Spiritual Gifts/2018

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Opening Sentence

How frustrating is it at Christmas time when you open a present to discover it was meant for someone else? That ever happen to any of you? You get to the tree or your spot on Christmas morning, presents are handed out, and you get this huge present slid your way. You get super excited at how big it is, because the bigger the better right? And as you open it up, instead of it being the biggest tv with PS4 included, it’s actually an outside furniture table for mom’s patio. That ever happen to any of you? Well.... it definitely has happened during some Christmas mornings for me. Erin’s mom is notorious for mislabeling presents and it’s kind of an expected tradition these days! Haha
Well, tonight, we’re not talking about Christmas presents or the biggest gift you’ve ever received, but we’re talking about spiritual gifts. We are discussing the grace and gifts of God through His Son Jesus. I joked about it, but some of you really may receive the biggest gift you’ve ever received tonight. I pray that happens. Let me start us off with something Erin and I got to do last week...
Erin and I were given the privilege of teaching a health & wellness class last week. We really enjoyed it and it was specifically with 9th graders at Blackman High.
I taught a little about love languages while giving the students the opportunity to take the love language test. Throughout this test, it would give students two sentences to pick from that best described them. The whole goal of the test was to help them understand how they received and gave love.
We learned that from the amount of information I shared in regards to how different men and women are.
I want to help us see how God has designed us to help us understand what we were made for and what we do about it.
Instead of 5 love languages to learn, we are going to learn 4 Goals of Grace.
Before we get going, there’s 4 fundamental truths we MUST understand first.
Ephesians 4:7 ESV
7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
Your gift is to be given.
Your gift points to the giver.
Your gift is the grace of God.
The greatest gift of God.

Your gift is to be given.

When you think of gifts, the first thing that comes to mind is that a gift is for you! Right?
Well.... it’s not necessarily like that with spiritual gifts. The gifts we receive from Jesus Christ are in fact for others. They’re not meant to be held onto and cherished. The gifts that Jesus bestows on each of us is for the unity and edification of the church.
Let’s go ahead and talk about it.
The guy who wrote this letter, loved this church. He loved this church so much he wrote that because he heard of this church’s love for other people, he didn’t stop giving thanks to God and praying for these people. ().
The author’s name is Paul. I share that information specifically because you need to be familiar with this name because God called and used this man to write almost the ENTIRE New Testament. That man understood what he was made for and what to do about it. He in fact embodies the 4 Goals of Grace. You need to know his name, because you need to know his purpose. His purpose was the platform of Jesus Christ and all His perfection.
[left off here] **************
What God gave you is not for you. It’s actually for others. That’s fascinating.

Your gift points to the giver.

Most of the time, when talented people show off their talents, people are in awe of the person. There is a deep draw, curiosity, and fascination with the ability within that person to achieve what they achieved through their gifted abilities, typically referred to as talent. In today’s culture, talent points to the talented. The talented get put on a platform and people pay attention to that one person. There’s nothing wrong with giving platforms to people who can perform. And there’s nothing wrong with giving talented people a shot at showing it off. There is something wrong though, when the talent becomes the trophy.
Let me explain what I mean by that. “Talent” in and of itself distinguishes people for what they can show off and how they can perform. Grace says.... There’s “nothing” you can show off or perform to earn it and you are distinguished by what’s been done to you. Does that make sense? Talent points to the talented, your gift of grace points to the giver. This may be difficult to understand....so let me give you a picture....

Your gift is the grace of God.

Inside this verse, something really cool happens. Two different words are used to accurately describe what God has done for us. We got the word grace and gift. This may not make a difference to us because we most likely know what those words mean. Well, let me take us a little deeper as we understand what the Holy Spirit is teaching us about God’s Word. Y’all may have heard me say that the New Testament was actually written in a different language than English. That may not really matter, but it matters when we’re trying to understand what we’re made for and what we do about it. Let me break it down…
Throughout the New Testament the word gift and grace are actually the same word in the original language of the Bible. It happens multiple times.
However.... in this specific instance, God chose to use a more specific word to emphasize the kind of “gift” we have received. The word doesn’t matter if we know it or not, but what it means is that it’s been “freely given, for nothing, or without cause.” Wow.
God gave us gifts. Each of us, for the sole purpose of building each other up into what the Bible calls “the head of the Church,” who is Jesus. That sounds weird, but what it means is that we are all using our gifts to help each other act, trust, be more like, rely, and look like Jesus.
Man this stuff is good.

The greatest gift of God.

It was highly anticipated. The world celebrated. Prominent figures in society recognized this gift. Some people traveled crazy distances to receive and see this gift. It came wrapped, but not in colorful paper. The gift came wrapped and laid in a manger. This gift would later be hung to a tree instead of wrapped and laid underneath it. This tree would be decorated in red and instead of a star, a crown would be placed above it. Instead of bright lights shining, there was actually darkness and an earthquake. Instead of people gathering to celebrate it, this tree was deserted except for a few. This tree was set up in hopes of disproving, but the only hope was found as the stone went rolling. The tree that stood in red with a crown above it, is now the tree we look to and celebrate in awe it. The gift of God was His Son Jesus, who took the place of sin for all of us, in declaration that we could be free because of it.
Jesus. He didn’t come colorfully wrapped, but was wrapped and laid in a manger.
God came wrapped in flesh and walked this Earth and satisfied His own wrath against our sin. He nailed it to a cross and put it on display for the world to see that He has overcome.
I pray when you see your Christmas trees this year, you’ll be thankful for your family and the beauty of it, but I also pray that you’ll consider God’s Gift in Jesus Christ sent for you and everyone to receive. To unravel this gift, repent from your sins, agree with God, and run to Him and confess Him as Lord!


STEP TWO in our next steps class within CONNECT Groups. Take the time to work through these packets. Answer accordingly and please don’t worry about other people’s answers.
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