Glorifying God With Every Gift
Dramatic displays tend to draw our attention. Think about a hole in one on the golf course or the buzzer-beater on the basketball court. The steady putts and consistent lay-ups or free throws get overshadowed by the sensational moments.
The same thing that happens on the green or between the hoops can happen inside the church with spiritual gifts: we can end up focusing all our attention on the more visible, obvious gifts—perhaps like teaching or leadership—and neglect to see gifts that can be a little harder to glimpse, like helping or administrating. But what we must understand is that spiritual gifts are not valuable just because they are dramatic. The body of Christ needs every part, from head to toe, and every gift of each member (1 Corinthians 12:14-20). Every gift is important. Every gift matters.
Our external expressions of spirituality do not prove that we are pleasing God, nor do they guarantee our salvation. That’s a sobering thought! It is easy to focus on what we do as the evidence of what we are. As we teach, help, give, speak, sing, create, or heal, we can be tempted to look to those deeds as the only necessary evidence of our spiritual life. But according to Jesus, even great performances of seemingly good works do not necessarily indicate that we truly know Him or that He truly knows us (Matthew 7:21-23).
So is there anything we can look to as evidence for faith? The apostle Paul offers us a simple yet profound criterion in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” As you serve God and exercise your gifts, what is your aim? What is your intention? We can’t expect to have perfectly pure motives on this side of heaven, but as we recall the great purchase God has made, we can make it our goal to glorify Him in all that we do. And this is reliable evidence of real faith: for a Christian is someone who knows they have been bought from sin and death at the price of Christ’s blood and who now seeks to serve God with all that they are—to “do all to the glory of God.”
This applies as much to the outgoing, well-known leader as it does to the quiet, unnoticed laborer. Whatever your gifts, whatever your role, whatever your situation, make it your goal to glorify God in all that you do. When that is your aim, you’ll not only serve Him better, but you’ll find yourself experiencing the great, counterintuitive truth that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Make it your goal today to ask yourself at every moment: “What would it look like, here and now, to do all for the glory of the God who loves me and gave Himself for me?”
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
What Does the Lord Require?
6“With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7Will the Lord be pleased with1 thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,2
and to walk humbly with your God?
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