Each of us will give an account of himself to God.
The blog’s three-part message this week is taken from a sermon I preached just over a month ago at Cross Community Church. If you’d like to listen to this or another message preached at The Cross, simply go to www.thecross.org and click on the “Media” tab.
In the previous blog, I explained that those who have placed their trust in Christ’s atoning work on their behalf will not be required to give an account for their sins; Jesus paid that account in full on the Cross. But we Christians will account for the life we have lived as His people. I believe there are three primary areas for which we will be held accountable by the Almighty: our use of time, the talents He has given us, and the treasure he has bestowed on us to steward on His behalf. I discussed time in the previous article; today we’ll look at talent.
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you . . . (2 Timothy 1:6)
What do you think of when I use the phrase “robbing God”? I believe that many hands immediately clutch a wallet or purse a little tighter, thinking that I am speaking about giving money. Well, that’s not today’s message; that will come in Part Three! Today I write about an even greater theft: that is, when we rob God of our talent by refusing to put that talent to use in faithful and fruitful service of God.
The Bible makes it perfectly clear that every believer has been given at least one spiritual gift (see, for example, Romans 12:6-8). In addition, everyone has been endowed by God with natural talents and abilities. So every Christian possesses gifts, talents, and abilities, bestowed on us by God to be used in the expansion of His kingdom in this world. There is a Danish Proverb that says:
What you are is God’s gift to you;
What you do with yourself is your gift to God.
Helen Keller was once asked, “Is there anything worse than being blind?” She promptly replied, “Yes! To have sight without vision!” Scripture warns us, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV). God has equipped every believer with the equipment necessary to do what He is calling them to do, and He has laid out His vision for our lives in His holy Word. We need only respond by faith, forsaking our pursuit of things smaller than Jesus, and engage our gifts, talents, and abilities in the pursuit of God’s kingdom. The key to doing this, of course, lies in establishing priorities. Jesus instructed us to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33); everything else will follow.
So . . . what have you been doing lately with the gifts, talents, and abilities God has given to you? Have you been seeking His kingdom first . . . or your own?
Let these words encourage you as we close today: God did not make any “extra” Christians. You are needed; you are valuable; you have a role to play. When you don’t put in what God has equipped you to put in, we are all diminished. We all need all of us to build His church! What we must remember is that we build in His strength, not our own. He has given us everything we need to do the work he has given us; all we need to do show up and do it!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!