Stewarding Your Gifts

From Paul Tripp Ministries

After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized (for John had not yet been put in prison).

Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification. And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.”
(John 3:22-30, ESV)

I have been given gifts—
an indication of the
of my Creator Savior King.
I could not have designed
these abilities on my own.
They are divine creations,
given with a purpose,
calling me to live for something
vastly bigger than
my wants
my needs
my feelings
my choices
my plans
my purpose for my life.
My gifts have not been given for
my glory,
to draw attention to me,
to collect influence,
to acquire power,
to bask in fame,
to glory in what I can do,
to take credit for what
I could never do or produce
on my own.

Every good ability
that in your wisdom
you have entrusted to me
belongs to you.
Every gift is a
to be invested in
the mission
the purpose
the praise
the glory
of the Giver.
No gift makes me
A gift always says more
about the wisdom
of the Giver
than about the one
who has been blessed to
receive the gift.

A gift is called a gift
because it has not been
A gift is not an entitlement
but a blessing.
God’s gifts are blessings
wrapped in beautiful grace
filled with glorious purpose.

May I never take ownership
over the gifts I have been given.
May I never use them
to draw attention and praise to me.
May I not use them to build
my kingdom
but to advance the purpose
of yours.
May I use each gift in a way
that causes me to decrease
so that you may increase.

And may every
word spoken
decision made
desire fulfilled
action taken
be for this one thing alone:
your glory.

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
(1 Peter 4:7-11, ESV)

A Prayer for Today: God, would you give me the grace to see the gifts you’ve given me as just that—gifts from a loving Father who cares for me. May I never boast in the gifts you have graciously given me, and may I use those gifts as a way to proactively bless you and glorify you in this world and in my life. My life belongs to you, as do the gifts you have blessed me with. In Jesus’ name, amen.

God bless,

Paul David Tripp

Discussion Prompt for Children

What does it mean to be responsible for something that’s been given to you? How can the way God made you (with all your talents and abilities) be something that you’re responsible for?

Reflection Questions

1. Why are the talents and gifts you have important? Why do you think it’s so easy to think the talents and gifts you’ve been given by God are things that belong to you and not to him?

2. How have you claimed responsibility for your talents and gifts in the past? In what ways has that made you feel good about yourself? Why do you think claiming those talents and gifts as your own is so dangerous? Where does that often lead for you and why is that place ultimately unsatisfying? In what ways have your specific talents and gifts led you to feel special, important, praiseworthy, or deserving?

3. Why are you solely responsible for stewarding the talents and gifts God has given to you? What do the talents you have say about the One who gave you those talents? In what ways have you given God praise for the blessings he’s given you? How have you used the blessings he’s given you to bless other people and not just yourself?

4. How can your life (with all your gifts and talents) be a living testimony to the fact that you must decrease and Jesus must increase? Take some time to brainstorm and write down what that can specifically look like in your life.

Stewarding Your Gifts

New Hope Presbyterian Church Bridgeton, NJ

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