TODAY'S WORD FOR Friday, August 11, 2017:
Having the means or power to be or to act; intelligence; competence; skill; giftedness.
And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability. Matthew 25:15
If anyone speaks he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves he should do it as with the strength which God provides so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. I Peter 4:11.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
It is a great concern to us today that we see so many young people with great abilities that basically seem to be lazy and not doing anything to use their God given abilities. The same is happening with older people. Where is the drive that so many people had in the past to succeed?
When we think of the word ability we are reminded of three distinct types of people we have known and worked with over the years.
There was a person that comes to mind that worked with us in the ministry God had blessed us with some 30 years ago. This person was not doing the job that was expected of him and other people in the ministry thought, as we did, that he could do much better. But after several conversations with him and additional training that we offered him, he never improved.
The reason he did not improve became very clear to us. He was happy in his comfort zone coming to work every day and doing just enough to get by and then going home. He had great ability but never seemed to have the desire to take advantage of the abilities God gave him. Do you know people like this?
Secondly, we have known others that seemed to us to have limited ability. They worked hard at every task given them and made sure that what they did was done beyond what was expected despite of their limited ability. These people were a joy to work with because they always gave 100% and did their very best.
And finally, we have also worked with people that always had the attitude that they could do anything and do it better than others. Many times, they overestimated their ability and could not produce what they said they could. These people never would agree that they did not produce what was expected of them. In their mind, they had excelled.
We have shared with you three types of people. Those that have great ability and do not use what God has given them. Those who may have great ability or little ability but they always work over and above what was expected of them and excelled in what they accomplished. And finally, you have the person who talks the talk, saying nothing is impossible for him to accomplish, but cannot walk his talk. Those who talk big often accomplish little.
In the verse we have put above from Matthew we read part of the parable that Jesus preached about talents. It was very evident, as you read this parable, that Jesus knew that there were those that had more ability than others. In this parable Jesus makes it clear that He expects us to use wisely whatever talents He has given us to the best of our ability. What counts with God is not how much we have to offer Him but about how well we serve Him with what we have.
In his writing to the church at Corinth (II Corinthians 8:3) Paul commended the church at Macedonia for their sacrificial giving in spite of their deep poverty. They did not have much but they gave according to their ability and YES, they gave beyond their ability. We learn from this that it is pleasing to God when we give back to Him beyond our ability.
Some people say they have no abilities or special talents that the Lord could use. This is not true. Everyone has some ability. In I Peter 4:6-11 Peter lists things that everyone has the ability to do. We all can show love to one another, be hospitable to one another, serve one another and speak the Words of God.
Our memory verse for this week is found in I Chronicles 16:25:
For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods.
Thank you for the abilities You have given me and help me to be faithful in using them to show love to others on Your behalf. Help me to be able to train my children to love You and use their abilities in serving You.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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