Monday, August 2, 2010

Who doesn't like presents?

If you look at the picture on the right, you know whats coming. Spiritual Gifts. This topic has always fascinated me and one of my best moments in life is to watch people execute them.

Fact: There are numerous spiritual gifts known to this day.
Just to name a few in the bible:

Romans 12: Exhortation, Giving, Leadership, Mercy, Prophecy, Service, Teaching
1 Corinthians 12: Administration, Apostle, Discernment, Faith, Healing, Helps, Knowledge, Miracles, Prophecy, Teaching, Tongues, Tongues Interpretation, Wisdom
Ephesians 4: Pastor, Apostle, Evangelism
Misc. Passages: Celibacy, Martyrdom, Missionary, Voluntary Poverty, Hospitality

I doubt this list stops here as times have changed and technology and minds have advanced. But many people can fall within these categories. Personally I'm a believer that everyone has a spiritual gift, maybe plural. If you've been at the Grove for some time now, undoubtedly you've taken some spiritual gift tests that Keith seemed to love. Whether or not you believe in your results is your personal matter. You may think your gift is pretty minuscule in comparison to those around you. However, the stories below have characters that probably had the same thought as you.

John D. Rockefeller, history's most richest man. Born and raised in poverty, his mother taught him to always no matter what, give your 10% tithes to God. He listened. He never failed at giving his small tithes. Result. If he were to give a tithe in 2010, he would offer up 10% of his $663 billion. He alone held 1.53% of the money in America. Gift of Giving.

James Cash Penney, born to a minister, was a well off businessman in the early 1920s. With the coming of the Great Depression, Penney saw his financial empire fall to ruin. This event caused Penney to become ill and had to stay at a hospital. He heard the hymn "God will take care of you" in the hospital chapel and he became a born-again Christian. He has since recovered and regained his financial success. Ever since then, he has been involved in numerous charity acts until his death in 1971. To this day, the secret meaning behind the massive JCPenney malls is: Jesus Christ Penney. Gift of Administration

In the late 1800s, certain American Presbyterians entered a little country where Christianity was pretty much no where to be found. They set up schools, medical facilities, and evangelized the noble families. This war-ravaged, under foreign control country discovered new found hope in Christ due to these missionaries. In present day, this country is now #2 in sending missionaries worldwide (#1 being America). From a GDP similar to Congo in the early turn of the century to one of the economic powerhouses within 50 years, this small country is now home to a Christian majority in the face of Buddhists and Confucians. All thanks to the certain missionaries a century back, South Korea has become the miracle nation in terms of financial growth and a stronghold for Christianity. Gift of Evangelism.

Don't think small of your spiritual gifts. It can change the world. If used in the correct way, God can certainly show you a miracle. When you receive a gift from someone, right away do you shove it in a corner and forget about it? Hopefully not. Gifts are meant do be for you. It's not even worldly right to deny a gift. Since we received a free gift from God, shouldn't we share it, express it, use it to its limits and not keep it shoved in the back corner of our hearts? Its a present, by all means have fun with it! Go change a world or two with it.

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