I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
By Hannah Solomon Mesfin (WITHIN Devotional Contributor)
Often times, I have sat and pondered on the thought “when my life has come to an end, have I truly lived a life worthy of my calling?” In these moments of contemplation, I find myself more encouraged to push even deeper into my purpose, my call and my abilities. We can either find ourselves encouraged to live a life worthy of the call and gifting God has placed within us or we can run away from the call, dishonoring God and living in disservice to others.
My husband shared a quote with me the other day that I want to share with you all. He said, “The death of a seed is the burial of a forest” (Myles Munroe). How powerful is that!? In the same way, the death of our giftings that God has given us is the burial of generations that are to follow. God has not given us giftings, talents and abilities for us to hide or keep dormant. Instead, we are to use it to honor Him and serve others. These two things go hand in hand. In 1 Peter 4:10 we see Peter encouraging believers saying, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (NIV) There are two giftings, natural and spiritual giftings. Yet, Peter does not distinguish between spiritual gifts and natural talents or abilities. He didn’t say to those of you who have a specific gifting or call out on a particular kind of people or specific group of people. He instead said that EACH of us should use WHATEVER gift we have received to serve others. We know that in “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord” (Col. 3:23). So, our natural giftings and talents are to also be used as if we are working for the Lord. And Because He Himself has given us these exact gifts, it does not become exempt or disqualified. “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” (1 Cor. 12:4-6)
I am reminded of this in the parable of the bags of gold (Matthew 25). The master gave three men different amounts of gold, each according to their ability. He then journeyed off and returned after a long time. When he came upon each of the men that he had given a part of his wealth to, the man who was given five bags of gold from his master went and gained five more. The man who was given two bags of gold went and gained two more, but the man who was given one bag of gold went and buried the gold only to give back to the master what he initially gave to him. Most of us are like the third man, burying what God has given us without producing fruit or change. We often think that what God has given us we can only do so little with in comparison to what God might have given the person next to us. So instead, we keep it to ourselves thinking it won’t make a difference so why waste time or we think that what we do has no impact. We even believe that the God we serve is Mighty enough and why does He need someone as insignificant as ourselves to advance His kingdom, to subdue the earth and touch the lives of those around us; He can do it all by Himself right? Consequently, we bury, we hide, we cover what He has placed in us thinking we will disappoint Him and that it is better off to leave it as “one bag of gold” versus messing up and losing the entire bag all together.
Well, this couldn’t be further from the truth! We first have to understand that God gives according to our ability! The gifts He placed within you, the talents He has given you is YOURS; not your neighbors, not your friends. What you do with the gift He has given you and how you use it to serve others is also going to look different from the person next to you. For you, it might be adding five more “bags of gold”. For someone else it might be adding two more “bags”. All God cares about is that we are ADDING, we are multiplying, advancing and serving others. Don’t let the death of your seed become the burial of your forest! “Remember, my hearer, that in the day of judgment thy account must be personal; God will not ask you what your church did – he will ask you what you did yourself.” (Spurgeon)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The weekly devotionals seek to encourage you to dig deeper into Scripture as you take the time to daily read, meditate, and internalize the verses in the devotional, along with the passages provided below to give greater context. Take the time to read them throughout the week (repetition is important) and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp what God is showing you about Himself, about you, and how to live in light of these truths.
Passages to read/memorize/meditate:
1 Peter 4:10
1 Corinthians 12:4-7Questions to Reflect on: