When I was in high school, there was a woman in our church named Mrs. Wells, who had the most amazing way of using her spiritual gift of encouragement. Directly after I graduated from high school, she generously paid my way to Europe to be part of a singing group for six weeks. I sang at her late husband’s funeral and she said, “Oh, Honey, Charlie would have loved for me to do this for you! Jesus loves you and has big plans for you.” I couldn’t believe her generosity! Through the next few years, she never missed a chance to encourage me by saying things like, “Oh, Honey, Jesus loves you so much” and “Jesus just shines through you and He has big plans for you.”
I remember the day my family took her to a nursing home. She was a frail woman and didn’t have much longer to live. As I stood by her bed, she motioned for me to bend down so she could whisper something to me. In her quiet, sweet, and weak little voice, she said, “Oh Honey, Jesus loves you so much. You keep serving Him every day. He has big plans for you.” I still weep when I remember her and the love she showed me. What I learned that day is that Mrs. Wells was using her spiritual gift of encouragement until the day she went to be with Jesus. I vowed that day to dedicate my gifts and talents to Him for the rest of my life. I would use them for no other purpose. I have kept that vow to this day.
God has gifted you in many ways. You may have the gift of encouragement like Mrs. Wells, or maybe mercy, compassion, exhortation, leadership, teaching or any number of others. You may not even know which gifts you have. You can find studies about spiritual gifts at the Christian bookstore or online that can help you recognize them and use them for God’s purpose in you. Discover the gifts He has given you. Open them and use them liberally with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Use them until the day you go to be with the Lord, just like Mrs. Wells.
You can find a list of spiritual gifts in Romans 12:3-8.
Spiritual gifts are not something that we use to glorify ourselves, but to bring glory and honor to God. They are for His use and purposes, and the blessing for us is that we can be used of Him in meaningful ways.
The next time you open a gift someone has given you, think about the spiritual gifts the Lord has provided for His purposes. “Oh, Honey, Jesus loves you and has big plans for you.”
THIS IS AN EXCERPT FROM “VISIONS OF HIM…SEEING GOD IN EVERYDAY THINGS.” You can purchase this inspiring and encouraging devotional at www.amazon.com
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