Back to Reach • Devotion #1: Open the Gift

Sometimes it is difficult for me to remember the days when I used to walk into a church, listen to a sermon, and go back to the week to live as I wanted. I used to be the guy who would walk in half an hour late because I did not like the worship experience. In my defense, I also did not know how important worship was and is to our relationship with Jesus. “Just give me the meat and potatoes,” I used to say to my wife.

I was young and immature in my faith. I was young and immature in life as well. As I continued to grow in my walk with the Lord, I began to realize that it was less and less about me and more and more about Jesus. It was not until I was directed to take a spiritual gifts test. I did not know that there was such a thing. I wish I still had that test because I am sure that public speaking was not on it. God will definitely put you where He wants you to be. You will find He has a reason for every situation.

You have all been given gifts. They are talents and abilities that we are called to use to glorify Christ. Learn from my experience. God will use you. He will use your talents. He will use you in ways you cannot imagine if you let Him. 

In 1 Peter 4:10 (CSB), we read, Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God.”

As we wrap up this edition of Reach, Gather, and Grow, I encourage you all to evaluate the gifts that you have. You can be in a Growth Community, and that will definitely play a big part in your growth. Your real growth will be stunted if you do not realize that we have to serve others the way that Jesus served us. It is uncomfortable to put yourself out there. Trust me, I understand your thoughts. I am about as introverted as a person gets. By the time I wrap up my day on Sunday evening, I am mentally and emotionally spent.

God has given me gifts and it my duty to use them. He will carry me through despite myself, and the same is true for you. Making the commitment to serve others and in the church is the thing that finally took me to a place where I truly felt that I was in the relationship that Jesus wants to have with me. If you are not already, find a place to serve. If you do not know what that looks like for you, try as many different ministries as you need until you find the right fit.

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