What a terrible affront it would be! A dear friend gives you a costly and precious gift and you set it aside and leave it unwrapped, ignored, and unused! They visit you later and notice it is still unwrapped, sitting on a shelf in a back room, completely ignored. They ask you about the gift… you blush with shame, offer a clumsy apology, but really have no adequate explanation for your disrespect of their generosity and friendship.
I read a passage this morning during “Coffee with the Lord” that brought this imaginary scenario to mind… Paul wrote Timothy and urged him… “I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God has given us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:6-7)
Apostle Paul, and other respected Spiritual leaders, had been God’s agent of blessing in young Timothy’s life. Directed by the Lord, Paul and others had recognized Spiritual gifts in his life. They had acted as God’s agents to confer, confirm and affirm those gifts. Timothy, however, had a responsibility – He had to overcome his natural fear or timidity and develop and utilize those gifts. His responsibility was to recognize the potential of the glowing embers of giftedness in his life and “fan into flame the gift of God.” What a picture of our human responsibility to develop and use the Spiritual gifts that God graciously gives!
God gives a rich variety of Spiritual gifts… Everything needed to build and bless others! They may be natural abilities elevated and lifted by the Holy Spirit to a new level or completely supernatural impartations. I don’t know what yours may be, but discerning, trusted, Spiritual leaders can help you discover and affirm them in your life.
Here’s a few additional important Scriptures on this topic…
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good!!” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
“Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them!” (Romans 12:6)
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve on another, as good stewards of God varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ!” (1 Peter 4:10-11)
God has been so gracious and generous to His children! His gifts are varied and precious – perfect for who we are individually and what His purposes are for our lives. He blesses us individually with rich gifts but also through each of us provides everything needed to build and bless others! I gotta tell you, I don’t want to leave a single one of the Lord’s generous and precious gifts unopened and unused on a shelf somewhere! Oh, the words of Apostle Paul to Timothy ring in my ears today… “Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you! With God’s help I’m going to do it!