As some of you know, I spoke at HCC last Sunday. Corynn and Caleb stepped out on faith and played and sang for the congregation there. They used their God given gifts to share God’s love! Some of you have asked what I spoke about so I decided to post my message here today. I am so proud of our entire church family and their obedience to supporting us as we go out into the world and make disciples of all nations! We truly DO that! We each use our gifts uniquely! Thank you Caleb and Corynn for being so willing to join me! I am blessed to have you both in my life! d.
Using Your Gifts
Thank you for allowing me to fill the pulpit this morning! As most of you know I am your church secretary.
As I was preparing your newsletter a few weeks ago, I was also praying about what I should speak about today. I wasn’t sure if I should draw to music or speak. A friend of mine has told me that God gives us many gifts and that I had been hiding behind one of mine-drawing. It is hard to draw and talk at the same time. My drawings come from a deep well inside of me and only God & I know the fullness of their meanings. My friend has encouraged me to quit hiding behind the drawing and start speaking about what God has put on my heart. So, last week, as I was typing an article for the newsletter, God affirmed through that article what I was to speak about today.
Using our gifts.
Apostle Paul used his gift of writing to speak to us in Ephesians. Here is the Word of God for the people of God:
God saved you through faith as an act of kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God. 9It’s not the result of anything you’ve done, so no one can brag about it. 10God has made us what we are. He has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do.
This morning I would like to focus on the last sentence in that verse.
10God has made us what we are. He has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do.
We are God’s workmanship, a work of art. Our design is painted on the canvas of God’s heart and only he knows the colors that are there. Each color has a purpose, some bring light into the painting and some reveal shadows. Some colors express joy and others sorrow. All colors work together to bring out the message of the masterpiece.The masterpiece is not complete if one color is missing. It’s like a song that is missing a note. It sounds out of tune. All pieces are important and each have their particular job to do.
Let’s think of creation for a moment- in the daytime sky we see the beauty of God’s handiwork in the colors of the sky, sun and clouds. What we don’t see are the stars, moon and other planets. We know they are there, yet we don’t think about them because they aren’t visible to us until evening. When evening comes, and we look up at the stars, we are amazed at the beauty of God’s creation. We see God’s handiwork in the stars.
Why am I telling you these things? Because God wants you to know how important each and everyone of you are to Him. Each one of you has a purpose, a gift, a talent. When you use that gift for God you glorify HIM in all of the world. God didn’t save us and then not give us a purpose! He saved us so that we can spend our lives telling the world about Him. This is our gift back to Him!How do we do this? We use our God-given gifts and talents to serve the Lord in everything we do.
Let me give you an example. I always understand things better when it is personal.We all knew and loved Jack McGrady dearly and we all know what a worker for Christ he was, and still is! This building that we are sitting in has seen many repairs and improvements done by the hands of Jack McGrady. Jack was a master carpenter and He loved the Lord with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength. God gave Jack specific tools to use to do His work. Not Jack’s work- but GOD’s work through Jack. I have some of these tools here today.
These were Jack’s tools and he knew how to use them well. Why? Because God instilled that knowledge into Jack’s hands, head and heart.This is a plumb bob and the purpose of a plumb bob is to show that the building is vertical or straight up and down. Plumb bobs have been used since Ancient Egypt and the building of the pyramids. It reminds me that we should be in a straight line with God or “plumbed from our heart to His.”
This ruler helped Jack measure and cut wood precisely as the plan called for. God’s plan is the same way. Precise and accurate.
I am taking a course called the Bethel Bible Study series and in my studies I have been amazed at just how precise our God is. Everything he says has been done. It is the TRUTH and we all know that the TRUTH sets us free! If you look back in Exodus 25:8-9 God is speaking to Moses on the top of Mount Sinai. Here is what he says: “ Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this Tabernacle and all it’s furnishings EXACTLY like the pattern I WILL SHOW YOU.”
The next 6 chapters are the directions for the building of the Tabernacle. Accurate, precise and very, very detailed. Included are all it’s furnishings, curtains and priestly garments. It also includes an important man named Bezalel. I know you may be wondering who that was since we don’t hear of him often in scripture. In fact, I had never heard of him until I began to study on how to use my own gifts for God. In my studies I was excited to read in Exodus 31 that Bezalel was an artist! Jewish scholars say he was 13 when God called him and filled him with the skills, ability and knowledge to build the Tabernacle. I have also learned that he was from the tribe of Judah. Who better than that to build God’s dwelling place? God also gave Bezalel helpers. These helpers had specific gifts and tools-just like Jack did. They were all part of God’s plan to build His dwelling place. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “ For I know the plans I have for you…” and He does!
So, how does this relate to today? Well, here we are in God’s house and each of us have been uniquely designed by God to do a specific job. No one is left out and everyone is necessary. I know that my brain tries to tell me that I’m not needed, but in my heart I know that God has a purpose for my life. I was talking to a friend the other day and you know it’s funny how God works things out. She shared her story of having had a stroke at a young age, she was paralyzed and couldn’t talk at all. When she went to the ER the Dr. told her this: “God has a purpose for your life.” Today, this woman is vibrant, active and a speaker for Christ. This woman is Susan Clark. Many of you know her and we all know she can talk! Up until that point in time she hadn’t realized her purpose. Today she does and this morning as I stand here-she is standing as a witness for God in the church up the street.
So, how do we find out what our gifts are and how to use them? Well, God has given us each other to discover, nurture and use those gifts to build of the Body of Christ. Your Pastor, Deacons and Elders are here to help you discover your gifts. In my experience I have been encouraged and allowed to try new things by my Pastors and church family. One of those things has been drawing to music. In describing the drawings, I have discovered that I love to write about God. In writing, I have been encouraged by my church family to start a blog. So, today I blog. A blog is like a journal online. In the two years that I have been blogging, I have had over 90,000 people read my blog! That’s a whole lot of people reading about God! I wouldn’t be doing this without all of the encouragement and nurturing of my church family. You see, once we take that step of faith in the right direction-the rest is up to God. All he needs from us is one little step. Then as we step again and again-he uses people to guide us and teach us and even rebuke us when we need disciplining. If my Pastor hadn’t called me and said, “Hey Donna, Let’s try this-…” I wouldn’t be standing here today.
So, what I am trying to say is this: God has gifted us with many gifts and when we use one- he will show us another. But he can’t do that until we take that first step. God doesn’t force anything on us and it’s up to us to move forward. Yes, we are going to stumble and fall, but there are people who are next to you who will pick you up and dust you off and encourage you to try it again. We are told not to live a life of fear and the verse I rely on the most as I stand here today is Philippians 4: 13 “ I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME.” It runs consistently runs through my head as I am speaking. So, let me encourage you to help each other discover your gifts and if you need some help-please call me! Living life for God is an adventure-it’s like riding a rollercoaster! We throw up our arms and we joyfully scream in glee and when go down the other side we hang on for dear life! But we always go up and we always go down and God knows our every step, and He knows when you are going to step out!
Today I am blessed to introduce 2 young people to you. They are stepping on faith to share their love of God with you through music. You see, this is really what we are doing when we use our gifts. We are sharing God’s love with the world just as He has equipped us to do. Jesus did that too. He shared the gifts of teaching, compassion, humility, love and eternal life with you and I. His life was the ultimate gift and He has willingly and obediently poured it over us all. It’s called GRACE and we must tell HIS story through our hands, feet and body. We do this out of our love for Him. It’s not a sacrifice, you see that’s what Jesus did. It’s a heart thing.
A thing called love.
Please welcome Corynn & Caleb as they share God’s love through music with you.