Use These Gifts

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

When we sing about the offering of our gifts, we quickly find several thoughts interwoven with each other. The first is the foundational thought that God’s generosity in Christ has brought us salvation and all good things in life. God has “created heaven and earth and all other creatures from nothing” (Belgic Confession, Article 12) and he continues to “provide whatever I need in body and soul” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 9, Question and Answer 26). But God’s greatest act of generosity is shown in the gift of his Son “by a most perfect love” (Belgic Confession, Article 20) through whom we find the forgiveness of our sins and eternal life.


God’s children are called to be compassionately concerned for other humans and their needs, a call which expresses our obedience in living out our baptism. The Belhar Confession, Section 2 points out that the unity of the people of God is manifested as we love one another, know and share one another’s burdens and suffer with one another. Later, the Belhar Confession, Section 4 says, “God brings justice to the oppressed and gives bread to the hungry…supports the downtrodden…helps widows and orphans…” among other things, and we are to follow him in these actions. Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 11 calls us to “foster the well-being of all the living,” to “feed the hungry, bring water to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and free the prisoner” (paragraph 41).


Use These Gifts

Additional Prayers

A Petitionary Prayer
Loving God, we’ve brought money for people who do the work most of us wouldn’t do.
Use these gifts to lift the lowly.
We’ve brought money for people with no name recognition.
Use these gifts to raise the humble.
We’ve brought money for people who simply aren’t getting enough to eat.
Use these gifts to feed the hungry in Jesus’ generous name. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Use These Gifts

Tune Information

F Major

Use These Gifts

Hymn Story/Background

“Use These Gifts” is one of fourteen songs by Ken Medema included in his collection The Offering as Worship (2007, also available on CD). He worked with Mark Vincent of “Design for Ministry” who prepared additional resources revolving around the radical assumption: "Christ has made us Friends." Ken said: “All the songs in the series tried to focus on that notion that when one gives to a friend, it is a different matter than giving to a cause or an institution… That mind-blowing scriptural idea has everything to do with how giving is perceived and practiced in our churches.” The complete resource for congregations for stewardship emphasis includes worship ideas, liturgies, sermon suggestions, activities, prayers and Ken’s original songs as well as suggestions for traditional music. 
— Emily Brink

Author and Composer Information

Ken Medema (b. Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1943) is a song writer, composer, recording artist, and story-teller through music. Blind from birth, Ken began playing the piano at age five and studied classical music by reading Braille. He graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School and studied music therapy at Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan. As a music therapist in both Indiana and New Jersey, he began writing songs for hurting teenagers, an experience that helped to launch a career of writing songs on Christian life that has taken him to venues large and small all over North America and beyond. He responds to what he hears and sees in his heart at particular events, often improvising songs on the spot, offering compassion, honesty and desire for integrity in both worship and life. In 1985 he began Brier Patch Music, which continues to publish his music and recordings, including 26 CDs. 
— Emily Brink

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