Donít Be Ashamed of Your Gifts

 

Itís not the size of the gift we give but the size of the gift God gives.

  1. (Luke 21:1-6 NIV)As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. {2} He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. {3} "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. {4} All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on." {5} Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, {6} "As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down."

The gifts of God cannot be bought or they would not be gifts!

  1. (Acts 8:18-22 NIV)When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money {19} and said, "Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit." {20} Peter answered: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! {21} You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. {22} Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart.

God honors us when we honor Him.

  1. (Acts 10:4 NIV)Cornelius stared at him in fear. "What is it, Lord?" he asked. The angel answered, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.

Itís important to use our gifts well.

  1. (2 Cor 8:20-21 NIV)We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. {21} For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.
  2. (1 Pet 4:10 NIV)Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.
  3. (Mat 25:14-29 NIV)"Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. {15} To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. {16} The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. {17} So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. {18} But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. {19} "After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. {20} The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.' {21} "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' {22} "The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.' {23} "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' {24} "Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. {25} So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.' {26} "His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? {27} Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. {28} "'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. {29} For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.

In truth we have nothing to give that wasnít first given to us by God.

  1. (James 1:17 NIV)Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Some gifts mentioned in the Bible

1.      Holy Spirit

2.      Eternal Life

3.      Prophesying

4.      Serving

5.      Teaching

6.      Encouraging

7.      Contributing to the needs of others

8.      Leadership

9.      Showing mercy

10.  Message of wisdom

11.  Message of knowledge

12.  Faith

13.  Gifts of healing

14.  Miraculous powers

15.  Distinguishing between spirits

16.  Speaking in different kinds of tongues

17.  Interpretation of tongues

18.  Gifts of administration

  1. (Mat 5:3-11 NIV)"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. {4} Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. {5} Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. {6} Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. {7} Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. {8} Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. {9} Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. {10} Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. {11} "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

So these are just a few of the many, many gifts people receive from God. We may desire a gift we donít have and God may even grant it. But, we all have gifts and the gifts we actually have are the gifts we need to use.

 

*†† (1 Tim 4:14 NIV)Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

*†† (1 Cor 14:1 NIV)Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.

*†† (1 Cor 14:12 NIV)So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.

*†† (1 Cor 12:11 NIV)All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

*†† (1 Cor 12:28-31 NIV)And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. {29} Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? {30} Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues ? Do all interpret? {31} But eagerly desire the greater gifts.

 

Now, I want to mention the gift of prosperity. Prosperity from God is not a gift to be ashamed of. On the contrary prosperity is a gift that can be extremely well used. It is also a gift that can make us think we donít need God. Like many gifts it is true that the more that is given the more that is expected. Nevertheless, consider Job, Abraham, Solomon, and David for example. They were all men God blessed with prosperity. Even Jesus was apparently blessed with prosperity. When He was crucified the soldiers cast lots for His garments.

*†† (John 19:23-24 NIV)When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. {24} "Let's not tear it," they said to one another. "Let's decide by lot who will get it." This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, "They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing." So this is what the soldiers did.

(Eccl 5:19-20 NIV)Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work--this is a gift of God. {20} He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.

 

(Eccl 6:1-2 NIV)I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on men: {2} God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them, and a stranger enjoys them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.

 

What do you do with a gift? Put it away and ignore it? Hide it? Or do you use it wisely? What you donít do is give the gift away. Share it yes, give it away no. Freely you receive and freely you should give. Cherish your gifts but donít give them away and donít be ashamed of them. God is the giver of all good gifts.

*†† (2 Tim 2:15 NIV)Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

 

Finally, let us not forget: The greatest gift is Jesus. Jesus is the gift of Love! Love demands we use our gifts well and not be ashamed to acknowledge them or the One that gives them.