THE MANY AND VARIED GIFTS OF GOD
1 Peter 4:10 (ESV)
ďAs each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of Godís varied grace.Ē
††††††††† Some years ago I received an electric screwdriver as a gift. When I first saw it I was unimpressed.† After all I had a whole rack of screwdrivers; I had screwdrivers of every size, shape and type.† Why did I need another one?† And, for heaven's sake, why an electric one!? †It wasn't long after this that I embarked upon a major home remodeling project.† Time and again I reached for that electric screwdriver.† I discovered that it was much faster and more powerful than any hand tool; and, in addition, it had a clutch mechanism which prevented over-tightening and stripping the threads on bolts or screws.†
††††††††† Nothing lasts forever, and I have lost track of the number of electric screwdrivers I have purchased - I have probably worn out a dozen of them.† And if my present model ever breaks or burns out, you better believe I will be on my way to Home Depot or somewhere to get a replacement.† I wouldn't even think of trying a home project without one.† That first electric screwdriver was a GREAT gift!
††††††††† Jesus made this observation: "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matt. 7:11).† Do you know that God has gifts for us that will make us more effective in working out our Christian calling?† Many of His gifts are also tools.† But not ordinary tools; they are power tools like my screwdriver!† There are many people, even many Christians, who consider His gifts unnecessary or irrelevant.† They prefer to pick up the old "tried and true" tools of the world.† The old tools are more familiar and more comfortable and they got the job done before.†
††††††††† Just for fun, letís think about some of the ways Godís gifts are like my electric screwdriver.†
∑ First, I didn't know the value of the gift until I got up and put it to work.† God's gifts only become valuable to us when we get up and put them to use doing kingdom work.†
∑ Second, I only came to know its power when I came up against a stubborn screw in a difficult situation.† Similarly, God's power doesn't become evident until we get to the point where our own resources, our strength and wisdom, have proven inadequate.† Thatís what Paul was talking about when he wrote: ďFor Christís sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strongĒ (2 Cor. 12:10).
∑ Third, I didn't learn to depend on my new tool until I had used it for a while.† As we walk with the Lord we learn, through the trials and situations of life, to trust Him more, to lean not on our own understanding (Prov. 3:5).† Step out in faith.† Get your gifts in gear.† And remember, all of His gifts are good.
Pastor Keith Andrews