For Christmas my wife and sons got me an iPod Nano. What a great gift! It looks great. It can hold just about all my cds plus audio books. It will hold several podcasts. It has an FM tuner and it even records video! It is a great gift!
Well, that’s not entirely accurate. It would be a great gift, if I actually used it. It wouldn’t be much of a gift at all if I never took it out of the box or just left it on my night stand and never used it.
And if I never used it, that would mean three things:
A. It isn’t being used as my family intended for me to use it
B. I’m showing ingratitude to them
C. I waste the resources that they used to give me this gift.
It is the same with the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives us. They are given to us out of the love of God in Christ Jesus. But they are intended to be used! They don’t do much – if any – good if we don’t use them.
After Jesus Christ died and rose again from the dead to forgive us our sins and give us new life, He ascended into heaven. One of the reason He ascended was in order to send the Holy Spirit to us. And the Holy Spirit gives us gifts, talents, passions to use in this life.
What for? To make disciples of all nations, according to Jesus in Matthew 28. To grow in our own faith and to help others grow in their faith.
Identifying those gifts is not easy. There is a Spiritual Gifts Discovery Tool developed by the Wisconsin Evangelical Synod that my church is using (you can find it here at the Redeemer website).
Once you identify your gift(s), it is then up to you to use them. That is so important! It isn’t enough to just believe the Holy Spirit gives gifts. It isn’t enough to know what your gift is. You must use it.
And when you do, you will begin to find your purpose in this life. You will begin to find fulfillment, even in these fearful times!