By Kristin Schultz
When it comes to giving gifts, we all face the pressure of finding and giving the perfect gift. Whether it’s for the kids at Christmas or for our spouse on a birthday or our anniversary, or for our mom or dad on Mother’s or Father’s Days, we want to give the perfect gift. We spend hours in the mall or online, looking for the one thing that will be just right to give to our loved ones.
The perfect gift says a lot. The perfect gift says “I love you.” Or “I notice you and see you.” Or “You’re important to me.” When you give the perfect gift, the moment is as special and wonderful for you as it is for the person receiving the gift.
Think about the last time you gave or received a perfect gift. What was the gift? What was the occasion? How did giving or receiving it make you feel? (Allow for responses.)
Perfect gifts are not just things bought at a store or experiences booked online, though. Perfect gifts are gifts from God.
Today we are celebrating your faith and service here at (name your church or organization). We are here to thank you for using your perfect gifts and being a perfect gift to us as you serve (list the people that are served by the volunteers like children, shut-ins, worshipers, and so on).
That’s right, you are perfect and you are perfectly gifted. Have you ever thought about that? Do you believe that? God gave you perfect gifts and you are his perfect gift to ministry here. Let’s take those phrases apart and look at them more closely.
You are perfect. That may sound like a silly thing to say—you know you aren’t perfect. You know you lose your temper, or tell little lies, or gossip, or put work and family and even volunteering above God and your worship of him. You look back on your week and see that every day you failed to love God and failed to love your neighbor.
Yet we read in Romans that we are forgiven, perfect, and set free from our sin. (Read Romans 8:1–4.) In Jesus, you are perfect. Your heavenly Father does not see your sin when he looks at you. He doesn’t see your selfishness, pettiness, and ungratefulness. He sees perfection in Jesus!
Not only are you perfect in Jesus, but you have been given good and perfect gifts to use to glorify God. Again, we often see flaws in our gifts or doubt their usefulness. Have you ever said things to yourself like “So-and-so is so much more organized than I am; she would do a much better job than I do.” Or maybe, “I know I’m good at relating to the youth, but I have made so many mistakes. I don’t think I’m the right person for this job.” Or this: “Attendance was so low at that event, I must not be good enough to organize things like that.”
It’s easy to dismiss or downplay our gifts, but let’s see what God’s Word says about that. (Read James 1:17). God gives us everything, including our gifts and talents. They are good because they are from God who is good. They are perfect because they are from God who is perfect.
When John the Baptist was asked about his ministry, he replied that the only reason for his ministry was that God gave it to him. (Read John 3:27.) God did not give John Jesus’ ministry; he gave John John’s unique ministry, and because it was from God, it was perfect! God called John to prepare the way for Jesus and gave him the gifts he needed to minister.
In the same way, God, the Creator, made you and gave you the gifts you have—they are from him and they are perfect for you and perfect to be used here in this place!
Now that we know that God gives us everything, we are called to use those gifts to honor him. We are called to respond to the great love God gives us in Jesus. How do we do that? How do we respond to God’s love for us? By serving and loving others.
And that’s what you have done. You have heard and answered God’s call to use the perfect gifts he has given to you, his perfectly forgiven child. You have given us your time and abilities so that this community would know Jesus and the grace and peace he brings.
We are so thankful for your faith and for your service! We are perfectly blessed to have you here working to share the gospel of Jesus with everyone around us!
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is adapted from the Ministry Message for one of CTA’s Christian Worker lines, Celebrating Your Faith and Service.
You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2020 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.