Using God’s Gifts To Their Fullest
St. Paul has some beautiful words which he offers to the Christians in Rome, but they are words just as relevant to us in the Church today. He is describing what life in the Church is like, and how God has given each and every member of the Church particular gifts which He wants His people to use in order to glorify Him. St. Paul writes, “We have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function… Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them” (Rom 12:4,6) to serve God’s holy church and to glorify His Name.
We all have gifts that God has given each one of us, St. Paul says, let us use them!
Think about the gifts you have been given by God in your life, and then think about how you are using these gifts to glorify God and His Church. Are you using your gifts and talents to glorify God?
The beauty is that not everyone has the same gifts and talents, but when we all offer our gifts and talents to God for His glory, something beautiful happens. This is what the Church is – many different members coming together in love and humility, laying aside our egos and own agendas to discover what God wants, and then to do what God is calling us to do.
Here at St. Nicholas, we all have different and specific gifts. Think for a moment about what your particular gifts may be, and then ask yourself, how do I use my own special gifts in a way that glorifies God? How do I use my own specific gifts to build up Christ’s holy Church here in Grand Rapids, but also to build up Christ’s holy Church around the world?
Do I have a beautiful voice, then do I offer up this gift to chant or sing in the choir and glorify God through the worship of the Church? Is my gift in teaching? Then do I offer my gift to help teach in our Church School, or even to offer some specific adult education class? Is my gift in administration, and if so, how can I help the Church? Or is my gift in cooking or baking? Then do I give of my time to helping with our Middle Eastern Dinner or volunteer to make Holy Bread? Is my gift in a skilled position such as maintenance or gardening? If so, do I offer my gifts to keep the church operating well? If my gift in encouraging others, building up others, supporting others, am I engaged in using my gifts to serve in this way? We all have some specific gifts and talents, but how are we using them within this Church family? Are we offering our time to share these gifts and talents with others?
We surely have a number of individuals who give much of their time and talents to the Church. And then we surely have others who may come to church often, but who only come to worship or share in the fellowship, but who don’t really get involved more deeply in the life of the Church. Today’s words from Holy Scripture should be a challenge to each one of us to reflect on what we do to offer our gifts back to God.
St. Paul says, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them.”
We are blessed with many stewards (families or individuals) who support our beautiful church. Take a moment to think all of the gifts and talents we have within our Church Family. Now imagine, how we could glorify God and what we could accomplish, if we all offered our gifts to serve one another, and to serve God’s Church. Imagine how our Church would grow and offer a beautiful witness to the world outside, if we all offered our talents and gifts to the Church!
To be a follower of Jesus Christ means that our life is not our own, it is God’s. And thus, all that we have – our time, talents, and treasures – is God’s gift to us. But what are we doing with these gifts from God and how are we using them to glorify HIS Name?
This year’s Archdiocese’s theme as well as our St. Nicholas theme is “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us” (Philippians 4:17). We are only able to fulfill this scripture if all of us together choose to use our time, talent, and treasures to glorify God and His Church. Imagine hosting a party where everyone was asked to bring something only to discover that the person who was supposed to bring the flatware never showed-up! As silly as this example is, the illustration is not silly when applied to a healthy, functioning church. In order for the St. Nicholas to fulfill its mission, every member of the church needs to use his/her gifts for the glory of God.
Remember: “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with your talent is your gift back to God.”
Let us offer not only our gifts and talents, but our entire life back to God to glorify His Name in this Church and in the world around us.