“Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.” (Job 9:10)
If you really know how to look—I mean take the time to focus your attention on how many things that God has done to speak to your heart, you will see the proliferation of his blessings to you. There are some things he does for us, however, that require a little more focus, a little more attention and care.
“A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.” (Proverbs 17:8)
Think nothing of it
Some gifts he gives are more like pieces of him. Take, for instance, the gift of the Holy Spirit in whatever capacity the Lord has showered on you. In the case of Christ, he had the full measure (“…and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him” Luke 3:22a) but as we take our inspiration in the things of the Spirit from him anyway, that’s a good place to start. When, in the next chapter of Luke’s Gospel, he stands up to explain why he has this gift and what it’s to be used for, we understand that our own ideas as to what we’re gonna do with what we’ve got don’t always go to the top floor with reference to God. Here’s that verse from the next chapter:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19)
It sounds like the gift of “The Spirit of the Lord” ensured Jesus would be quite a busy guy. Those six things he listed were the laundry-list of acts that he went about doing during the three years of his ministry.
Paul quotes the 68th psalm in his letter to the Ephesians. He’s equating the psalmist’s declaration of God with Christ—as, I suppose, he had the authority to do (see 1 Timothy 1:11)—when he says:
“Wherefore he (David) saith, When he (Christ) ascended up on high, he led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men.”
Interesting distinction: whereas the version of the verse in Ephesians uses “gave” with reference to the “gift of Christ” (4:7), the original scripture from the Psalms (68:18) uses the English verb “received”, indicating that the gifts have been taken back and then reallocated for us. It might be nothing more than a triviality. But as with many things in the Word of God, fine details often have a way of opening up grander vistas than we ever thought were there. Treasures hid in a field, as it were.
An “aliquot part”, as you may know, is simply a piece of a larger whole. Speaking with reference to the science of chemistry or in mathematics, “aliquot” takes on a little more complicated definition. The thing about the gifts of Christ—the gifts of God that are like pieces of him, in my opinion—is that they are for a specific purpose and will only work correctly when used in the service of the God who gave them.
So what is it that you’re doing with your gifts? Use your imagination. Do you have the gift of prophecy? Does it help you plan out your schedule and your weekend? I’m serious. Forward thinking is a gift, just make sure you have your focus trained on the one who’s letting you see things in the first place. How ’bout the gift of teaching? Very simply, the desire to break things down into their constituent parts and then assemble them in a coherent way to those listening is an aspect of it. Use it well. Do you have the gift of helping others (see 1 Corinthians 12:28)? Perhaps that manifests itself in an a way of thinking that doesn’t really consider the person in possession of the gift. Don’t forget to take care of yourself!
As it says at the top of the page, God is abundant and generous and wholly unselfish with his gifts. But all of them are aspects of the greatest gift of all. And that’s love. And, well:
“God is love.” (1 John 4:8b)