As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies -- in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11
Over the years I have seen many people who want nothing to do with God, His mission, His miracles, His desire to save the lost.
Although I cannot verify the truth of this story, the man who shared it with me says, "Even if it isn't true, it ought to be." The story concerns a wealthy man whose name had been on the church books for almost forever. Unfortunately, it had been many years since he had been at worship. Even so, since his name was on the books, he was approached and asked to contribute to a major project of the congregation.
The people calling on him spelled out the urgent need, and the request was made.
Having listened patiently, the rich man responded: "I understand, as you look around my office and corporation, why you think I can contribute $50,000. I have all the outward signs of affluence. But there are some things, I believe, you don't know. For example,
* did you know my mother is in an expensive nursing home?" (Well, no, the callers didn't know that.);
* did you know also that my brother died, and left a family of five without almost any insurance?" (No, they didn't that either.);
* did you know my son is deeply religious, has gone into social work, and makes less than the national poverty level to meet the needs of his family?" (No, they hadn't realized that either.);
"Well," the rich man continued, "if I don't give any of them a penny, what makes you think I'd give anything to you?"
Now I know that is not the way you responded to the Lord when He asked you to join Him. For that I thank the Lord and the Holy Spirit who has extended this soul-saving invitation to salvation. All of us rejoice in this call which moves us from dark to light; from hell to hope, from being lost to being saved.
Yes, Jesus has saved you.
But He also wants to save many others, and in that cause He wants you to help. To make such a partnership possible He has provided you with a gift, an ability, a strength, a passion, something which is designed to be used by the Holy Spirit to reach those who are lost.
The only question that remains is what will you do with the talents the Lord has entrusted to you?
The answer should not be a hard one. It's not a hard one for those of us who wish, as Peter wrote above, to glorify the Lord with our gifts.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the hymn-writer (Daniel March) reminded me, that "If I cannot speak like angels, if I cannot preach like Paul, I can tell the love of Jesus; I can say He died for all. If I cannot rouse the wicked with the judgment's dread alarms, I can lead the little children to the Savior's waiting arms." Dear Lord, empower me to do what I can with the gifts You have given. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"