Monday, December 29, 2014

The Gift of Ministry

My friends say I have the gift of gab. They interrupt me to interject a word here and there. While sitting at a friend's house last summer, I cringed when I heard her say, "She hasn't stopped talking since she arrived." But, not even that remark sealed my lips.

If you know me, I am sure you will think I am the world's biggest liar when I tell you I am an introvert. Yes, I am. When my husband and I started our deputation to head to the mission field for the first time, he begged me to speak in the churches we visited. I wouldn't even get up to say hello. Nope! I just couldn't do it. Now when we speak together in churches or speaking events, he asks if I could please sit down and give him five minutes to speak.

Last summer while in the States, we were invited to join a Sunday School class outing at a local restaurant. What a special night I thought––just a part of the gang. How sweet to invite us to fellowship with them. We were all savoring our desserts when one gentleman in the group announced the speakers for the evening. Guess who? We had no Bibles with us, no notes, and certainly no warning that we were the speakers. My husband got up and spoke for ten minutes, I followed. An hour later, I ended––with a lot of laughs––and enjoyed every minute! What caused this metamorphosis?

I still love to be alone, read, ponder, and be quiet. Maybe because when I am with people I never shut up. The truth is, I love both extremes––being alone and being with people. A gift! I believe so!

And the special gift of ministry you received...keep that ablaze! God doesn't want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible. 2 Timothy 1:6-7 (MSG)

There it is! The change! God's gift. I can't hide it under bushel, no! With God's help, I am using the gifts He gave me. I've seen Him do amazing things, and I can't keep quiet. He enables me to do what I can't do without Him. My friends have watched this metamorphosis. I've become bold when I speak about God and sometimes that may scrape like a fork on a plate to some. Sometimes I do need to pull back. But, do I keep quiet when God wants me to speak? I hope not.

However, am I loving and sensible while being bold? I strive to that end. I never would have imagined that I would one day love being in front of an audience. Maybe God saved that gift for me until I was ready for it–-in His timing. To be shy about it would be disobedient at this point in my walk with Him.

When we use the gifts that God has given us, we find that God will give us the power we need. The gifts are not for us, they are to build up the body. They aren't for us to say, "Look at me," but rather, "Look at Him." What gifts has God given you? Are you using them?

Are you blazing? Let's be bold, loving, and sensible––using the special gift of ministry we've received so others can see the flame within us and want what we have––the Savior!

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