1 Corinthians 12:1-11 "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant." (the word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, working of miracles, discerning of spirits, divers kinds of tongues, and interpretation of tongues.)
I remember as a child growing up that I just couldn't wait until Christmas to open up at least one of my gifts under the tree. I sense our heavenly FATHER saying.... "Yes, you may open some of your gifts before Christmas!"
Proverbs 18:16 A man's gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men.
Are you noticing lately that you are being set up to be in the right place at the right time with the right person to minister to them? In every day life and traveling I will either just happen to sit down beside someone who is sick or starts talking about their troubles that are overwhelming them. Our 'spiritual' gifts are being activated by the great needs of people this hour all around us. I believe that our gifts are now making room for us to influence many people who up until now we would not have reached. But now people are so much in need that they are being drawn to us and their great need for the LORD is actually activating the gifts that GOD has put within us to minister to them.
1 Samuel 15:17 Samuel said, "Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king over Israel.
When I knew that I could open that one gift before Christmas, I would take my time and study the size of the gift and even the wrapping paper it was wrapped in. Sometimes I was fooled by the size for some of my most treasured gifts often came in a smaller box with just 'plain' wrapping paper. Many times when ministering to people I am first challenged by my own size 'spiritually' speaking. I sense so often my unworthiness and inability and so many times the enemy still says..."Who do you think you are?" I know GOD has given me certain gifts to bless others but there have been times that my own 'wrapping' paper (the earthen vessel) that surrounds my gift gets in the way and hinders GOD’s gift from getting outside of me to others. I sense the LORD saying to many of us. "Don't let the size of your gift or the wrapping paper that surrounds 'MY' gift inside of you fool you. Don't let it stop you anymore. Get past the wrapping paper of your lives and let your gifts out. Remember... We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from GOD and not from us. (2 Corinthians 4:7) We also need to get past the wrapping paper that others are wrapped in to see the treasure GOD has placed within each of their lives. Many times we are called to dig for that treasure in others that is often hidden like diamonds in the rough.
1 Corinthians 12:28 And in the church GOD has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.
It's interesting that the gift of 'helps' is placed by the HOLY SPIRIT in the same category of importance as the apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, diversity of tongues, 'helps' and administration.
The governments of the world are now crying out..."Help!" Often we get the cart before the horse when it comes to 'spiritual' gifting and callings. Sometimes it's possible to want to show off a gift or a calling GOD has given us without a real burden or compassion for people. I sense the more desire I have to just help someone, the more the other spiritual gifts begin to be activated and GOD takes over from there!
The greater the need for our gifts, the easier it will be to open them. Be sensitive as you walk into the market place, the hospitals, the rescue missions, the prisons, the streets, from the gutter most to the high society places on earth. The needs inside of people will begin to untie that pretty bow on your gift and begin to tear and rip that colorful wrapping paper off of you to get to the 'gift' GOD has placed within you for their hour of need! Some might just tear a hole in the roof of your nice house or knock your front door down or ring your phone off the hook to get an answer of the hope that is within you! GOD’s house is being shaken this hour like a 'salt' shaker to get us out where our gifts are truly needed... 'to be the salt of the world'!
Remember the greatest gift of all our salvation. Wrapped by the HOLY SPIRIT we are brought to JESUS. JESUS brings us to our restored relationship with the FATHER. Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of GOD, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are HIS workmanship, created in CHRIST JESUS for good works, which GOD prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. What’s in the gift? 1) We are forgiven. 2) Made New Creatures in CHRIST. 3) In HIM we become righteous, 4) given authority, 5) and power as mature children of GOD the FATHER. Imagine a five rung step ladder with each rung symbolizing a step of the gift. We freely receive HIS total salvation and then we are given opportunities to forgive, be new creatures, and do the right thing even if it hurts, or exercise authority and release HIS power into situations. This we must do to stay up on the ladder. As stated in Ephesians we are seated in heavenly places with CHRIST JESUS. The Bible describes our walk as straight and narrow. Imagine each of the side rails holding up the rungs of the ladder as the love of GOD (obey) and the fear of GOD (trust). When it is no longer us but CHRIST living in and through us HE will be glorified and we will see the salvation of our GOD.
"Such grace is costly because it call us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow JESUS CHRIST. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost the life of HIS SON: "ye were brought with a price," and what has cost GOD much cannot be cheap for us. Above all it is grace because GOD did not reckon HIS SON too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered HIM up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of GOD."- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"When CHRIST calls a man, HE bids him come and die."- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Go ahead, open up your gifts now! Don't wait until Christmas. Christmas can't wait! What the world needs 'now' is something that money cannot buy....give them JESUS!
One of my favorite scriptures is: 2 Corinthians 9:15 Thank GOD for HIS SON — a gift too wonderful for words! Thanks be to GOD for HIS indescribable gift!