By Michael Crandall
Senior Pastor, Hillcrest Baptist Church, Dyersburg
What are gifts? Are gifts the things we wrapped up in shining paper or placed in a decorative bag or maybe gifts are the things we place beautiful bows on! Maybe gifts are the things we shared with others just a few weeks ago! And to answer the question we would have to say yes! Yes, we could wrap them in shining paper, or place them in a decorative bag, and yes we can place bows on them, but that is not what the apostle Paul was talking about in I Corinthians 12.
The Apostle Paul was writing to the church at Corinth to share with them a number of things and also to help settle some misunderstandings. Paul in I Corinthians 12, was writing to share with the members of that early church that everyone has a gift of some sort, and that that gift comes from the same God. I think it is important to understand what gifts are. Gifts are the talents that God gives each of us to use in our service to Him. Paul was telling the church at Corinth in verse four “there are different kinds of gifts.” We all know someone who can sing, as some say, like the songbirds, and we love to listen to them. We know that one of their gifts is the gift of song, but on the other hand we all know that one person, who let’s say cannot carry a tune in a bucket! But maybe their gift is the gift of exhortation, which means they can preach like no one else. Which would you rather listen to the one who has the gift of song or that ole preacher? I will answer and say the one with the gift of song!
We have different gifts but we have God! Just because one has the gift of song does not mean they were blessed from the song god, and just because some can preach does not mean they were blessed by the preaching god! What it means is that God, the God Jehovah, blessed them! Paul writes several times sharing with early groups of believers that they all have the same God!
Paul in verse 11 shares with the church at Corinth that “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.” Paul simply says that God and only God can give gifts and that He gives them to whom He thinks needs them. Wow, is that not something to think about that God gives and decides who gets what!!!
The gifts of the spirit are a little different than the gifts we choose for those who we love! We pick gifts hoping they like what we bought. God gives according to who has a need! I am not sure about you but I am glad He supplies all my needs, and that I do not have to depend on anyone but Him!