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The gifts God gives us, and sometimes the gifts we give, open doors for us. King Solomon encapsulated this thought for us in this priceless pearl of truth: "A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men" (Prov. 18:16, NKJV). Our God-given gifts bring us before people of authority and make plenty of room for us to live, work and minister as God has planned. This will surely happen if we do three things:

1. Continue walking with God. Gifts from God thrive only as we stay in touch with the God who gave them. Hence, in John 15 Jesus repeatedly urges us to "abide in Me" (vv. 4,7). As we, the branches, remain very close to Jesus, the Vine, the Spirit of His life flows through us constantly. As a result, our natural and spiritual talents gradually manifest, blossom and bear fruit abundantly.

2. Practice our special abilities or gifts. Whether ours are natural or spiritual gifts, only frequent use increases, sharpens and perfects them. In the world and in grace, practice makes perfect. Jesus commended the servants who used their talents, not those who hid them (see Matt. 25:14-30).

3. Await God's time. Ecclesiastes teaches, "To every thing there is a season" (Eccl. 3:1), and for every gift there is an appointed time for its optimum use. Paul's apostolic gift didn't blossom until after God's Spirit moved and began saving gentiles en masse, because his special abilities as apostle to the Gentiles were not needed until that hour.

If our gifts don't make room for us now, they will do so in the hour they're needed. That is, if we stay very close to Jesus, use our gifts often and wait patiently for our appointed season of service.

Then believe that your gifts will open doors for you! In God's time. In God's way. For your blessing. For others' blessing. For God's glory.

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