The world loves to sing the praises of those who are world renown, or of celebrity status. Rightfully so; they have earned their props. They have proven that they have mastered their craft. The end result is success and accolades, with notoriety. But who are they working for? To whom do they praise? The applause from the world, awards, and money is as best as it will get for them on this earth.
God is most concerned with what has Eternal Value. When He saved you and me, He expected us to produce to the best of our ability. He, the Lord God, portioned out ability and giftedness according to what He knew each individual could successfully bring to past. He gave each of us what was right up our alley, and what we were good at naturally. He said to tweak it, develop it, nurture it, and use it for His honor and glory upon the earth.
There is Eternal Value connected to all that God has given to us. Unfortunately, not all have taken seriously what God has so graciously bestowed upon them, and how sad is that.
The gifted preacher, or minister of the word, behind closed doors, must be prayed up, and in the word reading and studying it at all times in order to be a vessel ready to be used at the right time. The same goes for any ministry area, be it Sunday school work, outreach endeavors, music ministry, teachers of the word, etc. No one is exempt from the spiritual responsibilities that come with being a mouth piece for God.
We should take a lesson from the world in this regard. The world is good at what they do. Why aren't we? Have you and I taken what God has placed in our hands and developed it to its fullest potential? Have we nurtured and cultivated everything that we know how to do as far as service for God goes? Have we focused our energy on those things in order to be effective and efficient with them?
Is This where you are?
1. Failure to study, train or learn more about what you have a level of skill in.
2. Where you were five or ten years ago is where you still are with it.
3. The skill has diminished.
4. Opportunities aren't coming.
5. Not where you ought to be with it.
God expects you and I to be:
Perfect/Complete in know how
Passionate, Strong belief and conviction
Are you driven with 'Passion' or have you settled for where you find yourself? It takes 'Passion' to accomplish things for God. Passion is what keeps a person seeking and pursuing. It gets them up each day engaged in the skill they've been given. They never rest, they are always learning new things and new ways to use that thing for God. Without passion, you will be hard pressed to grow, and improve, or even master what you've been given.
The amount of time we invest in a thing speaks to where we're at with it, and the level of result we can expect from it.
There are some skills that cannot be recovered once neglected. If God gave a person physical strength to serve Him, he'd better start as early as possible in all seriousness, because physical strength will diminish with age and lack of good health. Perhaps he gave some the gift of music, that too will diminish with age and lack of health. These things cannot be recovered if years of neglect set in.
In order to be Ambassadors for Christ, we must be effective. God has given us everything to be powerful upon the earth, right where He has placed us. We must not neglect our calling!
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might!
James 1:20 "For the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God."
The world at large has become angry! This anger has been growing over centuries for different reasons.
What has erupted in our present day, is deeply rooted in events that took place long ago. There seems to be no healing, and no help. So, as a nation, and as a world, we are self destructing.
The fabric of society, as we know it, has been frayed, and we all know what happens to a garment that has been worn out.
What is really behind all of the anger? Anger is a response to the feeling of threat. Mankind has become corrupt with no sympathy, let alone, empathy. It is every man for himself. Even the poor are oppressing the poor. What an abomination!
The enemy of men's souls have done a thorough, and a great job at stirring up strife, and hatred, using human against human. Mankind has given the devil, satan, Lucifer, all the ammunition needed to turn this world upside down. It started in the Garden of Eden, actually. It was there, satan used Adam and Eve to thwart the authority of God. The rest is history.
Why are we humans feeling threatened? Is the answer to this not rooted in the 'The lust of the eye' 'The lust of the flesh', and the 'Pride of life'? Every problem in life seems to flow out of these three things.
You see, satan never tries any new tactics. He always sticks with what works because we, the people, have proven to him that his strategy in turning us against God, dividing homes, prejudice, and hate is working.
While the entire country spirals down into the abyss, every man trying to fight for his or her rights, the farther and deeper we seem to fall. No one seems to have the solutions for the problems we are experiencing. There are some who blame God or a 'so called' God for the trouble they see. Others who don't believe that any god exists, are fighting the earthly powers that be.
Prejudice, and its many faces have ruled the day. Corruption at the top of government, police brutality, race wars in our communities, hatred that oppresses the poor, the disenfranchised, and our most precious commodity, our children, continue to rise with horrid, and disgusting fumes that consume the nostrils of the True and Living God!
When will it all end? It won't. It will continue to get worse. The answer alone cannot be found in electing anyone into office. The answer with solutions can only be found in God's word.
So where does that leave me as a believer in this world? I have the awesome responsibility to stand for what is right, just, and all that God approves of. I am not to go along with anything that corrupts, oppresses the poor, prejudices itself against any race, or violates any mans civil liberties.
It is, however, important to know how to take a stand and fight against these things. God gives wisdom. We need His wisdom, His strength, His know how, to voice what is right. After all, we are the creatures of His hands. He is watching all of us.
We cannot, and should not just react to injustices, we need wisdom along with gentleness. James 1:20 says, "Because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires." My anger, and your anger has to walk hand in hand with the righteous life that God desires. Be angry and sin not, the scriptures command. Righteous indignation over the absence of justice is appropriate as long as we control our emotions and not allow them to cause us to commit any crime or violate another.
Fellow believers, seek God for His direction, for you personally, when it comes to the unique and powerful way you are to have a voice in the midst of the madness. God will make sure your voice is heard, I do believe that. He will show you which podium to stand on and He will give you the right bull horn to use to do it. In so doing, don't fail or forget to be salt and light. That is a powerful medium, if I can use that term, to effect some change. Change begins within the heart of man. Seeking to be heard effectively won't work without the salt and light factor.
As we await the return of the one who loved us, and gave Himself for us, let us encourage one another while we can. Let us strengthen one another in the faith. Let us join together in unity for all that pleases the heart of God.
1 Peter 4:10 "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace."
What a beautiful thing God has designed for the believer! He has so graciously given to every Christian a 'Spiritual Gift'! You and I received at least one or more the moment we accepted Christ as our personal savior. This gift was something that we did not have prior to our personal encounter with the Lord.
We may have had abilities, before we got saved that are still valuable and useful, but nothing compares to the 'Spiritual Gift' that God has bestowed upon us!
There is a difference between a 'Talent' and a 'Spiritual Gift'. A talent/s were things we had the ability to do before we got saved, such as: anything associated with the arts, cooking, sewing, building things, etc... There are many skills that individuals possess.
God gave spiritual gifts for the purpose of building up the Christian body of Christ. Every believer that we come in contact with should be benefitting from our spiritual gift. They should be able to identify what that gift is. We, on the other hand should be using it, as well as looking for every opportunity to utilize it!
The local church is not the place to show off what we think we can do. It isn't the place to put our abilities on display for the attention we may receive as a result. That would be selfish use of what has been given to us; neither is it appropriate to use the church to work out any lack of affirmation, or the lack of self esteem. Those are personal matters we should be working on with the Lord when we are daily sitting at His feet.
In 2 Timothy 1:6, 7, Timothy was told to "Stir up the gift that is in you." In other words, revive it, and rekindle it.
"God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." Timothy was told not to be timid and afraid to use what he had been given for he had been given the spiritual grace (enablement) for his ministry work. He was given a spirit of power and not one of fear.
God's power accompanies our spiritual gift! The Holy Spirit that you and I were sealed with, imparts power to us. This power works in conjunction with our spiritual gift, resulting in effectiveness.
This same spirit of love will move our heart to testify of Christ (using our gift), as well as help us to do it in love towards others. The motivation behind our use of any spiritual gift has to be 'Love', other than that, we are using it for self and it won't be effective!
We have been given a spirit of sound mind, this means that the Spirit of God transmits what is sensible and true. The Spirit of God reveals thoughts that are sensible, and true. When we are using our gift/s, people will be drawn to God.
Always keep yourself in good standing with God. Sin hinders and leaves us ineffective. Walk in obedience to God and let Him use you mightily among His people!