Putting Gifts to Work

James Cook

READ : Romans 12:1–8

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them. (v. 6)

Paul has been hammering away at the idea that when it comes to salvation, all is of God. We can add nothing to what Christ has accomplished for us. But this does not mean that we have nothing to do. Our task is to respond, presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. Paul goes on to suggest what this offering means for members of the body of Christ: “Having gifts . . . let us use them.” Church members of his day were not expected to have the same gifts, but they were expected to put their different gifts to the same use.

The church still possesses a variety of gifts. A congregation that enters upon a major project such as a building program is soon amazed at what its membership can do. In addition to Paul’s list, members bring gifts of leadership, administration, organization, experience, craftsmanship, and foresight. But the real revelation is not what the church can do in the enthusiasm of a special project, but what the church could be all the time. The gifts are always there but they are not always being used. All of us are familiar with the Parable of the Talents. We are only beginning to learn that its lesson in stewardship applies to the whole range of God’s gifts. “Having gifts . . . let us use them!” (originally published October 23, 1961)

PRAYER

Thank you, God, for the gifts you have given me. Help me to use them more. Amen.