Thursday, December 20, 2018

Gift Exchange

"For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established - 
that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith of both you and me."
Romans 1:11-12 (NKJV)

Most people like gifts, especially when they receive a gift.  But it is also nice when someone gives you a gift and you are able to give them a gift as well.  Sometimes around Christmas people have gift exchange parties where everyone gives a gift and receives a gift.  These types of parties can be a lot of fun because everyone there is involved in giving and receiving something.  No one person has all the gifts to give because everyone has something to contribute and everyone goes away happy that they were able to give and receive something.

When Paul wrote his letter to the Christians in Rome he had not been there yet .  Paul was planning to visit Rome at some time in the future and he said that he wanted to see the people there so that he could give them a spiritual gift.  But Paul also said that he believed that he and the Christians in Rome could be encouraged together through their mutual faith.  What was Paul saying?  Paul knew that the best situation was one in which everyone has something to contribute and everything is not just coming from one person, Paul knew that everyone has something to give.

One thing that is clearly taught in the New Testament is that each believer has received a gift from God (1 Peter 4:10) and each member of the Body of Christ has something to contribute (Ephesians 4:16).  Our situation as Christians is not that there are just a select few who have all the spiritual gifts, wisdom, and knowledge, but all of us have something to give.  Exactly how that happens can differ according to the situation, but it starts with people realizing that they have something to give.  When Christians come together there can and should be a mutual exchange where each person is able to give and receive something.  What gift do you have to give?

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