Tuesday, July 22, 2014

31 Days of Joy: Use What God Has Given You

“Good things aren't going to just fall in your lap.
God is generous, but He expects you to do your part first."
― Unknown

Use what God has given you.

Do you realize that you have value and that you can make a difference in the world? God has given you unique abilities, talents, and gifts. You are a manager of the gifts God has given to you. They may be great or small in your eyes, but they matter to God. If you think your talents are simply for you to make a lot of money, retire, and die, you’ve missed the point of your life. God gave you talents to benefit others, just like He gave other people talents that benefit you. God makes a habit of taking simple things and simple people and using them in profound ways. Throughout history God has taken shepherds, fisherman, tax-collectors, children and a whole list of unique individuals and used them to change the world. We’re all a part of the body of Christ, and each part matters. There are no insignificant people in the family of God. You are shaped to serve God, and he is testing you to see how you are going to use the talents he gave you. When God gives you a talent, he expects you to use it. It’s like a muscle. If you use it, it will grow. If you don’t, you’ll lose it. If you have a talent but are afraid to use it, or if you get lazy and don’t use it to benefit others, you’re going to lose it. Like the parable of the ten talents in Luke 19, if you don’t use what God has given you, He will take it  away and give it to someone else who will. But if you use your talents wisely, God will give you more. If you use your time wisely, God will give you more time. If you use your energy wisely, God will give you more energy. If you use your influence wisely, God will increase your influence. God will bless your level of faithfulness. Whether you are a musician or an accountant, a teacher or a cook, God gave you those abilities to serve others, so practice it, love it, and do it to the best of your ability.

Focus Scriptures:
1 Peter 4:10
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

1 Corinthians 12:4-7
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

Joy in Action Today:
Make a list of the things that you are good at. What do you love to do? How can you use these talents to help others?