For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:3-8)
So many times as Pastor I have heard people exclaim how wonderful another person’s contribution to the kingdom of God. Then they go on to say, “I could never do anything so wonderful.” It is common place in the church and it is one of my pet peeves. So please permit me to peeve away. Here is the truth. God has given “Gifts of Grace” to each and everyone us. The people of God in a congregation are like a jigsaw puzzle which when fit together properly completes the full view the puzzle was designed to portray. No piece is really more important than another. Each piece has its part to play in the greater whole.
When we move beyond the “puzzle” analogy we discover that the “gifts of grace” are talents and abilities that the church needs to accomplish the mission of God. This is a crucial part of God’s plan for us to hear God’s call and prepare for being sent to go, make, baptize, and teach disciples for Jesus. All kinds of gifts are needed to make this happen. We all need to believe that God has use for us in His enterprise. He has given each of us “Gifts of Grace” that will help with what he is calling us to do. We need to work together to discover what these gifts are and how God wants us to use them.
Here are some hints for discovering what your gifts might be, in case you don’t know. Your gift is going to be something you find enjoyable, easy, and simple to do, but other people find difficult and unappealing. Other people will affirm your gifts by thanking you and praising you for them. You will feel slightly embarrassed because it seems so minor to you. As you work at using your gift over time it will start to produce fruit. This can come in many ways, so be creative in comprehending what this means. Most of all, be confident that you have gifts that God has given you. And you are being called to use them in the service of God’s kingdom.
Reread Romans 12:3-8 again from the first part of this article. This is a promise from God’s word. You each have “Gifts of Grace” that are crucial to our mission as a congregation in the Kingdom of God. Please accept my sincere gratitude to you and to the Holy Spirit for the gifts that so crucial to bringing this congregation into being. I urge each of you to continue to seek discovery of your Gifts of Grace and to put them work put them to work in the service of the Gospel.