The Gifts That We Should Give Part 3

Matthew 2:1-2, 11

Romans 12:3-8

I Peter 4:10-11

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him. . . .

And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” 

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Two weeks  ago we began a series entitled the gifts that we should give and we talked about giving our treasure because the wise men gave Jesus their gold to signify that he was and is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.  

We give our treasure to support the ministry.

We give our treasure to sustain the mission.

We give our treasure because it is sovereignly mandated.  

Last week we talked about giving our time because the wise men gave Jesus frankincense signifying that he is the great high priest and just like the high priest Jesus gave his time so we should give our time too.

We give our time in seeking the Lord in his word.

We give our time in service to the world.

We give our time in sending up praise to the Lord.

This week I would like to talk about giving of our talent because that is exactly what Jesus did while he was here on earth.  We learned in Bible Study this week that the wise men gave Jesus myrrh which was strange because myrrh is an embalming spice, but the wise men giving Jesus myrrh signified that they had faith that he was their savior.  And the greatest talent that Jesus gave us was him sacrificing his life to save us, and because Jesus gave his talent we must give our talents as well…  Yes dying was a talent…  

Because he died we get to live.

Because he died we are healed.

Because the died we are delivered.

Because he died we are redeemed.

Because he died we are set free.

Because even though he died, he was able to defeat death, even death on a cross.  And this makes him our talented savior.  But he also displayed his talent in his miracles, his teaching, his preaching, his mentoring, his healings.  Jesus gave the world his talents and we should give our talents as well.

Shall we look at the text…

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him. . . .

And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” 

Now as we learned in Bible Study the last couple of weeks the significance in this story is not found in the wise men themselves, but in the gifts that they brought.  All we know about the wise men is that they came from the east following a star to worship Jesus.  We do not know if they were kings.  We do not know if they were wise.  But we do know treat they came bearing gifts.  Gold for their king.  Frankincense for their great high priest.  And myrrh for their savior.  This is what we know.  The gave to Jesus and Jesus gave and gives to us, and this is why we should give our gifts.  We talked about giving our treasure.  We talked about giving our time.  Now let’s talk about giving our talent.  And I know someone is thinking what gift, what talent to I have to give.  Well let me show you.

Paul tells the church in Rome For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.  

Paul was telling the church that we all have gifts, but don’t think to highly of yourself because of your gift.  Instead use your gift toy glorify God.

This next passage of scripture is special to me because it is the scripture that I would reference whenever I ministered through gospel rap.  Whenever someone would say to me that I should not do that in the church.  I would reference this text.  Because I truly believe that whatever gift you have should be used to glorify God and build up the kingdom.  

Peter says this in his letter, 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.  

Now there were some things that Peter and Paul did not agree on, but this was not one of them.  Both of them believed that we all have received gifts and talents from God, and by His grace we should be using them to glorify God.  We should be giving our talents.

We give our talents in three ways.

We give our talents to express to the pew the power of God.  In other words, we give our talents to the church.  We use our talents, our God given gifts in the church.  I truly believe that God has blessed us with gifts and talents to be used in the church.  To bless the body. That is why Paul tells the church in our text today that we all have one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function.  So the the functions that each of these members have individually bless the entire body.  And it is the same in the body of christ.  We are all a part of the body of Christ and we all have different functions in the body.  We all have different gifts and talents to fulfill our function or our purpose.

We express the power of God when we sing.

When we preach.

When we teach.

When we usher.

When we work the sound.

When we organize the event.

When we cook a meal.

When we send a card.

When we clean.

When we shovel the snow.

When we pull the weeds.

When we make a phone call.

When we dance.

When we play an instrument.

So what does giving my talent have to do with the power of God?  Let me answer that question with a few of my own.

How many times have you felt the power of God in a preached word?

How many times have you felt the power of God in a Sunday school lesson?

How many times have you felt the power of God in a song sung?

How many times have you felt the power of God in the way an usher treated you?

How many times have you felt the power of God in a phone call from a saint?

How many times have you felt the power of God in a card you received?

How many times have you felt the power of God in a praise dance you observed?

How many times have you felt the power of God in a meal that was cooked for you?

We use our gifts in accordance to the grace God has given us.

We use our talents to express to the pew the power of God.

We give our talents to expose the people to the passion of God.  This is how we give our talent and gift to the world so that they can see that God loves them.  There are so many people in the world that do not know and do not believe that God loves them.  I know this is hard for some of us to believe because we have experienced the unconditional love of God.  

We know for God so loved the world… 

We know that greater is he…  

We know that we can do all things…

But let’s be honest this morning.  We did not always know and believe that God loved us.  As a matter of fact, there was a time in some of our lives when we thought that there was no way that God could love us because we didn’t even love ourselves.  We did not like what we saw in the mirror.  But someone used their gifts and talents to expose us to passion of God.  This reminds me of a story of a conversation in a barber shop.  And in this conversation they were arguing about the existence of God.  And the barber says there is no God.  If  there was a God.  

Why is there so much violence?  

Why is there so much hate?  

Why is there so may killings?  

Why are so many people addicted to drugs?  

Why is there prostitution?  

Why is there abuse?  

Why is there COVID-19?  

If there was a God all this bad stuff would not be happening.  And the customer notices a homeless person with long unkept hair and a rough looking beard and he says to the barber there is no such thing as a barber.  Barbers do not exist.  And the barber says I am right here.  I just cut your hair.  I have been cutting your hair for years.  And the customer says, if barbers exist why is that homeless man out there with unkept hair and a rough looking beard?  And the barber says because he hasn’t come to me for a haircut.  And the customer said and that’s exactly why the world is in the state that it is in because people don’t come to God. And one of the many ways that people can come to God is by us giving our talents so the people can see the passion of God.

We give our talents to experience the pleasure of the presence of God.  So the first two points are about giving to others, but this last point is about giving to ourselves.  I know as men and women of God we often think that it is selfish to think of ourselves, but I want you to know this morning that it is imperative to think of ourselves as well.  Jesus says to love your neighbor as yourself.  Well you cannot love your neighbor as yourself unless you love yourself.  Where are you going with this Pastor Brian?  When we are giving our gifts and talents.  When we are teaching, and preaching, and ushering, and cleaning, and cooking, and doing all the things that God has called and gifted us to do we experience the pleasure of his presence.  Does anybody know what I am talking about? 

Have you ever been ministering to someone and experienced the presence of God?  

Have you ever been serving someone and experienced the presence of God? 

Have you ever been used by the Lord and experienced the presence of God?  

Well I have, and I do not know about anybody else, but there is no place that I would rather be than in the presence of God…

I love my family.

I love my friends.

I love my job.

I love my church.

I love working out.

I love studying the word.

I love watching my eagles.

I love watching the buckeyes.

I love competition.

I love many things.

But there is nothing that I love more, than being in the presence of God, and this is what happens when we give our talents.  We experience the pleasure of being in the presence of God.

Let me share this story with you as I close.

The Cracked Pot

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the masters house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his masters house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”

“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your masters house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts.” The pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the masters house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the Pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pots side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my masters table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We re all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Fathers table. In Gods great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don’t be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and you too can be the cause of beauty. Know that in our weakness we find our strength.

So I was just wondering the Sunday before Christmas if we have any cracked pots in the house or online.

Is there anybody here that is ready to give God your talents in spite of your cracks

In spite of your blemishes.

In spite of your flaws.

In spite of your short comings.

In spite of you mistakes.

In spite of your past.

In spite of your present.

In spite of your issues.

In spite of your circumstance

In spite of your situation.

In spite of your thoughts.

In spite of your feelings.

In spite of your lack of experience.

In spite of your wounds.

In spite of your scars.

Because you understand that if the Lord can use anything he can use me.

So take my hands Lord take my feet.

Touch my heart Lord speak through me.

If you can use anything Lord you can use me.

So since he can use me I am going to give my talents.

He gave them to me anyway.  So I mind as well give them back and use them for his glory.

That is what is so beautiful of that famous Christmas Carol the Little Drummer Boy.  A song that was never my favorite, but when I really thought about it we should all have the attitude of the little drummer boy.

Come they told me pa rum pum pum pum

A newborn King to see pa rum pum pum pum

Our finest gifts we bring pa rum pum pum pum

To lay before the King pa rum pum pum pum

rum pum pum pum rum pum pum pum

So to honour Him pa rum pum pum pum

When we come

Baby Jesus pa rum pum pum pum

I am a poor boy too pa rum pum pum pum

I have no gift to bring pa rum pum pum pum

That’s fit to give a King pa rum pum pum pum

rum pum pum pum rum pum pum pum

Shall I play for you? pa rum pum pum pum

on my drum?

Mary nodded pa rum pum pum pum

The ox and lamb kept time pa rum pum pum pum

I played my drum for Him pa rum pum pum pum

I played my best for Him pa rum pum pum pum

rum pum pum pum rum pum pum pum

Then He smiled at me pa rum pum pum pum

Me and my drum

Does anybody here want Jesus to smile at you today?

Does anybody here want to make Jesus happy today?

Does anybody here want to give there gifts today?

Well just like the little drummer boy even when you think you have nothing to give you do. 

We give our treasure.

We give our time.

We give out talent.

We give our talent to express to the pew the power of God.

We give our talent to expose the people to the passion of God.

We give our talent to experience the pleasure of the presence of God.


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