Listen:  149.2

If you have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, you have a gift.  Ephesians 4:7assures us, “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”  Every one of us” is gifted so that we might minister to the body of Christ.  The purpose of our gifts are given to us in Ephesians 4:12-16, “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” 

Our Lord is so gracious and loving.  He has gifted us with all we need.  Romans 6:23tells us that, “…the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  A gift is something that we receive without payment of any kind.  The Lord has given us the marvelous gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord even though we deserve death because of our sins.  We read more of this marvelous gift of eternal life in Ephesians 2:8-9which says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  Salvation has to be a free gift from God because we have nothing to pay for it with.  Our salvation is not a result of our works.  Titus 3:5says that salvation is, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” 

After giving us the gift of eternal life, the Lord gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit so that we might learn and do God’s will.  Acts 2:38teaches us that all who put their faith in the Lord Jesus, “…shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  Every person who has Christ as their savior has the Holy Spirit indwelling them.  Romans 8:9makes that clear.  It says, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”  If you belong to Christ, you have the Spirit of God dwelling in you.  If you do not have the Spirit, you do not belong to the Lord.  The purpose of the indwelling Spirit is given to us in John 14:26, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” 

As members of the body of Christ, the Lord blesses all believers with spiritual gifts so that we might all minister to one another.  In reality, the gifts are not so much given to the individual, but entrusted to the individual to be used to the benefit of the church.  So, in effect, the gift belongs to the church.  Doesn’t that idea give us the thought of responsibility?  My brothers and sisters in Christ need to be edified.  I have a gift or gifts from the Lord.  It is my responsibility to be before the Lord so that I might use my gift(s) to help bring edification.  The purpose of my gift is not to bring attention to myself.  May the thought of self-promotion be distasteful to us all.  Realizing our tendency to elevate ourselves, the Lord solemnly warns us in Romans 12:3that each man is “not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”  These precious gifts of the Lord should be used to honor Him and minister to His people.  On the same token, I need to be edified.  My brethren have gifts from the Lord.  I depend upon their responsibility to be before the Lord so that they might use their gifts to help strengthen me. 

It is important to realize that although we all have differing gifts, that does not mean that we immediately have the ability to use our gifts effectively.  We need to be before the Lord so that we might develop our gifts.  The Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:14to, “Neglect not the gift that is in thee…”  Perhaps you feel as if you have no gift because you have not developed your gift.  I encourage you to seek the Lord’s guidance.  Read His Word constantly.  The effectiveness of the gifts the Lord has given to each one of us depend upon our knowledge of the Word and the leading of the Spirit.  Study God’s Word.  Pray without ceasing.  Allow the Lord to use you so that you might develop that needed gift the Lord has entrusted to you.  (149.2)