Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Common Use of Our Faith and God’s Gifts

“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”

—Romans 12:3 (NIV).

The grandest evangelistic epistle, Paul’s Romans, is littered with pungent theology. But it’s this verse that popped into my vision recently in conjunction with front-of-mind knowledge of that personal level of faith and gifting God’s bestowed on each and every one of us that lives and breathes in this life.

With this verse we see that Paul is commanding the Romans and anyone else who’ll read and listen with their heart to very seriously consider with true acumen and straight sight what God has delivered as we prepare to wage spiritual war in his name. For the presence of moral and spiritual casualties lies at stake where we flippantly or egotistically misuse or abuse the gifts and level of faith we have.

Perhaps some of us are not as bold as we ought to be; certainly there are many who’re too bold, and as I come to also remind myself, we face him one day. That should be plenty enough to sober us in our judgment regarding what we have to offer, and how we use these gifts and our personal measure of God-filled faith.

We all have measures of faith; at one level those of us who call Christ Jesus our Lord have the same sanctifying level of upholding grace with which to rely upon. In our living faith we’re assured the ticket to heaven—the journey first class with credit. But there’s also a faith that we must consider this side of heaven; the James’ faith, or the faith resplendent in deeds.

Enter the gifts. If we claim to have certain gifts yet we don’t use them our faith is useless. Likewise if we claim to have gifting and this is not supported in truth, we potentially make God out to be irrelevant, a fool’s god. Everyone has separate and unique gifting, of course. We must respect that God uses all us differently—some more, some less.

Some are used visibly, others not. There’s no need for envy or jealousy; we’re all as important as the next servant of God. This is God’s view.

Our gifts are designed to bring glory to God; indeed our entire lives are to be sacrifices of this type of worship. We can see here how very critically important it is that our faith is a living faith and that our gifts utilised are effective in the service of God and others—in ways that make the best impact for society and the kingdom of heaven here and to come.

© 2009 S. J. Wickham.

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