“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:4
Everyone likes to receive gifts. There’s something about the message you get when a gift is given. It’s more than what you would have gotten if the message had just been sent with words. When you tell your wife, “I love you,” and the words are accompanied with a flowers or some other beautiful and thoughtful token the sentiment becomes more tangible. I remember the Christmas when I received my first pocket knife. With that gift also came the message, “You’re old enough now. You’re ready for the responsibility of having you own knife.” Gifts have the capability of making many different messages more real.
When God called us to him he made it clear that he wasn’t just calling us to be his fan club. He wants more from his relationship with us than for us to think about him and pray to him and worship him and tell him how great he is.
When Jesus called the first disciples his words to them were, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Later when he was nearing the moment of his ascension into heaven he told them to “go into all the world and preach the gospel.” He told them that now they were to be his “witnesses.” These words were accompanied by a gift that strongly indicates Christ’s earnestness regarding the commission he had given. And the Holy Spirit continues to be present in the lives of the followers of Christ giving evidence that the commission to be witnesses to the world is still Christ’s purpose for each member of his church.
And the one gift of the Spirit comes with many different gifts and abilities equipping the church for a variety of services in witnessing to the world. Why so many different gifts and abilities? Because the world we’re called to reach is filled with a vast number of very different people. The commission cannot be fulfilled if we’re all working the same way. We must see and understand how God has equipped us and work to make the best contribution we can with the gifts God’s given.
God’s wants each of us to know that he loves us and needs us. The unique gifts we’ve each been given are a tangible evidence that God loves each of us specifically and that he has a need and a place for each of us individually.