I recently went to a local jazz festival in my city. I really enjoyed the gifts being displayed by the talented individuals on the stage. Those musicians were amazing! As I sat there relaxing, listening to the music, and enjoying the atmosphere, I began to think about what an awesome God we have. How gracious He is to bestow gifts and talents on each and every one of us!
Suddenly, in the midst of the concert, I received a flash of insight. In an instant, God showed me that the concert performance is analogous to how the body of Christ should perform as a unit. Through this real life musical illustration, he showed me how He views the individual gifts and talents He has given to His children. Thus, I would like to share the following thoughts with you this week regarding how to view your God-given gifts as you endeavor to expand the Kingdom:
- Your gift is unique. Each musician played a different instrument. In the same way the gift that God gave to you is unique. God has something for you to accomplish that no one else can. I’m quite sure that none of the musicians were saying to themselves, “I wish that could play that instrument like so-and-so can.” No, each person played their instrument with excellence to the best of their ability, and they were dedicated to honing their skill in playing their instrument of choice. In I Corinthians 12:18, Paul writes, “God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” God deliberately gave you the gifts that He wanted you to have. Therefore, embrace them, hone your skills and refuse to covet the gifts of others.
- Your gift is important. Although the saxophonist took the lead most of the time, everybody’s instrument was necessary to make the beautiful music they were making together. Each instrument was important to the piece they were performing. Likewise, the gift that God gave you to share is very important. In reference to the body of Christ, Paul writes in I Corinthians 12:21, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’” Therefore, the body of Christ needs your gift. Refuse to let yourself go to the grave without tapping all of the gifts that God deposited within you. Purpose in your heart that you will die empty.
- We are better together than we are alone. Each musician needed all of the others’ musical support for their individual gift to be perceived at its best. I began to think, what if the drums were missing? What if the bass guitar was missing? The keyboard? Lead guitar? The saxophone? Without each of the musicians playing their part, the performance would have suffered a loss of sound quality. Thus, as all of the musicians poured out their gifts simultaneously, the result was that each gift was optimally perceived. As each of the band members musically backed each other up, each of their gifts was enhanced. In the same way, if the body of Christ is to operate in excellence and make the most impact in this world, we all have to use our gifts in concert. As we work together to expand the Kingdom, we become like iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17), and our individual gifts are enhanced.
Therefore, celebrate the gifts that God has given you. Thank Him for the grace He’s bestowed upon you. Know that God has a plan for your life, and He wants to use those gifts for His glory. Be determined to work together in unity with your brothers and sisters in Christ for the common cause of promoting the Kingdom. When you do, Jesus will shine brightly through you, and you will be better able to represent the Master to a lost and dying world.
What insight has God given you about the gifts He has bestowed upon you and those around you? Please leave a comment below.
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