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Wanna Play?

November 3, 2011

Our three year old is starting to get pretty amped up about Christmas.  And honestly, how could you blame him?  This past Sunday, despite our best efforts, he got a hold of one of those Toys R Us catalogs…you know the one…the one that they strategically place in the mailbox of every American citizen, the one with all the sweet new toys for this year.  Yep, that one…he took that thing, got a pen out of the drawer, and just started circling.  And to be honest, he didn’t really stop circling as much as he just sort of passed out from sheer exhaustion.

 If you will, take a moment and read through 1 Corinthians 12:4-13.

 I’ll just give you the point of this whole thing right now.  Here it is; God cares about what you do.  That’s it.  It’s not complicated…not controversial…it’s not even very insightful.  God cares about what you do.  And I’ll tell you why this is important…why I am going to make such a point on this.  The world looks at Christianity as a faith that is all about what you are not allowed to do.  And we have to concede that eight of the Ten Commandments begin with the words, “You shall not.”  So if that is all we have to go on, eighty percent of the rules have to do with what you shall not do.  But that’s not all we have to go on. 

 In the passage today, we see that, “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”  And then, verses 8-10 proceed to lay out all sorts of different gifts of the Spirit.  We call them gifts because it says in both verses 7 and 8 that they are “given” to us.  And verse 11 makes it clear that, “All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.”  So, all these gifts come from the same Source. 

 Now follow me here for just a second.  I am not going to buy everything that my son circled in the ridiculous toy magazine.  I’m not going to do it…can’t afford to do it…and even if I could afford it, it would be stupid.  He probably circled six Xbox games and we don’t even have an Xbox.  But, you can rest assure, I am going to give him, and his sister, gifts.  And here’s the thing…I want them to use them.  I want them to use those gifts to play with their friends, I want them to use them to engage their minds and encourage their creativity, and make no mistake…I want them to enjoy them.  I have no desire…none at all…to give them junk to put in their closets.

 This is the same with our Spiritual gifts.  They are given to us to be used.  Too often, we credit pastors and preachers as the ones with the good gifts.  (They got the Xbox games and we ended up with the puzzle.)  This is a ridiculous way of seeing it.  And Paul’s clear on it…we have all been given gifts for the common good.  Here’s what you need to know…God knows you.  Did you hear that?  He knows you.  And it’s not like He’s heard your name and might send you a card once a year…He knows you intimately.  In Matthew 10:29-31, Jesus says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”  God knows exactly what gift is right for you because He knows you…because He cares about you…because He loves you.

 Some of us are treating our gifts like junk to be put away in the closet.  Our heavenly Father delights in seeing His children enjoy the gifts He’s given them.  So in a very real sense, my question for you today is simple; Wanna play?


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