God Gives Gifts to Everyone
Pentti & Lori Loukusa | 2017 September-October Shepherd's Voice
In the Small Catechism, Martin Luther explains the First Article of the Creed: “I believe that God has made me and all other creatures; that He has given and still preserves to me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses.”
What does this mean? It means that life itself is a gift of God. He has made each one of us. No two people are the very same. God has a purpose and a plan for each person. He gives each of us the gifts that we need to be the person that He wants us to be.
Sometimes it is easy to think that we don’t have any gifts and to be envious of a gift of our friend, brother, or sister. Perhaps we wish we could sing or play an instrument like they do, draw like someone else does, be good at sports, or know how to speak a different language. When we look around us, we see many different gifts that other people have.
The devil also tempts us to want to be better than others or to think that we are good because of our gifts. Because we are sinful people we fall into these temptations, but we have the grace-gift to have all these sins forgiven, too.
In the Bible, in Matthew 25:14–30, Jesus tells a story. The master is God, the servants are people, and the talents are the gifts that God has given them. In this story, there were three servants. God gave talents, or gifts, to each of them. The first two servants used their talents as God wanted them to. God blessed them because of it and gave them even more talents. One servant hid his talent. He doubted God; his heart wasn’t in the right place. God didn’t bless him, but instead took away his gift. The gifts that God gives us are not just for our own joy and benefit, but He wants us to use these gifts as He wills, for His purposes.
What talent, or gift, has God given you? Even though we can’t always see the gifts that God gives us, we know that we all have gifts. We use our gifts to help do jobs at home, to help a little brother get dressed, or to help a little sister tie her shoes. We can read to a younger sibling or play a game with them. We can be friendly and help others, like our neighbors, our teachers, and our classmates at school. We can help at Sunday school and church. We can open doors for an elder, or for a mom or dad pushing a stroller. Willingness to serve is a gift, too!
What is the greatest gift that a believer has? It is the gift of living faith and the forgiveness of sins. When we have faith, we can go to another believer as many times as we need to have our sins forgiven. When they preach the gospel to us, telling us that our sins are forgiven in Jesus’ name and blood, and we believe this, God forgives us. Then we have hope of heaven. This is the greatest gift!
Pentti and Lori Loukusa
Things to visit about:
1. Why is faith the greatest gift?
2. Some gifts are mentioned here. There are many other gifts, too. Can you name some of them?
3. Sing song of Zion 463. What does this song teach us about gifts?