Unwrapping Your Gifts – God’s Gift for Your Life

lego-bricks

Legos have long been one of my favorite toys, to this day if you put Legos in front of me, I will play with them for hours. There really is no other toy like them, the creative possibilities are only limited by our imaginations. So many pieces of different colors and shapes. It sometimes felt overwhelming trying to figure out what I was going to build.

Often we feel the same way about our spiritual gifts as well.  We have been given so much, we know it can be used to accomplish great things for God’s Kingdom, but it can seem so huge and very overwhelming.

We need to realize a few things about these spiritual gifts, and Paul’s letter to the church in Rome sheds a little insight on them.

Romans 12:3 NIV

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

One of the biggest problems we face in the church when it comes to our gifts, talents and abilities is that we too often let them go to our heads. We start thinking that WE are doing amazing things, that WE are achieving so much, that WE are advancing God’s Kingdom. In other words, we start believing the hype about ourselves. Paul was constantly reminding the early church of these dangers, by telling them that all he had done was only possible because of the gifts that God had given him. In Luke chapter 10 even Jesus reminds us that the gifts are not what we should be rejoicing in, but that we should be rejoicing in our salvation, something that we can never earn no matter how gifted or talented we are.

But that doesn’t mean we sit idle. Remember the Parable of the 3 Talents. Our gifts have been given to us so that we may do something with them, and that we can be trusted with even more gifts. We have to value our spiritual gifts because they come from God, and have to put them to their intended uses.

Any gift we receive is useless if we don’t open it and use it. The same is true for our spiritual giftings, they must be put into practice if they are to have any value. And the reason they are so varied is because we are all intended to do different things for God. Just like the Lego pieces are all different so are we. The gifts God has given you are custom fitted to your personality and purpose that God has set out for your life.

Think about the Legos, apart they can do nothing, but when we start taking each individual and unique brick, we can begin to build something. A creative force takes over and each brick finds its place and is put to use. That is our gifts in the church, apart our gifts are great, together we make up an effective and passionate church that shines the love of God, but only if we put our gifts into action. After all, you can’t build anything out of one brick. So get plugged in!

Real Worship: What is Worship?

Worship. It seems like it should be the easiest concept for us to grasp. After all we all were created with the capacity to worship. God created us all to be able to worship freely. The ability is there, but often it is directed in the wrong direction. As humans we find ourselves worshipping other people, money, politics, possessions or even ourselves. We call home a world where worship is pointed in every direction except from where it should be.

Romans 1:25 ESV

…they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever!

Worship only works when its pointed in the right direction, when it’s vertically pointed towards God. He is looking for individuals and churches who will worship Him. Not because He needs us to, but because when we worship God we are choosing to fulfill the purpose for which we were created.

The most awesome part about this is that no one has to worship God. He allows us to choose whether we worship Him or not. When we make that choice our worship comes from the heart, not from a forced sense of obligation or fear. Each of us chooses where our worship is directed, at ourselves, towards people or possessions or towards God. Over the  next week I want to spend some time on the subject of worship, because I believe it is an important function of us as individuals and as a church. So lets dive in now, and find out what is worship.

What is Worship?

Dictionary.com defines worship as

reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.

The last part of the definition is often what gets us into trouble. “Any object regarded as sacred”. The problem is we easily can regard any object as sacred, like I mentioned earlier, we often get caught directing our worship in the wrong direction, because items, ideas and traditions often get substituted for worship towards God. Many times these are not evil or bad things, but once we set them up in place of God, and direct our worship towards them, than we begin to love them more than we love God. When we worship anything in place of God than it enslaves us. Worship of God brings freedom and joy. Worship of anything else chains us and robs our joy.

Our worship often falls short because we too often think of it as the 25 minutes Sunday morning when we sing songs and gather together. Worship is so much more than this time. Worship begins when we accept Jesus as Lord, and never ends. It’s a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 day a year until the day you are called home to the Father! In short, worship is ongoing, and never ceasing. That means we have to worship with more than the songs we sing at church, but with our own words in our prayer times, with our own lives when we are at school, work or even the grocery store. Make the effort, and you will find that God is not hard to please. The effort we put into our worship means a lot to Him, when it comes from our hearts, it always pleases Him.

Worship is putting worth to someone or something. When’s the last time you thought about how much God is really worth to you?