Word Wednesday Nugget:The Best Gift Ever

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Dr. Rebekah McCloud

Many of us are familiar with gifting; we either give or receive gifts. A recent report noted that in 2023, Americans spent about $24 billion on gifts. A second report found scientific evidence that gifting provides positive psychological, physical, and social experiences. Most of us remember the best gift we ever received. Mine was an IBM Selectric typewriter. Boy howdy, it was the bomb diggity, and I was cooking with gas! However, nothing beats the gifts God gives for his purpose and glory. 

I sometimes hear people say they do not have any gifts. We all do. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Further, Paul notes that gifts are apportioned to each one by God’s will (1 Corinthians 12:11). If we look for our purpose, there we will find our gifts. Talk to God about it. Psalm 57:2 says, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.”

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Our heavenly father loves us so much that he gave something to each of us. Ephesians 1:11 says, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” We have an inheritance and a purpose from the Lord. Get real for a minute. If someone passed away and left us an inheritance, would we hide it under a bushel or use it?  

This inheritance, our gift, was given to us a long, long time ago. 2 Timothy 1:9 says, “Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” If we believe that God knew us before we were in our mother’s womb, he knows the number of hairs on our heads, and knows our words before they are on our tongue, should we also believe that he knows about our gifts? They were given to us by God, an inheritance of sorts. Are we hiding them or using them?

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Colossians 3:23-24 tells us, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Step out in faith and use your gift. Do not worry about what you do not have, focus on what you do have. We have different gifts, according to God’s grace (Romans 12: 6) and his gifts are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). James 1:17 reminds us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above.”

I have a sister and two brothers. They all have different gifts than I do. My sister is a powerful and talented singer. I cannot carry a tune in a bucket. Singing is not one of my many gifts. My oldest brother is a rapper. I do not have the cadence required to rap. Rapping is not one of my many gifts. My youngest brother is a builder. I recently learned the difference between a Philips head and a slot head screwdriver. Building is not one of my many gifts. But, thank God, he can use me in other ways.

Remember, God does not call the qualified; he qualifies the ones he calls. Let me remind you of a few people from the Bible. God used all of them for his purpose.

Adam made poor choices

Jacob was a cheater

Peter had a temper

David had an affair

Noah was a drunk

Jonah ran from God

Samsom was arrogant 

Paul was a murder

Gideon was insecure

Miriam was a gossiper

Martha was a worrier

Thomas was a doubter

Jeremiah was a weeper

Sara was impatient

Elijah was suicidal 

Rahab was a prostitute 

Saul tried to destroy the church

Moses stuttered

Zacchaeus was short

Abraham was old

Lazarus was dead

If God can use a dead man, what about you and me? Remember, God has big hands. Just step out in faith; he will hold us up. Faint not! All things work together for our good. What an awesome promise from God! Proverbs 18:16 says, “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said once, “Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.” 

Let us be a people called to God’s purpose and earnestly look for opportunities to use our gifts to serve God and share them with others.

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Dr. Rebekah McCloud

More than 40 years of service in education (K-12 and higher education). Authored more than 100 publications , made more than 200 presentations, designed workshops, and facilitated training.  

Rebekah McCloud is a retired faculty administrator who last served as the Executive Director of TRIO Programs at the University of Central Florida. She has one video in the C-SPAN Video Library; the first appearance was a 1999 Forum.

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