family could get something out of. He was so practical in that way, always thinking of the good of the family. So as Christmas morning arrived, dad was surprised when he opened his gift and discovered that the family did get him something that they all could get something out of. . .they bought him a wallet.
God has given each of us gifts that the entire Family of God needs to get something out of. You need to use the gift(s) you have been given. As a part of the family we all benefit when you are obedient and use what God has given you! So why not give it a try ? Use the gift you have been given.
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