Thursday, May 24, 2012

Your gift and purpose

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. End of school sort of does that to you. 

Today, however, I've had something on my mind that came from Bible study last night at church. Let me begin by saying I have the most wonderful group of ladies to meet with! We are currently going through The Power of a Praying Life by Stormie Omartian, and it every week is a new level of revelation! We are seeing lives changed and prayers answered and we're being challenged to trust God more.

Last night, in the midst of the lesson on recognizing your purpose, one of my friends said something along the line of not having any talent. She, like many others, felt like that since she didn't really have any special talent or gift. She doesn't sing, or speak, or excel in sports, or any of the things that seem to get you noticed. Of course we discussed how each of us has a gift, even if it's not one of the more "spot-lighted" ones that the world seems to recognize....that's when one of those "random thoughts" hit me. 

All of has a gift and a purpose - the gift we have is Jesus and our purpose is to share Him with everyone we meet.

I don't mean we all have to become Ray Comfort or Billy Graham or Kirk Cameron, but what if we could recognize that no matter where we go, we take Jesus. We have been given the gift of life! That should shine out from us in such a way that everyone who comes in contact with us feels at least a little of that light.

It also hit me that while I'd love to have some special gift that gets me attention, it's really not about me. This gift was given to me first of all to save me, but second so I could share it with others. So what if God chooses to place me in a classroom, or behind a burger counter, or at the end of a shovel digging a ditch - something I'm pretty sure I'd be lousy at - no matter where He chooses to lead me, I have a purpose. I am supposed to share Jesus' light and love wherever I go for as long as He has me there. 

Even if no one else sees what I do as special - God does....and there's someone there who needs Him. "But everyone at my work is a Christian already." Really? Well, then maybe they need you to stand with them in prayer in some way or help them make it through another day! Or maybe someone is going to cross your path that day that needs encouraging. Who knows what adventure He has in store for you each day when you realize your gift and purpose?

All of us want to feel talented or gifted or somehow special - and we are. It may be a talent that gets us attention, or it may be those gifts that no one considers all that special. We know they aren't considered special because no one is paying us big bucks to use them! They are special all the same. 

That smile you share with a child or a co-worker on a day when honestly you feel kind of blue yourself; or that listening ear you lend when someone just needs to vent, (not really very good with this one I'm afraid); or the way you show up for work on time simply because it's the right thing to do; or the way you return the shopping carts to the correct spot and save the poor bag boy extra steps; or the way you sit and listen to an older woman's stories about when she was just a bride; or the way you wipe up yet another spill made by your toddler; or the hundreds of little things you do everyday. You are sharing your gift....your purpose. You are sharing Jesus to those around you. The world may not notice, but God does. He sees you using your gift. He sees you living with a purpose.

You have a gift and a purpose, and it is far greater than you imagined. Now get out there and live that purpose....because the world needs you sharing what you've got.

1 Peter 4

The Message (MSG)
 7-11Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God's words; if help, let it be God's hearty help. That way, God's bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he'll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!

1 Corinthians 12 (MSG)

4-11God's various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit. God's various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit. God's various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful:
   wise counsel
   clear understanding
   simple trust
   healing the sick
   miraculous acts
   distinguishing between spirits
   interpretation of tongues.
   All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when.
 12-13You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts—limbs, organs, cells—but no matter how many parts you can name, you're still one body. It's exactly the same with Christ. By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything. (This is what we proclaimed in word and action when we were baptized.) Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain—his Spirit—where we all come to drink. The old labels we once used to identify ourselves—labels like Jew or Greek, slave or free—are no longer useful. We need something larger, more comprehensive.
 14-18I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn't just a single part blown up into something huge. It's all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, "I'm not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don't belong to this body," would that make it so? If Ear said, "I'm not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don't deserve a place on the head," would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.
 19-24But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn't be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, "Get lost; I don't need you"? Or, Head telling Foot, "You're fired; your job has been phased out"? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way—the "lower" the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it's a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, wouldn't you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair?
 25-26The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don't, the parts we see and the parts we don't. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.
 27-31You are Christ's body—that's who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your "part" mean anything. 

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