|NOVEMBER 27, 2015
Be The Gift God Created YOU To Be MICHELE DUDLEY
"A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other" 1 Corinthians 12:7 (NLT)
When I cleaned out my messy closet recently, I found a beautiful gift a friend had given me many months ago.
I remember when she gave me the gift — I was thrilled! It made me feel so special and loved that she purchased it with me in mind.
Yet somehow in the busyness of life, the gift became buried underneath "stuff," hidden and unused. I can’t imagine how disappointed my friend would be if she knew I hadn’t continued to treasure it.
It made me pause and think about the gifts that the Ultimate Gift Giver has given each of us … and whether or not we’re using them.
1 Corinthians 12:7 says, "A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other" (NLT).
I envision God, with His infinite creativity, pouring over each of us as He formed us, selecting unique abilities and spiritual gifts to prepare us for the work that He has called us to do (Ephesians 2:10). And not for our own good, but for His good and the good of His people.
It’s our job to steward these gifts. We must prayerfully consider what they are and how we can use them to serve a world in desperate need — this is our purpose, our calling.
At Fashion & Compassion, I work with women who are overcoming exploitation, addiction, war/conflict, domestic abuse and incarceration in the U.S. and around the world. Because of their life circumstances, many of these women have never considered God’s purpose for their life.
For example, Carrie came to us three years ago, emotionally beaten down after 30 years in an abusive marriage. She was essentially locked in her home — with her seven children — and constantly told she was "stupid" and "useless" by her husband.
When Carrie came to Fashion & Compassion, she was frightened and scarred, afraid she couldn’t do anything right. Through love, encouragement and prayer, Carrie now sees that God gifted her with a HUGE heart of compassion for suffering women and an incredible artistic gift.
As our jewelry project manager, Carrie loves and ministers to women with a genuine empathy, compassion and peace that can only come from the healing and restoration she has received from Christ. She patiently teaches and encourages other vulnerable women to make jewelry, and she uses her God-given creative abilities to develop many of our beautiful designs.
Once Carrie understood who she was in Christ and allowed Him to heal her past, she became free to use her gifts to minister to women in a way that only she can.
So as you shop for special gifts today, remember our key verse and use those gifts to serve one another.
Just imagine what the world would be like if we began to steward the gifts God has given us to serve each other and bring healing to the broken.
And unlike the gift my friend gave me long ago, let’s not keep our unique gifts from God hidden under a mountain of stuff in the closet of our lives. Let’s use our gifts for His glory NOW!
Dear God, Thank You for the sacrificial gift of Your Son — the BEST gift I can ever receive. Keep me mindful of Jesus during these busy days and don’t let the busyness of life keep me from using the gifts You have given me to serve a world in need. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY: Psalm 139:13-14, "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." (ESV)
Ephesians 2:10, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (ESV)
RELATED RESOURCES: Remind someone they are loved by God and by you by giving them a "Loved" charm dangle bangle bracelet made by a Fashion & Compassion artisan. You can purchase the bracelet and other jewelry made by women overcoming poverty & injustice here.
Enter to WIN a one-of-a-kind Fashion & Compassion bracelet designed by Carrie by signing up to receive our email updates. We’ll randomly select 10 winners from those who join our list and send you an email notification by Friday, December 4, if you win.
Unsure what your spiritual gifts are? Find out by taking this spiritual gift assessment.
REFLECT AND RESPOND: Have you seen God use your gifts and abilities to transform the life of another person? Please share your stories in the comment section.
How could you serve your church or a ministry in your community using the gifts that God has given you? Ask for God’s leading as you prayerfully consider next steps.
© 2015 by Michele Dudley. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org