Monday, May 19, 2014

Knowing my calling...

Everyone wants to feel like they are good at something. They know that God has made them special, but many wonder if they truly have a "gift" that is useful at all. 

Some have gifts that are visible and highly prized. For example, some people are good at singing - my children have actually begged me to NOT sing. Some are great home-makers and cooks - my kids will tell you that is ALSO not my gift. Some are prolific writers and teachers and healers and leaders and yes, even Indian chiefs. So many amazing gifts, none of which I actually have. A whole wide world that needs Jesus and I've got....what do I have God?

Like Moses, I felt God told me to look at what I had in my hand...

We have all heard that the gifts of God are without repentance. His call on our lives doesn't change. The thing is, many seem to believe that gifts only operate in those who are in "full time ministry" or that have some career like medicine. I believe that the gifts of God show up in your life no matter WHAT you do for a living. The gifts are not so much WHAT you do, but HOW you do it.

I have often wondered what God wanted me to do. Like many young people I felt I would be called into full-time ministry...only I never really knew what. I did whatever I found in front of me waiting till the day I'd be used of God...and I searched for my "gift." It wasn't until the past year or so that I finally got a clue. My gift is to simply encourage.

I looked up what encourage means. It means to give support, confidence or hope to someone. The Greek lexicon adds to admonish among other things. Then there is this definition: "To give courage to; to give or increase confidence of success; to inspire with courage, spirit, or strength of mind; to embolden"

Notice that none of the definitions is necessarily exclusive to a certain career. I could easily use my gift as a wife, a parent, a teacher, a cashier, a nurse, even a garbage collector. The gift isn't dependent upon a career...only upon the One who gave it. It's that way with all of us. 

Each of us has a gift. Some have the gift of mercy (I love you guys...I seem to be lacking in that one.) Some have the gift of giving or the gift of leadership. No matter what the gift may be, it is from God and is to be shared with those around you. We don't have to wait until we see exactly what God has planned. Just use what you have where you are. Your gift, given by Him, to a hurting world. 

So what are you waiting for? What is in your hand? What do you find that you "do" without even trying?

You and I have been "called" of God to share His love with the world around us. Now is the time, not someday when you finally "make it." Each day we "make it" when we use the gift God has placed in us. That gift that has been evident since we were young. This gift that, before it matured, seemed at times to be a curse to us. It is our spot of both vulnerability and strength. The way that God shines best through you.

Serving God isn't really about doing something great....sometimes it's simply about BEING who He created you to be.

You are gifted....have fun sharing that gift with those around you; and while you're at it, don't forget to enjoy the gifts God gave them.

It really is a wonderful life when you know your calling...despite what your career might be.

 1 Corinthians 12: 4-11

God’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.
Romans 12: 3 - 8 (MSG)
I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.
4-6 In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.
6-8 If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.

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