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.

 

Father, Guide Me In Your Ways!

What does it mean let God guide you?

Well, in my opinion, I think that what it means for God is guide you; is to allow for Him to not only use you and your testimony to impact and inspire others, but also to mold us into the person He has called us to be. Guidance from the Lord doesn’t just mean asking Him, “Where should I go?” but also “Lord, How can you use me to impact the people and the world around me?” 

By asking God where He wants us to go, in my opinion, causes us as Christians to recognize that we don’t always know where we are going and that sometimes we need a “guide” that can show us the way to go. When I read His Word, it feels so amazing to be able to use it as a sort of “compass” that continues to “show” me not only how to live as a Christian but also how to treat others.

Psalms 119:105 (NKJV) says, “105. Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.”
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Confronting the Boundaries in Our Lives

Sorry for the missed post. For the month of February, I’ve decided that I would be focusing on God’s love for us as human beings and as His children over the next couple posts. For this blog post, I couldn’t help but turn to one particular passage of scripture that I kept thinking about in Luke 18:22. In that verse, Jesus was trying to tell the rich young ruler that what he lacked was his inability to give all that he had to the poor and follow after Christ.

In my Bible, there is a notation at the bottom of my Bible that made me stop and think about what Christ is trying to reveal to us that may be hindering us from God’s blessing.

In my NKJV Study Bible, the notation said,

“Jesus was examining the ruler’s orientation to God by directly confronting him with the very thing that was hindering him…”

Luke 18:22

22. So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. See all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.Read More »

The Parable of the Dragnet (Part 7)

Well, it’s been a while since I did a parable blog post. In The Parable of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl of Great Price, I talked about how we as Christians should be obtaining the true treasure of the Kingdom of God; which is having an eternal life with Christ and being renewed by Him every day when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior over our livesIn this parable, I just want us to think of ourselves as the dragnet or net that comes to catch fish of every kind and draw them into a relationship with Christ.

If you want to read the other parable blog posts, you can check here.

What does it mean to be the Dragnet in the Kingdom of Heaven?

Well, what is a dragnet? A dragnet is a net designed to encircle a large area and gather fish near the bottom of a lake. So, if a dragnet is designed to catch fish, then what does that make us as disciples of Christ? In my opinion, I think this means that as disciples of Christ, we are tasked with gathering the “fish” or people of every kind and make disciples of every nation; just as Jesus commanded we do before He ascended into Heaven.

However, as the “dragnet” that will be used to bring people to Christ, we as Christians and as people should also remember that we are still human. In Matthew 13:47-48, Jesus gives us a depiction of not only what happens to disciples of Christ but also to those that reject Him and turn away from His gift of eternal life.

It’s our duty as disciples of Christ to gather people from all nations; just like a net comes and catches fish of all kinds.

Matthew 13:47-48

47. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, 48. which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away.Read More »

Are You Going to Give God It All?

What does it mean to Give God It All?

Well, to me, giving it all to God means that I need to relinquish all of my pain, regrets, sadness, guilt, shame and even the good things and lay them all at His feet. But also, it means that whatever I may be going through, I can give it over to God knowing that if I can’t handle it; by faith, God will get me through it. In the Bible, we see many times the prophets and later the Apostles urging us to give all that we have to the Lord.

But here’s the question: Why do we hang onto the things of the past? In Psalms 55:22, it is telling us to cast all of our burdens onto God and He will sustain us.

We no longer have to shoulder our burdens ourselves.

Psalms 55:22

22. Cast your burdens on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”Read More »

“Will You Take Up Your Cross and Follow Me?”

What does it mean to take up your cross daily and follow Him?

In previous blog posts, I have discussed the topic of discipleship but today, I’m going to delve a little deeper into a topic that I feel we as Christians talk about but don’t explain. In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus makes three separate references about carrying your cross and following Him, but He warned us that by following Him; we would face persecution.

As Christians, we shouldn’t be surprised when we find ourselves a target of ridicule for our willingness to follow Christ, but then, why are we as Christians and people so surprised when we all Christ asks us to do is take up our cross and follow Him? Well, in Mark 8:35-37, Jesus tells us what we could lose or gain if we choose to follow Him.

Mark 8:35-37

35. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37. Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

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“Whom Shall I Fear” – The Lord is Our Strength

What is Fear according to the Bible?

Well, as human beings; we are told that “fear is an illusion” or “fear is just our mind’s perception”, but as Christians, we know that fear is not of God, but of the enemy as said in 2 Timothy 1:7 which says, “7. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” with the so-called “Spirit of Fear” being Satan’s way of counteracting our trust and faith in Christ. Although we as human beings think that we can overcome fear with a man-made solution, there is no man-made solution to an internal struggle. The only way that we as people and Christians can conquer fear is by putting our trust in God first and letting His Word strengthen and encourage us to fight our fear.

1 John 4:18-19

18. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19. We love Him because He first loved us.”

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Will You Trust God?

What does it mean to trust God?

Well, in Proverbs 3:5, in talks about how we are to trust God with our whole hearts and not try and understand His plan with our own understanding and God will direct our paths. Today, we will be asking the question, “Will You Trust God?” and God’s Word reveals the answer. Trusting God is an essential part of not just a Christian’s walk with God but is someone’s chance to change their life for the better. In the New Living Translation, Jeremiah 17:7-8 says that we are to trust God and that we are like trees planted by the river who suffer through the heat and come out better than we were before.

Jeremiah 17:7-8

7. But blessed are those who trust in the Lord, and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. 8. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep in the river. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”

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Trust in God’s Plan

What did Jesus mean when He said, “… Not as I will, but as You will”?

Well, in Matthew 26:39, Mark 14:35-36, and Luke 22:42, they all center on Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane asking God the Father to take the “cup” (the approaching separation from God) from Him, but acknowledged that it wasn’t by His will, but by God’s Will that the approaching separation and taking on the sin of the world be done. But, what does Jesus’s declaration of trust in God say about our own? In the Message Bible, Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and acknowledge God because He will direct our path.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (Message Bible)

5. Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. 6. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.”

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