Are We Giving Our Gifts to God?

C.S. Lewis stated, “God gives His gifts where He finds the vessel empty enough to receive them.”

How are we utilizing the gifts we’ve been given? Are we using them for our own personal gain? To get recognized by the people around us? Or we are using our gifts to glorify God?

So, how should we as Christians go about giving our gifts to the Lord?

We all have different gifts. Let’s use them to glorify God.

Well, throughout the Bible; we’ve been called to serve God with our spiritual gifts and one such instance is in the Book of Romans. In Romans 12:4-8, it says, “4. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5. so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7. or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8. he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”

As shown within this passage of Scripture, the Apostle Paul, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit speaks on this topic and how we as Christians; despite our differences in how we interpret Biblical Scripture, we are all given gifts in order to bring glory to God and not ourselves. This is something that I continue to struggle with, seeing as how I want to use my gifts the way that I feel they should be used and that is seriously prideful of me.

“Despite our differences in how we interpret Biblical Scripture, we are all given gifts in order to bring glory to God and not ourselves.”

In a recent blog post by T.R. Noble of Inside Cup entitled “I Gave God What I Enjoyed & He Gave Me Something Better” she stated that “Every single one of us has been gifted with talents by God, but that does not mean everyone will use it for Him.” I agree with this quote by T.R. because we all have been given gifts by our Heavenly Father and not judging actors, actresses and famous singers but how we use our gifts can show others where our relationship with God really lies.

Our relationship with God in my opinion truly starts with our willingness to give God everything that we have and that includes the gifts/talents that God has given us.

Some of the other quotes within T.R. Noble’s blog post that I feel truly inspired me and prayerfully encourage you in your walk with God are just stepping stones to continue pursuing Christ.

  • What are we pushing off that we don’t think is a big deal?
  • “He taught me so much about what it meant to deny our flesh. It hurts at first, sometimes a lot. It doesn’t mean we’re a bad Christian for having this reaction.”
    • It means we are saying no to our flesh and selfish desires. It means we are denying what is trying to get us to deny Christ.
  • “… we sometimes see only the big temptations we want to get rid of.”
    • Giving up what is not Christlike helps me be an example, it truly draws me closer to Christ and makes my life all about Him. It gives Him glory and He absolutely deserves it!
  • Is what I am exposing myself to through watching, listening, or even playing, is it truly Christlike, does it stand for what Christ stood for, could it tempt me with deception and sin?
    • “… if anything you watch or listen to does go against Christ please consider how that affects your walk with Him. Even if it seems small… one day a seed becomes a tree. Everything adds up in our life.

T.R. Noble says, “Is what I am exposing myself to through watching, listening, or even playing, is it truly Christlike, does it stand for what Christ stood for, could it tempt me with deception and sin?

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (NKJV) says, “4. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.”

These verses by the Apostle Paul to the people of Corinth should remind us as Christians today that we are given different gifts by our Heavenly Father and that how we utilize these gifts should bring others to Christ and not to satisfy our own egos.

In a recent article I read by Lizzie Milani of Pocket Fuel entitled “Giving and Receiving – The Receive Series – Part 1” and in the article; Lizzie states that “We take and we earn and we strive and we prove. But seldom do we receive. Seldom do we live in the movement of give and receive.”

What is truly interesting about this quote by Lizzie is that I feel that she is right in the sense that despite our desire to live against the culture of the world; we still take, earn and strive to better ourselves and not about the gift of giving to others and maybe receiving nothing but a “Thank You” in return.

In her article, Lizzie Milani has a couple of quotes that I feel we as Christians can relate to as we go about our own walk with Christ and learn what it means to give to the Lord.

  • “Giving and receiving is of one piece. It’s not either or. To do one well, you must learn to do the other.”
    • You can’t give what you’re unwilling to receive.”

Lizzie Milani stated, “You can’t give what you’re unwilling to receive

This actually reminds me of a song by William McDowell entitled “Withholding Nothing.”To me, this song is truly amazing because it captures what it means to surrender everything we have to God: Our gifts/talents, fears, insecurities, weaknesses, and strengths. So, what are we giving to the Lord? Are we giving Him only the things that we want to give Him?

CHORUS

I surrender all to you

Everything I give to you

withholding nothing

withholding nothing

withholding nothing

withholding nothing”

As the chorus of the song says, we surrender all that we have and give everything we have to the Lord God. But are we? In today’s culture it’s so easy for us; proclaiming ourselves be Christians to utilize our God-given gifts for monetary or temporary gain. However, this shouldn’t be our desire. What’s truly interesting about this quote is that as Christians; we must be willing to give up that thing that is keeping us from embracing the gifts God is trying to give us. 

At the beginning of this post, I did a quote by C.S. Lewis and I do think that it’s important that we allow ourselves to be empty of those things that we don’t need so that our Heavenly Father can fill us up with better things.

“… we must be willing to give up that thing that is keeping us from embracing the gifts God is trying to give us.”

In the end, though what are we really doing in terms of our relationship with God? Are we willing to give God everything? For me, I think it’s about time that I do because I know that if I continue on the way I’m going; it’s not going to end well. Everything we do with the gifts we’ve been given should be done to bring honor and glory to the One who gave us these gifts in the first place.

So, what are you doing with the gifts you’ve been given?

Are we giving our gifts to God?

Are we willing to be empty vessels for the Lord?

 

God Bless,

Joshua Reid

 

 

References

Milani, Lizzie. “Giving and Receiving – The Receive Series – Part 1”, pktfuel.com, https://www.pktfuel.com/giving-and-receiving/ . Accessed 7 Jun 2019.

T.R. Noble. “What Is My Talent/Gift | Believer 101”, 10 Aug 2017. Nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com, https://nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/what-is-my-talentgift-believer-101/ . Accessed 5 Jun 2019.

“I Gave God What I Enjoyed & He Gave Me Something Better,” 24 Apr 2019, nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com, https://nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/i-gave-god-what-i-enjoyed-he-gave-me-something-better/ . Accessed 6 Jun 2019.

“Withholding nothing – William McDowell”. YouTube, uploaded by enyfo7. 6 years ago, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdnV75zIQUA . Accessed 7 Jun 2019.

 

Picture References

Dail, Martha. “HOW LONG HALT YE BETWEEN TWO OPINIONS?”, http://slideplayer.com/slide/3555664/ . Accessed 7 Jun 2019.

Spurgeon, Charles. “God has a way of giving by the cartloads to those who give away by shovelfuls.”, https://quotefancy.com/quote/786350/Charles-H-Spurgeon-God-has-a-way-of-giving-by-the-cartloads-to-those-who-give-away-by . Accessed 7 Jun 2019.

Unknown. “Romans 12:6 (NKJV)”, https://biblepic.com/romans/12-6.htm . Accessed 7 Jun 2019.

 

Heirs to Christ (The Promise of Abraham) – Galatians Bible Study Series (Part 4)

What does it mean to be an Heir to Christ through the Promise of Abraham? This will be the focus of this week’s blog post as we continue our in-depth study of the Book of Galatians. Throughout the New Testament, we see Jesus and later the Apostles speak to us as newborn Christians that we are not only children of God but also joint-heirs with Christ, but how did we become joint-heirs with Christ?

As I discussed in last week’s blog post, it’s through the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that we have been reconciled back to God and have thus become heirs to Christ but through the promise of Abraham. The Apostle Paul even wrote about us as Christians being children of God and heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ in Romans 8:15-17; where he speaks to the Christians in Rome about how they no longer have a “spirit of bondage”, but received the “Spirit of adoption”.

The Holy Spirit witnesses to our spirit that we are children of God and joint heirs with Christ.

Romans 8:15-17 (NKJV)

“15. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father” 16. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17. and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.Read More »

Defending the Gospel – Galatians Bible Study Series (Part 2)

Welcome back to the Galatians Bible Study Series! In last week’s post, we discussed how even though we as human beings have sinned repeatedly; it’s through God’s grace that we are called sons and daughters of the King through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This week, we will be talking about how we as Christians are to defend the gospel by reading through Paul’s interaction with the Galatians and Peter. In 1 Peter 3:15-16, the Apostle Peter talks about how we as Christians should always be ready to give a defense for our faith in Jesus Christ.

We as Christians should always be ready to defend our faith in Jesus Christ with humility.

1 Peter 3:15-16 (NKJV)

15. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16. having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.”Read More »

Galatians Bible Study Series (Part 1) – God’s Grace, Our Redemption.

During these next few weeks, I’ll be doing an in-depth study on the Book of Galatians and how from the letter to the people of Galatia; we as Christians today can apply what was said into our everyday lives. 

In the Book of Galatians chapter 1, we see Paul as an apostle of Christ; who describes the grace of God to the Galatians and how; even when he was Saul, hunting down Christians; God’s grace still found him. Within chapter 1, we as Christians can see what it means to be an apostle and disciple of Christ; but also, how, even when we have fallen short of God; His grace still finds us in our darkest moments.

In Romans 3:23-24, Paul writes on how; we as human beings, ALL have fallen short of God’s glory and how; through His grace, we’ve been declared righteous by Jesus through His death and resurrection.

Romans 3:23-24

23. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24. being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…”Read More »

Holy Spirit, Teach Us!

This blog post was inspired by a comment from my previous post by Efua of Grace Over Pain. She said,

“Sometimes we read the Bible with a preconceived knowledge. Like we already know what the passage is about before we even read it. We become too familiar with scripture and over familiarity clogs our heart from understanding what the Holy Spirit is trying to teach us.

In this blog post, I will be discussing how the Holy Spirit teaches us and guides us through Scripture and how we can then apply it to our everyday lives. As we walk through this blog post, I want us as Christians to reflect on how the Holy Spirit has been teaching us.

As we go through this week; I would like us to ask ourselves this question: Are we allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us God’s Word? Are we letting God’s Spirit convict us? This leads me to read Proverbs 18:15 where the author speaks of the heart and how the discerning acquires knowledge and how the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

Proverbs 18:15

15. The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”

Read More »

The Importance of Reading the Bible (Part 3)

In this blog post, we will be discussing the final aspect of why we as Christians, it’s important for us to read the Bible; particularly how by reading the Bible, the Holy Spirit will be able to convict us on what is contrary to God’s Word. In 1 Corinthians 5:7, the Apostle Paul is telling the people of Corinth of their sexual immorality and how they have sexual immorality within the church.

1 Corinthians 5:7

7. Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened…”Read More »

Glorifying God in Body & Spirit – The Spirit (Part 2)

In Part 1, I talked about how we as people and Christians should glorify God with our bodies and not allow the world/society to dictate how we are supposed to dress or let the world/society diminish your value. Today though, we will be talking about the 2nd aspect of giving glorifying God; glorifying God in the Spirit.

Now, what does it mean to glorify God in the spirit? Well, the word Spirit comes from the Greek word “pneuma” meaning “to breathe” or “to blow.” So, here is the question: How do we give glorify God with in spirit? In the Bible, there are several key references that I feel give us an understanding of how we are supposed to glorify God in the spirit. In Galatians 5:16-18, Paul, is telling the people of Galatia that they are to walk in the Spirit and not succumb to the desires of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16-18

16. I say then: “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”Read More »

Glorifying God in Body & Spirit – The Body (Part 1)

Today, I will be talking about glorifying God with our bodies and how we shouldn’t allow the world’s view of glorification undermine and twist how we should honor God with our bodies.

So, what does it mean to glorify God in body and spirit? Well, glorify comes from the Hebrew word “kabod” meaning “weight or worthiness of something”, but it also translates to Honor. Okay; so, if glorify means to honor God then why don’t we honor God with our bodies? Why do we continue to allow our flesh control over our bodies? Let’s turn to 1 Corinthians 6:13, where it talks about how our bodies are not meant for personal sexual pleasure but for God.

1 Corinthians 6:13
“…. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”Read More »

“Abstain from Sexual Immorality”

What does it mean to Abstain from Sexual Immorality?

Well, to abstain from something means to refrain from something voluntarily. So, when God wants us to abstain from engaging in sexual acts outside of marriage; why do we; as people and Christians still lust after something or someone we can’t have. Today, we have become so accustomed to the desires of our flesh that we have completely forgotten what God’s Word has said about abstaining from sexual immorality. In 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, it talks about how we should abstain from sexual immorality and that our bodies are meant to be sanctified through God.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
3. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4. that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5. not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God….”

Read More »