Philippians 1:6 … being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
My God is … The One Who Sanctifies Philippians 1:6
1: to set apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use :consecrate
2: to free from sin : purify
3a : to impart or impute sacredness, inviolability, or respect to
b : to give moral or social sanction to
4: to make productive of holiness or piety <observe the day of the sabbath, to sanctify it — Deuteronomy 5:12(Douay Version)>
God has begun a good work in you
And me. I am saved. God has changed me. He has changed me from wanting to do only what pleases me to focusing more on what is important to Him. I’m not boasting, because I didn’t do it. God started that good work in me through my salvation in Jesus Christ.
A good work?
I’m such a screw up. How could there be any good in me? Well, it’s not my own doing, but God who puts that good work in you. He puts that good work in you so that you in turn can do good things. You can use your gifts to build up and strengthen the church and the body of Christ. Helping each other by using our own gifts helps us to grow in maturity in our faith so we can know God more fully.
Know Your Gifts
You have gifts. You’ve been Sanctified, set apart by God. Your talent or gift is meant to be used to further the Kingdom of God. Throughout the years, I have taken a lot of “Gift Assessments” to see where I could be used in the church. They are really useful tools to help you identify what your gifts are, and when used with a Bible study can help you to figure out how you’re actually going to use them to build up the Body of Christ.
I however am more manipulative than that. I answer those questions, knowing what they’re asking, and I often answer them as I wish I would be, not as I really am. I take away from the gifts the Lord has given me by diminishing the importance of the gifts I do have. God gave me the gifts I have for a reason. He uniquely designed me to do what He’s calling me to do. So when those assessments come back and say “You’re good at everything and really good at this”, I pray that the Lord will help me to truly find my calling in Him.
Your own gifts assessment would probably be a bit more accurate (I’m sure you’re not as manipulative as me). But if you find yourself still confused about how to use your gifts in the church, start doing the things that bring you joy. If it’s teaching the kids, teach Sunday School. If you really don’t like kids (some of us who have kids even feel this way sometimes), maybe your calling is to cheerfully clean the church. Maybe you’re the perfect person to repave the parking lot, start a food bank, lead a mission trip, file papers, give encouragement to the staff and volunteers or to pray. Probably you have more than one gift, but try one out, test drive it and pray to the Lord to bless it. As we each use our gifts, we’ll grow. Our church will grow (in maturity). We’ll be able to know Jesus more fully. I want some of that fullness.
What are your gifts?
(Want to take a gift assessment test? Here are some sites that have some – I haven’t tried them all – so don’t come crying to me if your gift is cleaning!)