May 27, 2007

Making God Smile

Romans 12:3-8

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. Romans 12:6


In the film Chariots of Fire, an Olympic runner named Eric Liddell says, "I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast, and when I run, I feel God's pleasure." Later in the movie he says, "To give up running would be to hold God in contempt." Author Rick Warren uses this illustration in one of his books to say that using our gifts and talents makes God smile.

In Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 the apostle Paul tells us that God gives his people a variety of gifts "according to the grace given us"--or, as Jesus puts it, "according to [our] ability" (Matthew 25:15). No Christian is without gifts or talents.

Some of God's people go through life convinced they have no gifts or talents, and as a result they keep standing on the sidelines. Others--like one man in Jesus' parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30)--have buried their God-given abilities, afraid to use them. Still others refuse to use their gifts because they think they are not as gifted as some others.

God wants us to discover our gifts, develop them, and use them for the good of others and to his glory. No gift or talent is too insignificant for God. And God expects our churches to allow everyone to use the gifts they have been entrusted with. God wants no one left behind. That makes God smile!

Lord, we thank you for the gifts you have entrusted to us. Help us to use them and to encourage others to use their gifts for you. May we all glorify you for Jesus' sake. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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