Just these lines my friends, to say…
God has blessed you….and made your life a blessing.
God has chosen you…and called you His own.
God has gifted you…and rejoices in all that you are.
These are beautiful words that were shared with me recently in a card of blessing and affirmation. They made me think of so many people who do not know this kind of blessing. They made me think of the people in our loving congregation. Do we claim these words of blessing and hope? In a world of beauty and suffering… in a nation of promise and political division, in a culture of look out for me first… do we keep our eyes focused on Jesus and the Kingdom of God?
How has God blessed you? With people who care for you? With health? With the ability and the means to enjoy the good things of life? In our upcoming American holiday of Thanksgiving, will you be pausing to recall God’s blessings in your life?
Did you know that God has chosen you? That God calls you God’s child? Precious. Beloved. God created you. You bear God’s image.
How has God gifted you? With a gift of prayer? Faith? Helping behind the scenes in ministries of hospitality? In teaching? In sharing your love and gifts for music? In witnessing? In sharing your story of God’s presence and power in your life? A gift is a gift is a gift. God’s gifts are powerful. God’s gifts are innumerable. Some have gifts of discernment-listening for God’s voice and will. Others have gifts of giving, gifts of healing, gifts of humor. Some of our gifts differ: some pray on their knees, some pray with their hands lifted in the air. Sometimes we mix up the fruit of the Spirit with the gifts of the Spirit. Spiritual gifts are special, extraordinary abilities that God gives to build up the body of Christ, the church, for ministry to one another and to the world. One way that is helpful to think about this is: the fruit of the Spirit is what we are; the gifts of the Spirit are what we do. Being and Doing-both vital parts of being a Christian.
God has gifted each one of us, and God rejoices in who we are, and God wants us to discover, rekindle, and use our God given gifts to God’s glory and for the Kingdom of God, and for the mutual good of our Christian community. Apostle Paul reminds his protégé Timothy to re-fire, rekindle his gift for ministry. He reminds Timothy to fan the flame of the gifts of God. (2 Tim 1:6) We do not choose our gifts, but we do choose whether to use them. Ramsey Church: Blessed, Chosen, and Gifted: Let’s stir up the gifts! Let’s fan the flame!
A continued joy and blessing to be your Pastor and friend….