stir up the gift

in today’s sermon pastor talked about “samson: the man who squandered his gift.”  pastor touched on other gifted folks (the late whitney houston, amy winehouse) who could be said to have squandered their gifts. after the Israelites had endured 40 years of oppression under the Philistines, the Angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife and told her “God will give her a son who will begin to deliver the Israelites from their oppressors”.  this fired off so many thoughts in my mind.  how many of us have been given to our parents (to this world) to relieve the oppression of a people? could be a nation, could be a department at work, could be within your family.

samson misused his gift (Judges 16:20) and found himself imprisoned by the philistines. while in prison (another key point that fires off many thoughts) samson comes to himself (judges 16:28). he called upon the One who gave him the gift in the first place and He answered. the gift was restored and God’s plan was carried out. samson was sent to this earth by God to defeat the philistines and that’s just what he did.

hours later while watching Oprah’s last interview with whitney, i had an epiphany: God is the one who gives the gift and therefore, He is the only one who can take it away. His Word is very clear that He has given gifts to all of those who have accepted Him ( 1 Corinthians 12). God gave whitney, His child, a believer in Jesus Christ, the gift of song, a gift that touched people the world over.  like samson and each of us, she made some choices that diminished her gift. but then she made a comeback and her gift was restored. that gift culminated in a worldwide church service, her homegoing.

imagine the millions who viewed her funeral. who heard that God is love, that no matter how far away from her Savior, Jesus Christ, she may have been, He has saved, restored, and accepted her into His kingdom – not because we think He will/did, but because HIS WORD SAYS HE WILL.

so i think of myself, what is my gift, that God sent me to this earth through my parents, to fulfill? here is where i smile. for i know that one gift He gave me is the gift of writing. i certainly believe that there are other gifts that He has given me and i have yet to discover them all, but for right now, i must and i will “stir up the gift.” (2 Timothy 1:5-7)

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