We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.
— Romans 12:6
Years ago, my mother had a large jar for storing pennies. Over the years she accumulated thousands of these little coins but didn’t do anything with them. It was a unique and fancy jar, but that never changed the fact that the pennies just lay there, never doing or accomplishing anything. The church, however, was never meant to be like that penny jar.
After Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven (Acts 1:4-11), he gave spiritual gifts to his people. These gifts are listed in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4. Spiritual gifts are given to every believer in Christ so that each of us may do our part in building up the church, the body of Christ, and advancing God’s kingdom. The spiritual gifts and the fruit of the Spirit are closely related in function and purpose.
As we discover which gifts we are given by the Spirit and we learn to bear the fruit of the Spirit, we may be amazed to see how God is using us to advance his kingdom and to be a blessing to others. This in turn blesses and encourages us in our Christian walk as well.
Lord God, thank you for the gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit. Thank you for equipping us to carry out your will in our lives, in our homes and churches, and in the world. Amen.