When I was a kid, I made an amazing discovery. I discovered early birthday presents. At Christmas, I was accustomed to opening presents on Christmas Eve, and to some that constitutes ‘early.’ However, birthdays were a whole new ball game!
I could not wait to get my presents. I would beg, bargain, and plea with my parents for an early birthday gift. Maybe you were more patient when you were young and if so, you were better than me. Could you imagine being at your birthday party, sitting next to a pile of gifts and NOT wanting to tear into them?
At the beginning of 1 Corinthians 14, the Apostle Paul encourages us to “desire earnestly spiritual gifts.” Later on, in verse 12 he writes, “So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.” When it comes to spiritual gifts, do you have that same eagerness? Compared to any gift you’ve received; God’s gifts far outlast and outshine. Why do we seem to neglect or take for granted these gifts?
If we stay with the Christmas and birthday theme, have you ever found the perfect gift for someone you care about? Think about how you feel when you give the perfect gift to someone. How did it feel when they opened the gift? What did you think when you saw the look of joy on their face? THAT is how God looks at us when we use our spiritual gifts. As you unwrap and examine your own spiritual gifts, the gifts God has given you, ask yourself a question. Am I pursuing the one who has given me these gifts? We know God is pursuing us!
God created us for good works. He also has equipped us to carry these out. You are uniquely gifted to operate in this world; to bring order to chaos. This charge is exciting and seeing God’s plan carried out in the world is exhilarating. “But you are…a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)