What do you have?
A guest speaker1 at our church recently asked the question: “What do you have?” Her message was based on the following verse:
Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”
During the fellowship dinner we had after the speaker’s message, someone said to me, “I never thought about that verse in that way, did you?” I replied that I had not. We had both previously focused on the man’s healing and his subsequent joy rather than what Peter had to give as opposed to what he did not have. It made my friend and me both think about what we had to give, spiritually speaking. In other words, do we know what our spiritual gifts are and if so, how are we using them for God’s glory?
I know that one of my God-given gifts is teaching. The desire to teach has been in me from a young age. As a teen, I knew that I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher, but was not aware that my desire to teach was a gift from God. Although I had been in church all my life, I don’t remember having been taught about spiritual gifts. There may have been Bible studies offered on the subject but, if there were, I didn’t avail myself of them.
I married young and had two children by the time I was twenty-two. It was my choice to be a stay-at-home mom rather than attend college. Years later, when I was in my thirties and had added two more children to our household, the Lord led me to become a Sunday School teacher of first, second and third graders. That lasted for a year or so, but our circumstances required a move to a different town.
My children grew up and left home which gave me ample time to do whatever I pleased, but it pleased the Lord for me to become the director of the Sunday evening children’s program at the small church we attended. I was also once again teaching first, second and third graders on Sunday mornings and I loved every minute of it! I found myself devoting hours each week to preparing for my classes on Sunday mornings and evenings. During these times of intense study in the word of God my spiritual growth leaped amazingly forward. I benefitted from my time spent in the Bible as much as, if not more than, my young students although they were like little sponges, soaking up everything being taught even when I did not think they were listening.
Over the following years, changes in residence brought my husband and me to different churches. The Lord moved me from teaching children to teaching a ladies’ Bible study group. From there He has led me to become a Lay Servant in my current church, which means that I alternate with other Lay Servants in our church who fill in for our pastor when he is unable to serve due to illness or being out-of-town. God has been good in showing me what my spiritual gifts are. In response to the question, “What do you have?”, I am confident that teaching, administration, and organization are what I have to give in service to the Lord, although He could certainly enlarge my territory. (See I Chronicles 4:10)
Among others, Peter had the gift of healing, and he used his faith to tell the man to “rise up and walk.” All Christians have spiritual gifts, although some may be stronger than others. If you are unsure about yours, the following article can help you to discover them: https://www.joyfultimestoday.com/whats-your-gift/
Like Peter, we can all go forth and serve the Lord joyfully with whatever gifts He has given us!
1 Dyke, Lynn, Rev. (2016) Retrieved from a message delivered on May 29, 2016, at Theodosia United Methodist Church, Theodosia, MO
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