DEVOTION – DIVERSITY OF GIFTS
Did you know that there are over 30,000 different species of fish in our world? Scientists, and others who keep track of these things, tell us there are about 300,000 different species of plants for our enjoyment. But the granddaddy of diversity goes to the insect kingdom with a whopping 950,000 different kinds of insects and more being described or discovered nearly daily! No doubt about it, our God is a God of variety and diversity. The diversity of plant and animal life that God has given us is astounding! However, the riotous variety of colors, sounds, tastes and abilities of nature that God has provided pales in comparison to the variety of abilities He has provided the crown of His creation, mankind.
Throughout history we see many examples of the relentless curiosity of man expanding or expounding on our knowledge of God’s creation. Although man’s inquisitiveness may at times get him into trouble, we often have the opportunity to praise God because of the creative abilities of others.
In the Scriptures, we have many examples of people using, and abusing, their gifts from God.
We can use these examples, good and bad, to help us take inventory of our own God-given talents and look for more ways of implementing them in the Lord’s service.
David was a mighty warrior for the Lord. He and his mighty men performed many a daring and death-defying deed to show the surrounding nations that Yahweh was indeed the only true God. Yet the Lord was also generous to David in other respects. David had a talent for putting the Word of God to music. This warrior poet sought ways throughout his life to use his talents for the praise of his God and the edification of his fellow men.
The Lord has distributed many other gifts to His people besides those of music and poetry. In the book of Exodus we read of the man Bezalel, who was talented indeed. The Lord leaves no doubt as to the source of these talents: “I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.” (Exodus 31:3-5)
Sometimes people may think they don’t have a talent or gift worthy enough to share because it may not be as flashy or noticeable as someone else’s gift. When Tabitha/Dorcas passed away, the women of Joppa were quick to point out to the apostle Peter the work she had accomplished with her hands. The many coats and pieces of clothing which had blessed so many individuals were truly blessings from God through the talents of this Christian woman. (See Acts 9:36-43)
We can assume that the apostle Matthew may have had a talent with numbers which led him to his choice of being a tax collector. Judas may have also had this talent, but perhaps should have recused himself from the job of treasurer for the disciples due to his greed. As we mentioned earlier, our many talents can be twisted by our sinful flesh to serve ourselves rather than God and our fellow servants. This is part of being a good steward with our God-given talents—to seek a God-pleasing use for them.
Have you taken inventory of your talents lately?
Do you have a head for numbers, or is working with your hands your forte? Try speaking to your pastor, a council member, elder, or someone in the women’s group—ask if there is something you might do for your Lord. God has created us with a variety of talents, all for the purpose of serving Him and our fellow man. See where you fit in, find your niche. I’m sure you’ll see the blessings that come to His Church as our various talents work toward this common goal.
David W. Bernthal is the principal of Luther Memorial School in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.