Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Gifts (of the Spirit or service) (11/22/07)
TITLE: The Perfect Gift
By Patricia Todd
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God is a God who delights to give and His gifts are an expression of His love. At Christmas in particular we remember His supreme gift in sending Jesus into the world to die for our sins. How wonderful to know this for ourselves and what a great joy to be able to share this message with others.
In I Corinthians, chapter 12, verses 3 – 11 St. Paul writes of various gifts which God gives to members of the church such as gifts of faith, of miracles and of healing. These too I see as gifts of God's love. For example, if someone is ill God may enable someone in the church to minister a gift of healing to them. God can also enable someone to minister His peace and encouragement to someone who is going through a difficult time.
We read more about the gifts of the Spirit in Romans chapter 12. Sometimes we may think mainly of gifts of teaching and preaching and these are important but, on their own, they may not have great impact. In Romans 12, verses 6 - 8 Paul mentions general things such as serving others, showing kindness and helping people financially. Elsewhere he writes about practising hospitality. So there are many small ways in which we can all show God's love for others.
Once, many years ago, when I was a student, I went to study at Grenoble in France. I suddenly realised that I had left myself without any French currency when I was travelling to the university. It was a public holiday of which I had been unaware followed by a week-end. I didn't know how I was going to manage. I prayed about it and trusted God to work it out.
On the train I had to stand in the corridor and I was standing next to an African student who told me they were going to the same university. When we reached Grenoble the other student helped me to find my way to the university. It then transpired that I needed to pay a month's rent in advance for my student room. Although the other student had only met me, he lent me the money to pay for a room and even gave me dinner tickets for the week-end so that I could eat in the student restaurant. What a wonderful answer to prayer and what an extraordinary act of kindness on the other student's part. I have never forgotten it.
So, at this time of year in particular, when we think of God's gift of His Son, let us think too of the gifts of the Spirit that God would give through us to bless others. God knows the perfect gift that each person needs and He just needs us to be eager and willing to pass it on.
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