Understanding our Gift

The following devotion was originally written in 2015 by JD Bowen. Our church has been greatly blessed by his faithfulness over the years. His is an enduring legacy and the short devotional below is a symbol of how he has ministered to so many.

As a Christian have you ever asked yourself; “What is my gift?”

Perhaps the works of others has made you feel inferior or lacking in capability. Let’s stop and think about this. First, consider what instructions are given by our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus gave us a clue in His sermon on the mount. This is what we know as the Golden Rule.

Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew [7:12]

This speaks loudly about our relationship with our fellow man. Think about it – we are to reach out to others with a helping hand rather than wait for them to reach out to us. He is saying take the initiative wherever there is a need including within the church and in the world. Consider this is in Luke [10:29]-37

Jesus defines who our neighbor is by telling the story of a man going from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves. As he lay helpless on the roadside, two religious men, a priest and a Levite, who failed to minister to him, but along came a despised Samartian who ministered to him. Jesus asked “who then is the neighbor?” The answer, of course, is the Samaritan who ministered.

Jesus tells another story that reveals more clearly the spiritual side of ministering through good works. In Matthew [25:31]-46, Jesus describes the separation of the righteous from the unrighteous. The criterion for judgment was their ministry to Him. Those who were on the right had ministered to Him were congratulated and rewarded. Their reward was the kingdom prepared for them. Their response was total surprise. They asked, when did we see you hungry and gave you food, was thirsty and gave you drink. “When did we do all this to you?”

His answer was equally shocking. He said, “I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” What a wonderful surprise. However, let us not think that Jesus is saying that works saves us. We do good works because we are saved. Paul reminded us that we do good works because we are saved. His word to the Ephesian church in his letter is very clear about this.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:8-10

As born-again children of God, let us have the attitude Isaiah had after hearing the Lord say, “whom shall we send, and who will go for us?” Then Isaiah said, “Here am I! Send me.”

Are you ministering as you should? There is much work to do through your church and the world about you. What are you waiting for?