“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15)!”
Soon there will be many presents exchanged, gifts that were selected and given with much thought and care for the recipient. There will be those who are joyful and truly appreciate their prize. Many gifts will require some effort before they can be fully appreciated – a little assembly required, a learning curve and some familiarization before they can be rightly employed. But in many cases that initial excitement after tearing away the paper fades as a commensurate level of commitment to utilize these gifts relegate them back into the box and then to a forgotten closet where they are never put to use as intended. Sometimes the very treasure so greatly desired before Christmas is ignored soon after it is received.
This same reception is often typical of the Christian faith. Jesus foretold of these different responses to receiving the gospel (Matthew 13:19-23). There are gifts that God has bestowed on His children that are too often neglected by Christians, particularly so among new converts. Too frequently Christians spurn the divine gifts of grace, service, and fellowship.
Many come to disregard the gift of grace that forgives all sins and gives eternal life (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8). How many arise renewed from the waters of baptism only to let their love grow cold within the first year of their conversion? They received the good news readily and responded in obedience but failed to feed the fire (Matthew 13:20-21). The remedy is to continue to hear God ever after so that we will not drift away and not neglect our great gift of salvation (Hebrews 2:1-3). Do we still desire that vital nourishment (1 Peter 2:2) or have we become dull of hearing and have failed to grow up to develop our spiritual appetites (Hebrews 5:11-14)? We have been given a gift so that we would grow in the knowledge of Christ (Colossians 1:9). God’s will for His children is to be continually sanctified (1 Thessalonians 4:3) and that is performed by remaining in His word (John 17:17). Christian, if your faith is failing are you continuing in the study of the Bible as you did at the beginning (Revelation 2:5)?
Often we may fail to use the gifts God has given us to serve others (1 Peter 4:10). There is a picture in the Old Testament of building the tabernacle. God had gifted artisans with skills in weaving, designing, crafting so that the house of God would be built (Exodus 36:2). God has gifted each of us in the same way (Ephesians 4:8) so that His church would be built up and fit together (Ephesians 4:12-16). Each of us have been given different gifts that we are to utilize to serve one another (Romans 12:5-8, 1 Corinthians 14:12). If we neglect to use these gifts as God intended we fail ourselves, others, and ultimately we fail God. These gifts likely will require some effort, assembly, and commitment to develop to their full potential. It is a joyful gift to develop and employ them as our Father desires.
Unfortunately, when these gifts are forsaken the gift of fellowship soon fades as well. Failing to appreciate the gift of grace and to employ our spiritual gifts means that God’s house is being built by others and not those who are absent. Christian, if you are no longer in the Father’s house serving regularly where are you spiritually? While the prodigal was absent from his father’s house he was dead but he was made alive again by returning (Luke 15:32). We are to consider one another and not forsake our assembling together (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Christian you have been blessed with many great gifts (Ephesians 1:3). Appreciate the joy of your salvation. Continue to spend time reading the instructions so that you can be established (2 Timothy 3:16-17). And continue to develop the effective use of your gift to benefit the body. Don’t toss the gifts of God into a dusty drawer. He picked it out especially with you in mind.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning (James 1:17).”