Month: February 2019

Not for Men

Colossians 3:23-24
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.


Tom worked for a large company and had a successful career. During a reorganization his boss moved him into a new role, but it was a demotion. He wondered why, as many of his peers were not demoted. His frustration grew as he compared himself with his peers. His pride told him he deserved a better job and that he should confront to his boss about it. As a Jesus follower, Tom knew that he was supposed to be “working for the Lord and not for man,” but his pride kept telling him to confront his boss. His pride won. He met with his boss and told him about his frustration with the new job. His boss said to him, “You need to understand. Your job had been eliminated. I created this new position, so that you would still have a job.”

Tom had forgotten for whom he worked. As a Jesus follower, he did not work for his boss, or the company or even himself. He worked for the Lord. His talents and the opportunity to use those talents were all from God, and his reward was from God. Later Tom went back to his boss to apologize and ask him to forgive his prideful attitude.

When we remember that we work for the Lord and not for man, it changes our attitude toward our job.

  • We know that God expects us to work hard and diligently for Him and not for man.
  • We realize our talents to do our job come from God.
  • We recognize that we represent Jesus in our workplace and others are watching us.
  • We trust that when things are difficult our reward for working hard is from God.

 

He has uniquely gifted us to do the “good works” He planned for us before we were even born. As we remember who we work for, we will have the right attitude.

19-Devo-Gifted 2.15Thought of the day: If your coworkers were asked about your attitude at work, what would they say? Do they “see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16)? We can ask the Holy Spirit to help us have an attitude that glorifies the Lord.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to remember all my talents and my job are from You. Help me to have an attitude of gratefulness. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What Is Your Gift?

Romans 12: 6-8
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.


Every talent we have been given is by and through the grace of God. He plants it within us and the Holy Spirit prompts and empowers us to use it according to His will and purpose.

When I use my talents and gifts for Him, it is for His glory and my good. When I surrender to that opportunity, He multiplies and expands His Kingdom.

We are interdependent of each other. We each make up a part of the body of Christ—the church. One person’s gifts and talents are no more or less important than the next. We all have a purpose and part to play. Someone gets to preach, someone gets to make coffee, someone gets to be the cheerleader, and someone gets to be the coach. You and I make up the church and each one of us has an important role to play according to the grace we have been given—freely given at a tremendous price!

He wants us to do the work He called us each to do and, in that, experience relationship with Him. By putting our faith in action, our brothers and sisters that don’t know Him yet will see the love of Jesus rather than just hearing about it.

Using the gifts and talents we have been given leaves no room for pride or jealousy. We get to humbly serve Him while we serve alongside each other in our divinely appointed roles. It’s yet another way that God shows us just how much relationships and community matter to Him and to us. You and I are wired to be in relationship, and each set of beautiful and uniquely designed talents is far more important than our human mind can understand.

When I use the gifts and talents that God has given me, it is a spiritual and physical act of worship. He never wastes our talents. Radical grace + radical obedience = a healthy, functioning, and growing body of Christ. His church. His people. His family. His plan.

19-Devo-Gifted 2.14Thought of the day: Are you choosing to use the gifts and talents you have been given to honor God? Is it time for you to step out in obedience and choose to freely give what has been freely given to you?

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your amazing design and attention to detail in creating me to know and serve You. Give me courage and wisdom to begin using the gifts and talents I have to honor You. I am Yours. Use me, God. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Using Your Talents

Proverbs 22:29
    Do you see a man skillful in his work?
        He will stand before kings;
        he will not stand before obscure men.


Historically when someone is brought before a king or political leader, it’s usually because of some sort of accolade. Whether they are a master artist, a national championship team, or a humanitarian—there’s typically a compelling reason why the leader is interested in spending time with them. A president or king likely isn’t going to host a special gathering to meet with the country’s most average team or mediocre scientist—that right is reserved for the best.

The academic, athletic, professional, and artistic skills that we have been blessed with can open opportunities for us to serve and love others. Like our spiritual gifts, our talents have been given to us, not just for our sake, but for the purpose of others. Our abilities can also lead to opportunities for influence, which provides us with the proximity to various individuals and groups of people that others may not have the chance to invest in.

Could it be that the reason you’re a lawyer, writer, athlete, chef, accountant, or sales rep be a lot bigger than the idea that it’s something you earned? What if we began viewing our talents as a way that God has equipped us to bless others?

19-Devo-2.13Thought of the day: How can you use your natural talents and opportunities they afford to serve others? What scenarios do you find yourself in that sets you apart from those around you?

Prayer: God, thank You for the talents and abilities You gave me. Allow me to see the opportunities to love others that those talents allow me to have. I want to love You and others in every place I find myself.

Unsure of Your Gifts? Ask Him!

Hebrews 13:16
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.


Did you know God has uniquely designed you with special gifts? You may know that, but do you believe it? And did you know that you are uniquely designed to use those gifts for the good of others in a way that only YOU can? There is an age-old saying used to self-motivate children and adults alike: “There’s no one else I’d rather be than me.” It’s simple, but so true. This is a truth that you must adapt to your way of thinking. It must be ingrained in you so that it’s not just something you are choosing to believe, but something that you are living out.

You may be journeying through life still trying to figure out what God has for you next, and that’s okay. But, take time today and think through the gifts He has given you—no gift is too small. Consider taking time and making a list of every gift that comes to mind. If you’re unsure, ask God to guide you and bring gifts and talents to the forefront of your mind. Think through situations and experiences where you’ve helped someone. How did you do that? Has anyone told you that you were good at something that was surprising to you? Write that down as well! Then spend some time thanking God for all of the gifts and talents He’s given you and think through ways you are currently using them, both in your personal life and work.

19-Devo-2.12Thought of the day: Spend some time thinking about these questions and write down your responses. Are there times you feel your gifts aren’t being put to good use? Why is that? Are there areas in your life where you could be utilizing more of your gifts? What are some ways you can bless others by using your unique talents?

Prayer: Holy God, give me knowledge of what my unique gifts are. Help me to understand what giftings You’ve placed on my life and how I can show Your love to others by using my gifts in unique ways. Help me to have the courage to embrace the gifts and talents You’ve given me.