Gift Management

Give yourself to the Lord and let Him use you within the boundaries of the gifts that He has given you.

Scripture: 1 Timothy 4:13, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 1, Galatians 1


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends, how in the world are you? Doing alright? Well, I trust so, bless your heart. May the blessing of God be real in your life today, is my prayer. As well, I’ve just been praying that God might put into my voice those special overtones of His love and the content of His eternal truth. I often wonder how my voice comes across because that’s all you know really. Many of you have never seen me. And as a matter of fact, when I meet some people in meetings, they say, “Oh, you’re so different from what I thought you would be.” [chuckle] Well, I’m sorry about that. [chuckle] Can’t change the way I look, after 50 a man gets the face he deserves. [chuckle] But oh, I pray that the blessing, and the love, and the compassion, and the truth, and the power of God might be in the words that are said and the voice that speaks them.

We’re looking at 1 Timothy, chapter 4. And we’re just finishing up verse 13. “Till I come,” says Paul, “Give attendance to reading, exhortation, doctrine.” Reading has to do with content. Exhortation has to do with communication; learn how to communicate with people. I read a sad quote, just last night about General Patton. He said, “In order to communicate with people, you have to speak in a language they understand. That is why I curse and swear.” That’s a sad one, isn’t it? He was known as an effective commander and also as an occasionally very profane man. But, my my. It does seem to me that there has to be a way to communicate with people aside from using the name of the Lord in vain, and aside from the various expletives that people interlard into their conversation; and still communicate.

You see, the secret of communication has to do with the person and the purpose of the person. Who are you to the listener? How do you come across to that listener? That is the start and that means your life needs to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God. And then your purpose is not to show off or to show up to show off yourself or to show up the faults of another, but to manifest Christ.

“Manifesting the truth in love,” says Paul in Ephesians 4. “It pleased God to reveal His Son in me,” Paul says in Galatians 1. So, your purpose is to reveal the Lord Jesus Christ. And so communication with other people, what he calls here exhortation. It has an overtone of comfort, it’s the same root word in Greek from which we get the idea of the Comforter. And so it’s a kind of communication that brings comfort, and solace, and inspiration, and help.

And it starts with a person, you and me, full of the Holy Spirit, whose purpose it is to reveal Christ. So there’s content and there’s communication and then there’s doctrine, and that has to do with commitment. Got myself three words there that start with C, how about that? [chuckle] I’m not very good at using alliterative outlines where everything starts with the same letter, but that happened that way and I’m glad.

Commitment. To what? To the truth of God. Find out what it is you’re willing to die for and then go live for that. Doctrine. What are the great teachings that are absolutely essential? You start with the infallibility of the Word of God. And with the authority and Godhead of the Deity, the Father, the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Deity of Christ and His virgin birth, the inspiration of the scriptures, the sinfulness of man and the need of salvation, the offer of salvation, by grace through faith plus nothing, and the personality and work of the Holy Spirit of God who indwells the believer. And the oneness of the body of Christ all over the world, those who belong to the Lord Jesus, are part of His church. The certainty of God’s eternal purpose, which includes the end of this age, the second coming of Christ, and judgement, both for believers for rewards and unsaved people for their eternal destiny.

Oh, this and other things. I’ve just ticked off a few things there, and there’s much more. But doctrine has to do with that, to which you are committed as being absolutely non-negotiable. “This is it, this is where I stand. I can do no other,” said Martin Luther. Okay?

Now, he says, “You give attendance to that.” Why? Because it’s easy to drift away from the essentials, the fundamentals. I gave you that illustration a while back of the basketball team that was losing. And I sat near enough to hear the coach say to them during a timeout, “Fellas, you’re forgetting the fundamentals, go back to basics.” Play fundamental basic basketball, you’ll do better instead of trying to do some of these fancy maneuvers.

So, they went back out on the court and they began to win. Why? Because they were paying attention, once again, to the basics, the fundamentals, the things that really matter. The same thing holds, beloved, in the game of life. Doctrine is your commitment to that which is absolutely necessary, absolutely non-negotiable, this is it; it’s the basics. You pay attention to that, don’t get off into some fancy bypath that seems attractive, but does not have the element of eternity in it.

Now he says, in verse 14, “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” God gives gifts to people. They vary, depending on what He wants to do with them. He gives to some people the gift of prophecy,” that is to forth tell, F-O-R-T-H not foretell, but forth tell the Word of God. “He gives to some the work of evangelism, some teaching pastors that God has given,” I’ve reading there from Ephesians 4. You go over into Romans 12, I think it is, let me look, and you’ll find a different listing, won’t you? Of gifts that God gives to people. What are they? You hear the rustling of the leaves in my big Bible here, I’ve got the gain turned up so that you can almost hear the leaves breathe, huh? Well, he says, “We, being many, are one body in Christ having then gifts. ”

This is Romans 12:6, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us whether prophecy,” that’s forth telling the Word of God, “Let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith.” By the way, you can be as effective in giving out the Truth of God as your faith warrants the proportion of faith. How much do you want to believe God for, preacher? I’ve talked to so many preachers in my lifetime. I’ve said to the them, “Well, how are things going, my brother?” And oftentimes there would be a hesitant answer, “Oh well, they sure could go better.” And all that.

Do you know that you can be as effective in the work of God as you can believe God for? And according to the proportion of faith, how much do you really believe God for? That’s the question. Then he says, “There’s other gifts. Ministry, let us wait on our ministering; that is sharing God with people at the point of their need. Helping to meet needs and at the same time sharing your Lord with them.” Ministry.

Teaching. “He that teacheth, on teaching. He that exhorteth on exhortation. He that giveth, let him do it with simplicity. He that ruleth with diligence. He that showeth mercy with cheerfulness.” Now, there’s another listing of gifts that God gives to the believer. And there are others of course, there’s a listing in 1 Corinthians as well.

Now, what do you do about this? Number one, realize that God has given you some special gifts that are particularly yours. Now, I don’t know what it is, but you can find out, if you don’t already know. And you can use that gift for Him. A very lovely thing happened four or five years ago, now I guess. At the close of a meeting that I held down in Florida. And I’d been talking about this very subject. Give yourself to the Lord and let Him use you within the boundaries of the gifts that He has given you.

Well, a lady came up to me afterwards, she must’ve been, I guess, in her mid-60’s; lovely lady, southern accent, real southern belle. And she said, “Well, Brother Cook,” she said, “I really made a decision tonight.” I said, “Oh, I’m glad. What was it?” She said, “I can’t teach and preach and I can’t sing.” But she said, “I figured out that I have one gift. I can cook, I can put out a pretty good meal. And I made a decision tonight to use my ability to cook and be a good hostess, and I’m gonna invite my unsaved friends in and try to win them to Christ, I’m gonna use my gift for Him.” Isn’t that great? [chuckle] Hallelujah. See? Having a gift doesn’t mean that you always make speeches. God gives different gifts, “Having then gifts differing, according to the grace that is given unto us.” God gives different gifts to different people. That’s what the Bible says. Alright?

“Having then gifts differing, according to the grace that is given unto us.” If it’s prophecy, if it’s teaching, if it’s supervision, whatever it may be, go ahead use it according to the proportion of faith. How much can you believe God for? In the use of the gift He has given you. It’s a tremendous concept, “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.”

What are you gonna do about that? What are you gonna do about your gifts? “There are diversities of operations… ” I’m looking now at 1 Corinthians 12, “The same God that works all in all and the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge, by the same Spirit, to another faith, by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing, by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another different kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues. But all these worketh that one in selfsame Holy Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.” See?

Now, that makes it pretty plain. Nobody has all the gifts, so far as I know, cause it says severally. See? Different gifts to different people, okay? But God does give me a gift, I do have one, at least one and so do you. He says, “Don’t neglect it, it’s Divinely given.”

Now, before the time gets aways from us, let me ask you seriously this question my beloved friend. Oh, think about this, have you given any thought, recently, to the divine components of your life and personality? The things that are in your makeup that are divinely given you. You didn’t work for them, you may not have inherited them. God has given you some gifts. He says, “Don’t neglect them, they’re from God.” Would you give some thought today, in the next 24 hours, give some thought to the question of what am I doing with the divinely given components of my life? It’ll do something for you, I’m sure.

Dear Father, today, may we use thy gifts wisely and well. In Jesus name I pray this, amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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