Gifting; August 28, 2020

Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

There are two particularly powerful statements by Peter in this section, this one and the one in verses 19-20 that has been the justification for civil disobedience ever since. This is just further evidence of Peter coming into full form, on the heels of the healing that triggered Peter and John’s arrest and trial. What strikes me is that the very boldness that up until Jesus’ resurrection had seemed to be something of a liability is here put to marvelous use for the glory of God. God doesn’t make mistakes in how He creates us, whatever we might think about ourselves or others. The very characteristics that might drive us to distraction were prepared by God for specific purposes, and when we discover those purposes, we can be very grateful indeed. Sometimes it can really stretch our faith to try to see good in some characteristics, again, both in ourselves and in others. However, God indeed sees the end from the beginning, and His purposes are good. Sometimes we just have to pray, “Father, thank You for the good You have planned for that, because I sure can’t see it.” Honesty is always the best policy!

My wife and I were enormously helped in this area by the teaching on Motivational Gifts by Don and Katie Fortune. We first met them when a missionary friend in another part of Japan called and said the Fortunes were in Japan and were interested in Kyushu, and would we be interested in hosting them. We recognized a God-given opportunity, and have been grateful ever since. I interpreted for their teaching on more than three different visits to Japan, and we became quite close to them, staying in their home on visits to Seattle. They have both graduated to their reward in heaven, but we still try to communicate the truths they taught. Based on Romans 12:6-8, they differentiated that list of gifts from the one in 1 Corinthians 12 and the one in Ephesians 4:7-13, depending on the Greek terms used, and called the Romans list Motivational Gifts. They said they were analogous to personality types, and listed positive and negative characteristics of each. We found that teaching to be a godsend in raising our daughters as well as in dealing with those around us, and even understanding ourselves. We frequently call on that teaching in ministry involving interpersonal relationships, because we all tend to expect, and even demand, that other people be “like us,” and they seldom are! We were involved in such ministry just last night, and once again we were reminded that God doesn’t make mistakes when He creates people. We are all wounded and otherwise shaped by our life experiences, but God’s gifting is always good, and it is our privilege and responsibility to seek that out and apply it, for His glory.

Father, thank You for Your grace on so many levels. Help us be consistent channels of that grace to everyone around us, allowing them to blossom into all that You created them to be, for the blessing of everyone around them, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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1 Response to Gifting; August 28, 2020

  1. I was taught and have taught these same ideas from Romans 12. It is powerful to realize our personalities are gifts from God

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