“Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” Acts 2:7-12
When God moves in our lives, it’s usually for someone else.
This is where we often get off track with spiritual gifts. We think the gifts are for us, when they are not. God’s gifts are always given to help advance His work in other people’s lives.
God’s gifts are to be used more than received. Something only received stops with us but God’s gifts, as they say, keep on giving.
Those early believers who were declaring the wonders of God in other languages were most likely not aware of what they were saying. They were not directly benefited by the gift except for the thrill of being used by God, which is indeed a wonderful thing, but it is not the point. The point was not that these believers were built up spiritually by the gifts God gave them as much as it was that they were put to work, and the joy for them, I’m sure, was that they were being put to their intended use. They were being sanctified as the faith was being passed on to others. Their joy was in seeing 3,000 people baptized that day (Acts 2:41). It was the beginning of the church.
It is always like this with God’s gifts. They never stop with us. Even grace, God’s gift of undeserved favor, becomes grace turned outward as soon as we receive it. It’s what grace does to a person; it turns them outward.
I’m giving you an assignment today. Write to me and tell me how God has used your gift in someone else’s life, or how He has used someone else’s gift in yours. Let’s see how this works!