When the time came to build the tabernacle at Mount Sinai, “Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whom the LORD has put wisdom and understanding, to know how to do all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, shall do according to all that the LORD has commanded” (Exodus 36:1 NKJV). When needs arise, it seems there are always plenty of people who have the talent, and know God’s Will, and are ready to step up and do what needs to be done. Ask “how will God help,” then look at those who do. “But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good” (2 Thessalonians 3:13 NKJV). Since Jesus said our giving should not only be: “before men, to be seen by them” (Matthew 6:1 NKJV), it’s easy to overlook the generous response among churches of Christ who help in time of need.
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
The older our children become, the more we seem to pray for them and their children.
There comes a time in life when a parent has to turn over the directing of their children’s lives totally to the Lord. Continue reading
I prayed and asked God to increase my artistic talent and He did! As a single girl I saw a picture of a sermon chart in the back of a New Testament and decided to paint it on a bed sheet. “The State of Man” was the name of the chart. I went to the dime store and bought stencils to outline the letters, and bought magic markers in the colors I needed. With parents who encouraged me, I set about painting my first chart on a kitchen table.
My brother is an artist and a sign painter by trade. He saw the stencil outlines and told me I could do it freehand, gave me pointers, and encouraged me to try it. I called brother Steve Hudgins to ask what kind of paint and brushes he used. He gladly shared his knowledge with me. I asked God to bless me with the ability to paint the charts freehand, and in time He did. I then started praying for speed in painting charts. I didn’t want to spend several days painting one chart. Later I painted one in a few hours.
Prayers and talents have played an important part in my life.
If God were to give you another talent or ability, what would you want it to be? Did you ever feel the need or desire to have a gift that you lacked? Have you ever asked the Lord for a talent you didn’t have, or tried to develop this ability in yourself?
Obviously, the Spirit gives gifts to whom he will, “distributing as he decides to each person, who produces all these things” (1 Cor. 12:11 NET). And we confess that “each has his own gift from God, one this way, another that” (1 Cor. 7: 7). And Paul says that “the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable” (Rom. 11:29).
We ought not wish to be rid of one gift and desire another, for the sake of recognition or to impress, as did the Corinthians (see 1 Cor. 12-14). But surely we’ve had moments when we desired a different gift in order to be useful in the kingdom?
Teaching, says my wife, is my best gift. She usually says this after a sermon of mine.
A friend some years back told me, after listening to a lesson of mine, that writing was my talent.
So I get the feeling that my talent is what I’m not doing right then. 🙂
Seriously, the Lord has given me several gifts. I seek to use them for his honor. The ego would snatch them for its own glory. But the Lord knows how to knock the ego down to size.
Teaching and writing, then, with a bit of editing and some encouraging thrown in. Glory to God!
I too find it difficult to assess my best talent. God has blessed me in many ways: athletics (I’m naturally good at most sports), mathematics (BS degree – summa cum laude), Bible (writing, recall, & conversational preaching), & entrepreneur (started successful vending & internet retail business to support my ever-growing family).
After further reflection, however, (and Ron can attest to this), my greatest talent may be repartee and big, goofy smiles.
God has blessed me with many talents, but I’ll go with one not listed in scripture as my best, just to be different. I have a gift for computers, so I handle all our congregations’ IT needs: web site, online advertising for meetings, email, office computer. I also record, edit (on computer), and publish our sermons and gospel meetings on our web site and press DVDs for our library. I’m presently working with one of our deacons to build an online bible study program (computer based training package) — much like a bible correspondence study by mail, but online with instant display of scriptures, feedback, and the ability of the student to ask questions that get routed to a teacher, who can then review the student’s answers and respond. What I do is a small behind-the-scenes thing, but (I hope) it makes a difference.
What's your best talent?
The Lord gives us all talents, or gifts, to be used in his kingdom. Among your many talents, which is your best? probes the Nudge on this cool Wednesday morning.
There are several lists of gifts, both miraculous and not, in the New Testament, among them, 1 Cor 12, Rom 12, Eph 4, 1 Pet 4. Need we make the common disclaimer that the miraculous has ceased today?
Surely more gifts than those listed in Scripture function in the church for its growth and edification. You may have one we’ve not heard of yet.
This is not one of those dumb talent shows on the telly, by the way. I do hope you’re not an addict of one of those.
On the newsy side, is there an interesting baptism in your congregation? (Aren’t they all?) A beloved saint who has passed? An event that brought a special blessing? An outreach that has opened new areas of work? So much to be shared!
We’ve been asked to describe the 1-talent person in our congregation. Honestly, I cannot think of a single person who has only one talent. We are blessed with people who can do many things. Not all use their talents openly. Some may not use them at all. Perhaps this is because they fear failure, or perhaps there is some other reason. Our elders are working hard to engage everyone in something this year.
The One Talent Person In My Congregation would be a lady that is one of the older ladies, surely hedging 90 years old. She does a lot of visiting the sick, elderly in nursing homes or assisted living centers, shut-ins and anyone else she thinks needs encouragement or uplifting. She does this quietly, under the radar, so to speak. The only way you know she has done any of this is from the ones she has visited, or when any updates are ask for about these members.
The Daily Nudge asks the Fellows to describe the one-talent man in their congregation.
The closest person we have to fit that description is a widower in his late 70s. He’s a manual laborer with little education, a slow reader. He still works, probably out of necessity, though he can’t climb as high on the scaffolding these days, only about three stories up. (We told him not to do that; a three-story fall would still kill him.)
He doesn’t preach or teach publicly, although he does lead a prayer. He can’t teach a personal Bible study. But he has brought more people to visit the group studies and church meetings than everybody else combined! He and I have been on several studies together with people he’s contacted, often at the bus stop.
And he visits. Any problem anywhere and he’s at their door. He gets free bus rides, so he uses those for the Lord.
This is an excellent nudge. All too often we think our talents are ours and we become puffed up, thinking that God had nothing to do with it. Blessed be our great God who gives to us over and over again!
So with what talents has God blessed me? I think first and foremost, God gave me eyes, ears, and mental capacity to read, hear, and understand His word. Second to that, He gave me the ability to impart knowledge to others, both verbally and in written form. (There are other talents, but that is enough for now.) What I do with those talents is up to me, but I do believe the Bible teaches that God will hold me accountable for how I use those talents.
God has blessed all of us with certain abilities. We need to be utilizing them to the best of our abilities to the glory of God (Ephesians 3:20-21). I have humbly been blessed with the ability to write and to express my thoughts in a coherent manner. I need to do a better job of putting this into action. However, one of my downfalls is a lack of time management, which wages war against my eagerness to write. I think God has also blessed me with a small ability to understand human behavior. Age and wisdom had to catch up with this ability. I try to give this ability a voice in my writing. I just wish I could write full-time, so I could do even more to put these abilities into practice.