The best gifts are those received from someone who knows us well. These are the kinds of gifts that we celebrate with great gladness!

Take time to consider the gifts you have received from the One who knows you best, and celebrate God's great goodness and generosity.

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Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

1 Corinthians 12:4-11

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When I was a preschooler, I often asked my dad to read me a story about townspeople who hoarded their food instead of sharing, until some travelers tricked them into adding the items to a magical “stone soup.” At the end of the story, the whole town was feasting and able to eat much better than they did when hoarding the items away. Special things happen when we unlock the cupboards of our hearts, too.

Jesus said the second greatest commandment was, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). Spiritual gifts help us love others and fulfill that commandment. They should never be hoarded away or become a source of division, pride, or competition — they aren’t something we earned or produced on our own. Instead the Spirit gives them — and the Spirit does so for “the common good.” Have you been taking pride in the gifts that God blessed you with? Have you been failing to share them with others? Instead thank the Spirit for your gifts and look outward. Unlock your spiritual cupboard to share.

Laura Rector

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Spirit, thank you for the gifts you’ve blessed me with. Help me to use them for the common good. Amen.

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Open your heart now as you would a brightly-wrapped package,
Confident that the Giver of Life has provided you the greatest gift,
The gift of life.
Live today as a celebration, a time of giving back—
To God
And to all the world.

Laura Rector

Laura Rector is a PhD candidate and adjunct instructor at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. She attends First Baptist Church of Pomona.

Tis a Gift to Be Simple

Ken Medema

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