Use your God-given gifts wisely

Published 8:50 am Friday, December 1, 2017

Judges 16:28-30 reads, “Then Samson called to the Lord and said, ‘Lord God, remember me and strengthen me only this once, O God, so that with this one act of revenge I may pay back the Philistines for my two eyes.’ And Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and he leaned his weight against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other. Then Samson said, ‘Let me die with the Philistines.’ He strained with all his might; and the house fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So those he killed at his death were more than those he had killed during his life.”
Have you ever wondered why Samson was seeking revenge at the end of his life with his eyes gouged out rather than celebrating the victories that God had given him? You probably learned as a child in Sunday School that Samson was this great Bible hero that served God with all his might. However, when you read the full story, you will find that Samson did not do all that much for God or his people.
Samson had a lot of issues. He was no doubt chosen by God to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines, but Samson was more concerned about himself. He disobeyed God and ignored the Nazarite vow that he was to live by. He had anger problems. He sought revenge. He killed many men in vengeance. He loved women, which eventually causes his ultimate downfall. Simply, Samson took advantage of the strength that God had given him.
I want you to realize that God has given us all gifts just as He gave Samson gifts. He gave the ability to sing to some and the ability to preach to others. He gave some more intelligence and some more physical strength. He gave some a beautiful outward appearance and some He gave a beautiful, compassionate heart. We all have gifts and talents, but we are to live lives set apart as Christians even with all of our ability.
Romans 12:2 says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” If you read the rest of Romans 12, you will find the guidelines of how to live set apart as a Christian. This chapter is our Nazarite vow in a sense.
The question is: what will you do with the gifts, passions, and talents God has given you?
Because God will allow us to use them for ourselves. Samson chased women, raged in anger, killed for revenge, and used his strength for his glory. We can use our appearance for sex or popularity. We can use our gifts to belittle others. We can use our strength to hurt others, and we definitely can use God’s blessings to put ourselves on a pedestal.
Or we can use them to glorify God. Colossians 3:17 tells us to do everything we do, whether in word or deed, all for the glory of God. You can use your voice to sing Christian songs. You can use your athletic ability to show sportsmanship. You can use your leadership to influence others for Christ. You can cook to feed the homeless or shut-ins. God has blessed with you so many gifts, but you have to choose to use them for Him.
This week, I want you to think about all the things God has blessed you with. Whether that be good looks, money, strength, influence, power, intelligence, athletic ability, music, or whatever it is. And I want you to think about how you have been using these gifts from God versus how you should be using these gifts. God has a plan for each of our lives just as He had a plan for Samson’s. Samson was supposed to deliver Israel from the Philistines, but he only started the job and never finished it. God has called all of us to live set apart. My question is this: You may have already began the purpose God has created you for, but will you finish it?
(The Solution Column is provided by Pastor Brandon Young of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton, and his associate, Hunter Greene.)
A true Christian will show

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