by Pastor Tim Burt
When Jesus saved you and I, He gave us eternal life. But He gave us more than that. He left us with a quest—the quest to become Christ-like so that we could be a blessing and a light to the world around us. We see this in 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV) “But we all… beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
When the Bible says to be conformed to the image of Christ, and a man or woman wants to have a greater revelation of that image, two passages of scripture that are often looked to for greater insight are Proverbs 31 and Psalm 112. I have always loved Psalm 112. It is to a man what Proverbs 31 is to a woman. In both cases they are templates and paint the reflection of what any man or woman would desire to see themselves become through Christ.
I meditate on the verses of Psalm 112 time and time again. I have never read these verses without gaining strength and a renewed vigor as to the kind of person God desires me to be. Let me make it clear that these verses are by no means for men only. They are much about strength of character, integrity and identity in the Lord. Those qualities are universal to men or women alike.
Psalms 112:1,9 (NLT) says, “Praise the Lord! How joyful are those who (reverentially) fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands… They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor.”
The words “shares freely and gives generously with those in need” show us that Christ-like character developed in a person. This statement is often thought of and interpreted as one who gives monetary or material gifts to those that are lacking. That is a proper interpretation but the application does not stop there. This person sharing with others is one that acts instinctively out of the core of his or her being. Just as he finds it necessary to breath, so is it also a part of him or herself to give something to others. The reason it would be shallow to think in terms of just monetary or material is because God has endowed us with gifts that go beyond the monetary or material.
The majority of people experience times when their ability to give monetary or material gifts is limited. But Romans 12:6 says “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” The Bible tells us that by the grace of God, He has endowed us with various giftings and talents. These are very precious gifts. An example of just one type of gifting mentioned is the gift of mercy.
I think that most of us have had occasions where we’ve done something stupid or been woefully inadequate at an assigned task. At times like that, we often feel discouraged and beat ourselves up. Just about that time, God will send a mercy motivated person along who does everything in their power to comfort you, remind you of God’s love and forgiveness, and encourage you with kind and exhorting words. You would have a great appreciation for this gift freely given to you called mercy. All the various talents and abilities that God has provided us with, are gifts that can be freely given to others. Every time someone volunteers to serve you in church in any capacity, such as when you bring your child into a church’s children’s ministry classroom, you are being blessed by people who are freely giving their gifts to bless others. They minister to your child so that you yourself can be ministered to without distraction.
God has endowed each of us with gifts to bless other lives. And those gifts go far beyond the four walls of a church. They reach out to those we are surrounded by every single day. As we begin to open our eyes and see the needs of those around us, we can open our hearts and let God draw those gifts out.
A short time ago I was in a restaurant with some friends having breakfast. A gentleman overheard us talking about God. He was in a very difficult place in his life and came over to our table to ask us to pray for him. I shared Jesus with him and he asked Jesus to be His Lord and Savior right then and there. We then prayed about his needs. After the breakfast, I gave him some books to help him in his Christian walk that I always keep in supply in my car. I also invited him to church. He has been coming ever since and his life has been utterly transformed by the power of God. He didn’t need money, he needed prayer and Jesus. We stopped what we were doing and God’s gifting in us, met his needs.
You are surrounded every day by people in need! Ask God to use you, pay attention, and respond as you are led by the Holy Spirit. There is NOTHING more exciting that being used by God to freely give from the treasure of gifts that He has placed within you! This is a part of what helps us become transformed into the image of God over time. Ready to experience some transforming? Be available and pay attention to how God uses you and your gifts today!
Romans 12:6 (NIV) “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us….”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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