They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?”
When you walk with Jesus, you have to do it with authority and purpose. You need to expect to have people come up to you. Come after you. Challenge you. At first, they might come one by one. Individually, these people or groups will come. They will challenge you, asking you questions, trying to get you off target.
God has given you a gift; gifts and talents that we are to take, strengthen, refine. We’ve got a role and responsibility to thankfully take what God has given to us. We’re not to want another gift, talent, or ability. To do that would be to take God and his love for granted. That would be to spit in his face.
We didn’t earn any of it; gift, gifts, talents, abilities. They were given, assigned to us. They’re a gift from God. To treat them as anything less is disrespectful, arrogant, and rude towards God.
But we’re not to sit on our hands when it comes to what he’s so graciously given. We’re to thankfully take them. Use them. Train them. Refine them. Strengthen them.
Your gift, my gift, are like a knife. We’re to take the knife that God has given to us and to sharpen it. Polish it. Temper it. As one writer put it, we’re to become the scalpel that our great God and savior can use. Like a skilled surgeon, he takes us in his hands to perform his will. For his glory. For the good of ma
When we go off target, we get diverted from his gifts. The goals. the purpose that God has given to us.
We need to be like those battle scenes in the original Star Wars. They’re fighting the enemy. They ar
e in the middle of a dogfight in the sky. Their target is clear: they’re trying to wipe out the weapon that could destroy them. They’re fighting not only for their lives, but what they believe. Their people. The enemy is out to destroy all that they believe in. All they hold dear.
The Alliance fighters are facing The Death Star. They’re on their approach run, but the enemy is closing in fast. “Stay on target” are the powerful and immortal words that Davish "Pops" Krail says. He doesn’t just say it once. He repeats it over and over.
So, the first question is, what’s the gift, or gifts that God has given to you? He’s given you something that is unique to you, and you alone.
By the way, God’ss not in the business of hiding his gift and gifts from you. He wants you to know so that you can:
Be thankful – for his kindness and grace.
Put aside – things and goals that aren’t in line with what he’s done and given to you.
Work on – refine, strengthen, sharpen what God has given.
Look for – people, situations, areas where God can use what he’s given.
Strengthen others – when you use your gif
t for the glory of God, he will receive praise, people
will be blessed, encouraged, strengthened.
A big part of accepting God’s gift is that it’s to be for the glory of God. The advancement of the gospel. The good of people. It will make God’s name lifted up and will also strengthen others.
And you won’t go looking for praise, thanks, or payment either. Your social media following might not go up, it may even go down. But that’s not why you do it. You do it to be in service of the king. In loving, thanksgiving response to who he is and what he’s done. How can you do anything else.?
You won’t be able to help yourself.
Is that how you feel? Is it a joy to serve God with his gift? Do you get energy and excitement when you use the gift that God has given? If you do, then you’ve got the real disease.
Or are you looking over your shoulder, looking to see if anyone’s looking? Is your motivation for people to tell how great you are? If so, then you haven’t got the real disease when it comes to God’s gift to you.
You didn’t do anything to earn God’s gift. That’s why it’s a gift. If you earned it, then it would just be your paycheck, your direct deposit. But grace says that you receive it because God offers it.
So, what are you doing with your gift? Do you see it as God using his power and authority in your life?