“My child is in the gifted class.” We love to be proud of the children in our lives. We are sure they have abilities and talents; we are delighted when those gifts shine. Every school program, every recital, every ballgame is watched by proud adults whose hearts are full because children are using their gifts.

The same is true for us, even though we are grown-up people. Our Heavenly Father knows precisely just how gifted each one of us is. It is God who gives every talent and ability; it is God who issues every opportunity for our gifts to be used. The Apostle Peter wrote about this:

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 4:10-11, NLT).

Peter says several important things about the gifts we have:

There are many gifts. Though Peter lists only two—speaking and serving—both Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 contain longer lists of a great variety of gifts. Teaching, preaching, and leading are more visible gifts. But where would any business be without good organizers? The gift of administration is a spiritual gift. Thank goodness there are detail people who see that the bills are paid, and the building is looked after. Others have gifts of wisdom, giving or encouraging. All are important for the strengthening of the church.

Each one of us has spiritual gifts to use in serving God and other people. None of us can claim that only a few have special gifts. For instance, some have a special gift of mercy. They visit those in care facilities, serve in jail ministry, write notes to the homebound, or knit prayer shawls for those who are suffering. No church can reflect the love of God well without these displays of mercy.

Our gifts matter to God and to other people. Peter writes that when you use your gifts you are bringing glory to God. Imagine that! Offering your gifts helps others see more clearly who God is and what God is like. Your gifts are needed. We are a team in which every member needs the contributions of the others.

We are to use our gifts with enthusiasm. Peter says that God will supply the strength and energy to serve well. Any of us might feel a bit uncertain about whether our gifts matter. But Peter tells us they do and that God Himself will supply us with strength and energy. God called Moses to speak before Pharaoh even though he was not a confident speaker; God helped him, and slaves were freed. God called Gideon to lead an army despite his limitations; God used him to win a battle. God called Esther to stand alongside a royal husband; God used her to prevent genocide. God provides the spiritual gifts we need in order to do the work to which we are called. Truly, He is our help, as the Psalms say.

You are in the gifted class! None of us has every gift, but each of us has some of them. They are given to us for God’s glory, for our good, and for the edification of others. We need each other. Together we are the church of Jesus Christ, displaying the love and glory of God to a world that needs to see it and receive it.

by Pastor June Barrow