Published on December 1st, 2015 | by Tony Felich0
Pastor’s Corner December 2015
The following was published in our monthly newsletter, the Redeemer Report.
Be a Gift User!
Everyone associates Christmas with gift-giving. Gifts are things or actions given willingly to someone without payment; a present. Christmas is the time when widespread gift giving is the norm.
There are a few reasons for gift-giving at Christmas. One reason for the custom of giving and receiving presents at Christmas is to remind us of the presents given to Jesus by the wise men: Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh. Honestly though, what kid thinks of myrrh given to the Christ child when tearing through wrapping paper to get another video game or unveil a new American Heritage girl? The most common connection between gifts and Christmas is God’s greatest gift to us all- Jesus Christ. By giving gifts to others we make a bit of a sacrifice, and so connect with the sacrificial spirit of God in giving Christ. Perhaps more simply- gifts remind us of the gift of Christ, right? I guess. this would probably have greater impact in a more needy country.
This Advent and Christmas season I would like the Redeemer family to think of gifts in a different light. God gifted His only Son, Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for our sins. We have redemption as a gift from God. God didn’t stop with the gift of Jesus, he also gives us spiritual gifts. Each of us have been given Christ for salvation as well as special talents or abilities identified in Scripture as “Spiritual Gifts”. These gifts are given to believers for an express purpose- to serve others and build up the Church.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7  Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;  and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;  and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
Are you a gift user? Are you using the spiritual gifts God has bestowed upon you for the edification of the Body of Christ? You should be. The health and effectiveness of the church depends on members using their gifts for the building up of the church.
As a pastor I am blessed to see many people serving others in the church family. I am able to witness great joy and a deepening of faith in Christ as people serve one another, encouraging and building up the body. Honestly though, for a church our size, the percentage of people using their spiritual gifts to fulfill the many needs of our community is relatively small. We have many needs that go unfulfilled or the same small number of people seem to step up to meet all the needs. Eventually those people will burn out.
My purpose isn’t to guilt anyone, but rather to exhort each member of Redeemer to look ahead to 2016 and purpose to be gift users. Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). Taking all the bible’s teaching in to account about using spiritual gifts, I offer this proverb- it’s more blessed to use your spiritual gifts for the building up of the Church than to sit on the pew waiting for someone else to serve. Don’t miss out on the joy of being a gift user in God’s Church.
Ephesians 4:4-8 [ There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism,  one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”
In the Lamb,
Pastor Tony Felich