We have all received gifts from God. Saint Paul taught us the gifts should be used, and we should use them with faith. Whether we have received the gift of teaching, or organization or even giving, our gifts should be used for the glory of God. They should be used with faith, with love, and with mercy.
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My brothers and sisters in Christ this morning, St. Paul reminded us that all of us received different gifts from God. And he lists a few of them. They are not an exhaustive list by any means, but he says having then gifts differing, according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them. And that’s where I really want to rest us today. Let us use them. He continues. If prophecy let us prophecy in proportion to our faith, in or ministry, let us use it in ministering, teaching exhorting, in giving and then it says he who shows mercy with cheerfulness. You see my brothers and sisters, all of the gifts that God has given to us, all of us different gifts, but all for one purpose to be used for the mercy and glory of God.
And we saw it in the gospel, acted out right in front of us this morning. These friends, knowing that Christ was there, brought their friend to Christ to be healed. They used their gifts in this case, the gift of devotion to their friend and the gift of faith. And they brought their friend to Christ. And what did Christ say? Seeing their faith. He says, your sins are forgiven you. He says, oh, that’s not good enough. Fine. Pick up your bed and go walk. And he healed the paralyzed man. Why? Because the four friends used the gifts that God had given them.
When we use God’s gifts, great things can happen. Wonderful things, marvelous things, sometimes even miracles. But what’s important is that we use our gifts to glorify God. And remember what St. Paul says, use them in proportion to our faith. Don’t just do something, but do it with faith. Don’t just reach out and help someone help them with faith. I’m reminded many times, even unbelievers can do good things. Even unbelievers can feed the hungry and clothe the naked. So it’s not about what we do, but why we do it because God has given us gifts. And as I wrote to you in my bulletin article, there are so many of us all with so many different opportunities and gifts. This is the year for us to show God our faith and our commitment to him, and to use the gifts for the glory of his church.
If we have friends who need healing, and I’m not just talking physical healing, but spiritual healing, we can use our gifts as the friends did in this mornings gospel. We can bring our friends to Christ. If we have the gift of organization, the church always needs those who can help organize the work of the church. All of these gifts, my brothers and sisters have a purpose. A God given purpose.
Now you don’t have to raise your hands, but how many of you have ever been asked or heard a conversation, God has a purpose for me in your life. What is your purpose in life? Have you ever heard conversations such as this? God has a purpose for all of us. And it isn’t what the world might think. Our purpose is not to be a banker or to be a teacher. Our purpose, my brothers and sisters is to use the gifts that God has given us with faith and with love and with mercy. That’s our purpose. If our purpose is teaching, we teach with love, faith and mercy. If our gifts are giving, some people have been given great gifts financially, and they’ve been given the gift of giving. St. Paul says to give with liberality, to give freely in faith and love and mercy.
Think this week, my brothers and sisters of the gifts that God has given you, and then ask yourself, how can I use them in faith, in love and in mercy? And how can I use them to glorify God and to lift up his church? If we can reach that level of faith, my brothers and sisters, we’re going to see great things happen. We’ve already seen such amazing things happen in the history of our community, but today is the beginning of tomorrow. And tomorrow depends upon those of us who are living today to use our gifts for God’s church, with faith, with love, and with mercy. Glory to God for all things.
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