Vive la différence!
This term is often used as a humorous exclamation, such as a man appreciating an attractive woman, so you can imagine my “Say, what?” when I saw the word varied (multiple, diverse, wide-ranging) connected with grace in the ESV version of I Peter 4:10:
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” – ESV
Here it is used in reference to each one – each creation of God – receiving and utilizing our unique gift. God’s grace, it indicates, is individualized and, like us, comes in a variety of forms!
God knew my gift from Him would be a delight to see and write the stories around me. I love writing, and though I have had times in my life where I wished I had others’ gifts, I finally understand that my very personal designer-creator chose this gift for me.
I completely understood this when my friend Jan encouraged me to attend a drawing class, and though I enjoyed some weak attempts, I more enjoyed the relational activities. I was glad each night when class was done and I could go home and write about the teacher and the characters in the class and the stories they shared. When I explained my pleasure of writing Jan exclaimed that words would not be for her – she loved practicing shading something a dozen different ways. We laughed at our differences and marveled that the different (varied) gifts we were given were not drudgery, but uplifting and completing for each of us.
I began searching then, and found many other verses to encourage me that any inclination or talent I have that lets me say, “I am a writer!” is purely a gift of love —part of my design— that came as no cost to me. (Though loving my gift means I want to be nurturing the seed – developing it, and taking time to utilize it to serve and bless others) which, by the way, brings the greatest joy.
Ecclesiastes 3:13 confirms this happy fulfillment: “moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor — it is the gift of God.” (a present, a gift without cause (no special occasion – a ‘just because’ gift of love), a gift received without your paying anything (no cost to you), a sacrifice, offering, or bestowment (something given from the heart of the giver).
What a precious thought to realize that this “calling” within that draws me, makes me it’s captive audience with the seduction of chocolate and the addiction of an avid collector, and fulfills me as though it were made for me, was indeed made for me. And your gift, your calling, was as personally and intimately designed for you.
The original meaning for this word gift comes from two words – Abba (father/daddy) and blessing. It’s a “Daddy blessing.”
From God’s heart to yours. What is that calling He so marvelously tailored just for you?
Have you identified it? Are you developing it? Have you found ways to utilize it in the service (to the benefit) of others?
This is my prayer for you…. we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something.
If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely. (2 Thessalonians 1: 11-12)
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Some unabashed joy came my way this past week in the form of nomination for blog of the year from The Book Club Network. If you have not yet joined this wonderful free club, treat yourself, and join. You can join here at BookClubNetwork, then, if you will, scroll down on the far right side of their page to the Blog of the Year voting, and place a check mark in the box next to Be The Miracle!