Bible Studies In The Christian Library
Talents for God

Today,  there are rows upon rows of  trees growing in Swaziland.  (Southern Africa)  In fact,  on the campus of Manzini Bible College,  there are some 20,000 Macadamia Nut Trees planted and growing. 

     - When mature,  these trees  will provide a half-million or more dollars  annually for scholarships, evangelism and resource materials for the school. 
     - The college,  unable to support itself was looking for financial aid to offer an education for people in Africa. 
     - While reviewing the  problem,  the school administrators kept asking themselves the following question: 
“Why not put the empty acreage of the campus to good use?  What could we grow here and produce that could offer a continuing profit for the Lord’s cause?” 

  1.  The leaders came up with the Macadamia Nut Trees…a product in worldwide demand.  It just happens to flourish in this area of Africa. 
  2.  So, from looking to answer their financial problems,  the Manzini Bible College helped it’s own cause by making good use of their land and it’s recourses! 

To help initiate the plan, a young Christian from Tennessee has been working as a missionary to nurture the seedlings, plant the trees, irrigate the crops, and will oversee the entire project. 

I suppose what caught my eye about this story was that: 

  1. The school is to be congratulated for finding ways to put their own resources to use.  They didn’t just look for a handout! 
  2. This young Christian, as well, catches your eye.  Here is a farmer who has put his talents to use for the good of the Lord’s Work.  Some people are sent out to preach, others are very capable of teaching.  Still others are able to give “a little extra” of their means to help the Lord’s Work flourish.  Here is a young man who has the talent for planting and nurturing trees.  His contribution to the Lord is of GREAT VALUE! 
  3. This story just goes to show, it takes all workers…with all of our talents to help the Lord’s Work move forward in our community! 

The basic need is this: 

  1. We need people to put their energies to use for the Lord 
  2. Our needs are varied:  leaders,  teachers,  volunteers (visits, planner,  inviters) 
  3. Overall,  we need you to be involved in our work:
                    Youth meeting
                    Contribution for Comm. Service
                    Nursing Home Visits ( sing)
                    Men willing to serve
                    Meetings (county-Wide)
                    Summer Youth series 
4.   Each of you have particular talents,  in what ways are you using those talents to glorify God? 

***When the Israelites worked to build the Tabernacle for God, we find that many people were involved.  Whatever talents the people possessed, they offered themselves to be used.  God’s Temporal House was built, many people took an active part. 

  1. God put knowledge inside the minds of certain men to take the lead 
  2. Then,  all the craftsmen got involved (in ways they were capable) 
  3. Key:  All the people bought into the vision of creating this house for the Lord  (Temple, re-building the Temple….same thing:  people need a VISION!) 

What is our vision…for the Church? 
To actively put our talents into use: 

  1. They must do so because of their LOVE for the LORD!
  2. They must see a need,  and feel part of the solution 
  3. They must maintain an attitude of Submission to God’s Will 

(Just like the young Christian going to Africa, these are the reasons that he is doing mission work!) 

I would have to suggest, that SUBMISSION to the Lord’s Will is probably the GREATEST ASSET needed to offer your talents to the Lord’s Will. 

  1. Paul, in writing to the church at Galatia, points out the Christian’s need to “bear each other’s burdens” 
  2. In doing so,  one becomes more Christ-like 
  3. We learn submission 
  4. WE find new and exciting ways to put our talents to work…we learn to do for others!

(Gal 6:1-10 NKJV)  Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. {2} Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. {3} For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. {4} But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. {5} For each one shall bear his own load. {6} Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. {7} Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. {8} For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. {9} And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. {10} Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

The message is clear, one of the greatest (and most satisfying) uses of your talents…is spent on those around you!  Brethren:  “As we have opportunity, let us do good to ALL, especially to those of the household of faith.”  (vs 10) 

  1.  As we have already chronicled, there are many opportunities for you to put your talents to work within the programs of this congregation. 
  2.  We notice how Paul instructs the church as well:  “do good toward all…especially to the household of faith.” 
    <<<As Christ came to serve you, so you should be of service to others 
    <<<You know, you cannot out-give God! 
    <<<We are most useful to God, when we are useful to others! 

(1 Cor 12:12-14 NIV)  The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. {13} For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. {14} Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.

  1.  I like Paul’s terminology her…“the church as a UNIT ” 
  2.  Brethren, we must be united in Word and Deed.  Likewise, our talents are quite diverse…let’s put them all to good use! 
  3.  We are all individual members…at the same time,  we are all members of ONE Body, the Body of Christ!  Therefore,  we are functioning for the same purpose! 

(1 Cor 12:24-26 NIV)  “But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, {25} so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. {26} If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”

I used the following Illustration in a bulletin article recently, I believe it fits in well with our subject for the hour.  Each of us has our particular abilities…together we can make a difference in our community: 

In a certain mountain village in Europe several centuries ago, a nobleman wondered what legacy he should leave to his townspeople.  At last he decided to build them a church.    

No one saw the complete plans for the church until it was finished. When the people gathered, they marveled at its beauty and completeness.  Then someone asked, "But where are the lamps? How will it be lighted?" 

The nobleman pointed to some brackets in the walls.  Then he gave to each family a lamp which they were to bring with them each time they came to worship.  "Each time you are here the area where you are seated will be lighted," the nobleman said.  "Each time you are not here, that area will be dark.  This is to remind you that whenever you fail to come to church, some part of God's house will be dark." 

(It is true, Brethren when you are not in attendance, part of our building is in darkness!) 

In putting our talents to use for the Lord’s good, we should live as Jesus lived: 

  1. We need to allow His mind and Spirit to influence our decisions for daily living.  Jesus had a definite purpose and mission, we need to be a “brotherhood with a purpose!”  (evangelize, showing Christ’s love) 

(Phil 4:8 NKJV)  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things.

  1.  We need to practice the loyalty that Jesus gave to His Father in Heaven.  As Jesus “went about and did good to all” He was sure to proclaim that He was only going about to do what His Father had sent Him to do. Jesus displayed many fascinating talents, He gave every amount of credit to His Heavenly Father. Amid His many talents, Jesus made it plain that He came to SERVE...not to be SERVED!  We, as well, must be about our Father’s business! 

(Mark 10:45 NKJV)  “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

                            <> Jesus forgave His enemies 
                            <> The life of Christ could be called a life of prayer 
                            <> Jesus never quit…never gave up!  Even when He was despised
                                  and rejected 
                                  He remained loyal to His calling. 

(Heb 12:1-3 NKJV)  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, {2} looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. {3} For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.

***Talents are given from God***
***When this life is complete, your life will be on display***
***Have you used your abilities for God’s Gain***

Copyright 1999 by David Gladwell may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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