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A devotional from Ray Whitely

I firmly believe that God gives each one of us gifts that we can use as we travel along on the journey of life here on Earth. These gifts are unique to us individually, and it is up to each one of us to make use of the God given gifts that we have. God provides the opportunity, and we provide the effort to use it. 

When Pat and I moved with our children to Hendersonville in 1978 one of the first things we did to anchor our family here was to find a church to join. We quickly and easily decided to join The Hendersonville First United Methodist Church, and we have been members here ever since. It was an easy choice since I was a life-long Methodist and my grandfather had been a long-time Methodist minister. 

Thinking back, this Church, at the corner of Indian Lake and Gallatin Road, was a gift God gave to me to stabilize and support me throughout many years. We became members of the Searchers Sunday School Class, and this class has been a gift to me through the love of God and the faithfulness to Jesus Christ that its members consistently exhibit. This always serves as a source of inspiration and confidence in the truth of God's word to me

A gift God has given me is the opportunity and the ability to teach, and I have been able to use these gifts by teaching the Searcher's Class since 1981. By sharing whatever gift God has given me in this area, I have received far more of a gift in return by truly realizing how much God does love each one of us and how real God is in our lives. 

Having been in this Church for over 40 years I have seen the positive impact it has had on young people growing up in the church, the positive impact it has in the community, and the focus it keeps on the goodness of God. Our church is a gift that keeps on giving. 

I am happy to support our church financially to the best of our family's ability. One of God's greatest gifts to me is to have allowed me to be an elected District Attorney for many years, and I once would have never believed that to be possible. Like each one of us, I could never pay God back for the many gifts He has given me, but I know that our financial gifts matter when combined with everyone else's. Large or small, our gifts matter when we all pull together

"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." - 1 Corinthians 12:4-

Our Father, thank you for the many varieties of gifts you have bestowed upon each of us. Please help us realize that it is up to us to accept and make use of our gifts to your glory and help us to share our gifts in such a way that we can help others grow closer to you. Amen