There was a book I had to read early in high school called The Giver. Im sure many of you have as well. I apologize if this brings back unwanted emotions attached to high school! In this book, a boy saw things differently than the rest of the world and was given the chance to be the receiver of all the memories. Some really good, others terrible, filled with war and violence. The man who gave these memories to this boy was called The Giver.
There is another called The Giver who loves to bestow gifts to each and every one of us. He is a gift-Giver, dream-Giver, talent-Giver and so much more. I don’t know about you, but being in my 30’s has not stopped me from loving gifts. I still like receiving them and still love the feeling of appreciation and recognition when they are given.
There is a passage of scripture in 1 Timothy that talks about a few gifts that God gives. Verse 7 of the first chapter says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Before we venture in to the beauty of what God has given us, we have to understand that there are things God doesn’t give. In this passage it specifically says “fear.” For me personally, I have a list that could fill a book! This used to bother me. I would look around at other’s talents and abilities and be jealous. I would wish to do the same, act the same, and be the same.
Why don’t I have wealth like that?
Why can’t I sing like that?
Why can’t I run and play sports like that?
Some of you may even take this further by saying, “why can’t I have parents like theirs?” “Why didn’t my parents stay together like theirs?” This misunderstanding can lead us to some tough places with even tougher questions.
We have to be ok with what God has not given you before you can accept and fully engage in what He has given. I can’t celebrate with others success until I get here. I can’t appreciate what I do have, until I get here. If I could give you one piece of advise to walk away from in life, it would be this. God has not given you things, and that is ok!
Now on to what God has given! Of everything God could have Paul write to Timothy, He chooses these three things.
Love - This is all we need! At least that is what I am told. 1 Corinthians 13 shows us how important love is. It is even greater than faith and hope! As God loved us, we have the capacity to love others. This is what God gave us. Don’t walk away from it! No excuses! It’s yours. Use it wisely.
Power - Unfortunately, this is not the ability to bench press 300lbs. That would be a great gift! “God, if you would only give me what you gave Samson, I would serve you with my whole heart!” Anybody with me?! What He does give, is power over sin. Power to do what is right. Power to stand for righteousness and justice. Power to live a consistent, godly life each and every day. “The same power that raised Christ from the dead, resides in us!” (My paraphrase)
Sound Mind - For me, this might be the greatest gift. Again, each of these are for you! This particular one allows me to lay my head down at night and sleep with peace. I can overcome stress and anxiety that comes with life. God is not the author of confusion. My pastor asks a question often of unbelievers, “what do you do with your guilt?” With God, we can give it to Him. We can cast ALL our cares in Him! What an incredible gift He gives to us!
Take advantage of these gifts! Understand how much God loves you. Let that fuel your love for others. Take His power that is within you to live a righteous and godly life so you can have a peace that passes all understanding! God has called us and gifted us the ability to live higher than we are living! Start living it out today!