Read: Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen” (1 Peter 4:11, NLT).
Think About It: “I’d like to give out a scholarship to someone who’s graduating high school, but not going to college.” I was intrigued by the statement as we were sitting at an honor banquet of graduating high school seniors receiving scholarships for college. “What would the scholarship be for, and…why?” His response was equally intriguing as well as a challenge that can be applied on many fronts. “For many,” he said, “college is a waste of time. They learn a lot of stuff they don’t need for a major many of them will never even work in. I’d rather see those guys receive a sum of money they can invest, learn from somebody that’s doing what they want to do, and then just do it.” Interestingly enough, another couple of young men I find are following that exact model. Both chose a field they were interested in or had some level of skill and talent for, found someone who’d give them a chance and teach them, learned for a season, and are doing it. Rather than wait for the perfect opportunity, they identified what they had and determined to use it.
Going Deeper: Peter wrote his first letters to those who followed Jesus, but were scattered in many directions due to the persecution of Christians by the Roman empire. Though he claims to write from “Babylon,” it is widely believed that that was “code” for Rome, which was seen as the supreme center of total godlessness during Peter’s time. As they were encouraged to look forward to the return of Christ and to eternity spent with Him, they were also challenged to use what God had given them to make the most of every moment while connected with fellow-believers. They were called to use what God had given them to be the “hands and feet of Jesus” right where they were. Whatever they had been given to use, they were to use it. Whatever they had been given to do, they were to do it. Every second that God has given you to live is to be lived with both intentionality and humility. As God has used churches in local communities to be lighthouses and centers that facilitate life-changing experiences, people are called to be and to do whatever necessary to see the mission completed.
Next Step: What has God given you to do? You are a valuable resource that, when connected to the purpose of God to reach others, has great potential to make a difference with eternal significance. Continue to take a “personal inventory” of what you’ve done, the skills you have, what you enjoy, and what you’d like to do. Dare to dream. Don’t allow fear to stop you and don’t wait for a hand-written invitation. Seek out the opportunity. Talk to someone who’s done or is doing what you’d like to do. If it’s not being done, talk to someone who can help you connect what you have to offer with what God wants to do. If God has given you something to do…then, do it.