Christmas was so special when we were children. On Christmas morning, we would rush to look for our gifts dutifully piled up by our bleary-eyed parents under the fresh pine tree. There were screams of delight as we found our gifts and unwrapped them.

In 1 Kings 10:2, we read about the queen of Sheba who brought gifts befitting a king – gold, precious stones, spices and who knows what else. ‘Oohs’ and ‘Aahs’ must have filled the air as each gift was opened and displayed.

God’s gifts to us are similarly wrapped in His love and lined up for us to claim. Only when we come into our gifts do we get to display them for His glory. But how do we realize our gifts and how do we claim them? 1 Timothy 4:14 tells us: Do not neglect your gift. Don’t leave your gift lying under the tree! Not everyone gets a big gift, but if we use ours, however small and simple, for His glory, it will start developing into a great blessing for all.

Again, in 2 Timothy 1:6, 7 we read: I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you by the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Against the backdrop of power, love and self-discipline may pale in contrast and seem insignificant, but by not neglecting them and exercising them instead for God’s glory, they can blossom into powerful gifts. When we do that, God gives us more. We see a parallel in 1 Kings 10:13 – King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for, besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Any gift can grow into a huge blessing, just as a tiny acorn grows into the massive oak or a seed multiplies a hundredfold.

No one should think that he or she is not gifted. According to Romans 12:7-21, each and every person is endowed with some spiritual gift or other. Did you ever consider that not repaying evil with evil is a gift?

Let us start claiming our gifts and using them powerfully and responsibly for God’s glory.

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