Spotlight 2/2017: Gratitude for God’s gifts

Not only gift, but also task. District Apostle John Leslie Kriel of South Africa explains what the purpose of divine gifts is.

When our Chief Apostle placed the motto “Glory be to God our Father” into the foreground for 2017, he also highlighted three tasks. We need to

  • recognise the greatness of God in His creative activities;
  • express gratitude for His gifts; and
  • proclaim His glory by behaving like children of God.

At first glance, it was particularly the second task that found resonance with me!

In this context I was reminded of a conversation I had with a fellow passenger after one of my extended trips to Namibia. At the airport we received the dreaded news that our flight would have a six hour delay. While many of the passengers were very upset, I resolved to calmly accept what obviously could not be changed.

A gentleman sitting close by remarked on my disposition in these circumstances, and soon we were engaged in conversation. After he learned of the purpose for my visit to Namibia, he shared with me that his wife and family are also engaged in missionary work, spreading Christianity in various countries. He spoke passionately about how he admired their gifts and commitment.

Then he lamented the fact that he did not have this gift to bring testimony to others. He hastened to add, however, that God had not left him without any gifts. He believed his gift was to earn much money in his chosen field of employment. He then told me that he gives half of his earnings to his church and this enables others with the gift of bringing testimony to fulfil it.

This allowed me to reflect. The gifts we receive from family and friends are mostly for our exclusive use. But gifts given by God are given for the benefit of others. This man admired those with a gift to proclaim God’s word. He would never conduct a sermon, and for the better part he may never be known in his congregation. He did, however, search and find his God-given gift and expressed his gratitude by powerful action.

We do not all have the same gifts, but we all certainly do have gifts that God has given us. Let us search and find them. And then let us show our gratitude for these gifts and glorify God our Father by using them to serve Him and our fellow human beings.

Photo: Oliver Rütten

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John Leslie Kriel
notto 2017