News & Events
- June 4, 2015
- Posted by: LSEM
- Category: Devotions
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. 1 Peter 4:10
Here’s a social experiment you might attempt. On your next birthday, invite your friends and family over for a big party. As your guests arrive, ask them to place any gifts they brought on a table in the corner of the room, then direct them to begin having fun. Have a great meal, play games, laugh, smile, and enjoy every moment of the day. Blow out the candles, eat cake and ice cream, and finish the evening sitting around a bonfire (or some other relaxing activity if the weather is bad). When the party is over, sincerely thank each guest for coming and escort them to their cars.
Sounds like a great day? It is, except that you will have offended just about every person who came to the party. Not sure how? Let’s review: food, fun, cake, ice cream, joy…. Oops – you forgot the gifts. So why do you think that something as little as opening up gifts would wreck an otherwise perfect day? When you think about it, you realize that the gift is not only important to the recipient, but also to the giver. Somebody took the time to find you a gift, buy it, wrap it, and bring it to you so they could see you receive, enjoy and use it. That’s because gifts aren’t designed to simply sit on a table or be left in the closet. Their purpose is to bring joy to the giver and be used by the receiver (which is exactly why your mom made you wear that ugly sweater every time your Aunt Betty came over to visit).
Miss Manners would tell you this is true, and so would the New Testament. In his epistle Peter reminds us that we have all received great gifts from God our Father. Over the course of our lives, we not only discover our gifts but we also learn how to use them for our benefit as well as for the benefit of others. To do otherwise would be to take a gift given to us by God and leave it unopened, unused and unappreciated. As stewards of the things God has provided, we must strive to maximize the gifts we have been given. Large or small, simple or elaborate, impactful or insignificant – every gift given came with a purpose that would be fully realized when used to fulfill God’s perfect plan.
So share your great gifts with those around you. Teachers give the gift of insight and learning. Doctors and nurses give the gift of healing. Farmers give the gift of food. Artists give the gift of beauty. Financiers give the gift of wealth management. We all have something, be it money, time, talents, or special abilities. And all believers can give the gift of faith shared to others as Christ first shared it with them. After all, His death and resurrection have provided us all with the greatest gift anyone will ever receive: forgiveness, grace, mercy, and an eternity of praising God in the place He prepared just for us.
And you won’t need a sweater! (Sorry Aunt Betty)
Devotion by Richard Schumacher
Assistant Director, LSEM Programs & Services