Putting Our Gifts to Work
But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. 1 Corinthians 7:7.
God gives more than money to His stewards. Your talent of imparting is a gift. What are you communicating of the gifts of God, in your words, in your tender sympathy? . . . The knowledge of truth is a talent. There are many souls in darkness that might be enlightened by true, faithful words from you. There are hearts that are hungering for sympathy, perishing away from God. Your sympathy may help them. The Lord has need of your words, dictated by His Holy Spirit. . . .
The first work for all Christians to do is to search the Scriptures with most earnest prayer, that they may have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul from every thread of selfishness. If the truth is received into the heart, it works like good leaven, until every power is brought into subjection to the will of God. Then you can no more help shining than can the sun. . . .
All natural gifts are to be sanctified as precious endowments. They are to be consecrated to God, that they may minister for the Master. All social advantages are talents. They are not to be devoted to self-pleasing, amusement, or self-gratification. . . . The gift of correct example is a great thing. But many gather about the soul an atmosphere that is malarious. . . .
The gifts of speech, of knowledge, of sympathy and love, communicate a knowledge of Christ. All these gifts are to be converted to God. The Lord stands in need of them, He calls for them. All are to act a part in preparing their own souls and the souls of others to rededicate their talents to God. Every soul, every gift, is to be laid under contribution to God. All are to cooperate with God in the work of saving souls. The talents you possess are given you of God to make you efficient colaborers with Christ. There are hearts hungering for sympathy, perishing for the help and assistance God has given you to give to them.
That I May Know Him p. 327
—–Dee has an interview today. Pray that it will go well. Lee
Until I was ten, I lived with my grandparents, Edwin and Ida Harmon. I had a good life there. When my mother remarried, I went to live with her. While she and Eddie were married, she did not have to work. Often she would let me stay home from school so we could be together while he was at work. How I enjoyed those times. Evenings and on weekends were not so pleasant, however. Eddie was an alcoholic and was mean and corrupt. Life became unbearable for both my mother and myself.
After three years, I had had enough. I couldn’t go back to live with my grandparents as they had moved away to Florida, so I determined to run away the next day. That very night, in the middle of the night, Eddie was the one who ran away. He took everything of value in the house and went back to his home state of Tennessee. What a relief that was!
From that time, however, life was hard for my mother. She worked long hours to provide even the barest of necessities. She was so tired when she got home from work, that she let me do what I wanted, when I wanted with little protest. She was too exhausted. Even though I had no rules in her home, I was not happy. I got myself into situations that could have been disastrous. Only God’s grace kept me out of serious trouble during that time. He was watching over me and protecting me. How thankful I am for His Fatherly care.
When Ron and I got married, we determined to set up a Christian home with morning and evening worship as a daily occurrence. We decided that when we had children, we would start teaching them about Jesus as soon as they were born. There would be rules in our house that would guide our children in the right way.
It was over four years before Eileen was born, but when she was, we took seriously the admonition, “And these words, which I command thee this day shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children.” Deut 6:6,7 The morning after I brought her home from the hospital, I sat in the rocking chair that Ron had bought for me, held her in my arms, and read the Cradle Roll lesson to her. Of course, I knew she could not understand it yet, but I read anyway knowing that as I read her understanding would develop. During the years that followed, whenever I would take a rest from housework, I would read the Bible or good Christian books aloud to her. As she grew older, people would be amazed at the spiritual insights she had at such an early age.
When our other two children were born, I did the same, although there was much less time for reading. Now we had a television. I soon realized that the television was a snare. They were not as interested in spiritual things at as early an age as Eileen. How important it is to teach our children right principles when they are young. That is the impressionable, pliable time. The old saying, “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” is so true. Paul’s admonition is no less true today, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Phil 4:8
The child’s eternal future is in the parents’ hands. The Bible is full of examples of this fact. God said of Abraham, “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment.” Gen 18:19 It was Jacob’s careful training of Joseph that sustained him during his captivity in Egypt. Paul gives another example, “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” Heb 11:23-25
The sad example of Eli’s lack of parenting skills should serve as a warning to us who are living today. It is said of his sons, “Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.” 1 Sam 2:12 After they were hardened in sin, he tried to protest against what they did, but protesting was not enough. He had the power to remove them from the priesthood, but he did not. Because of this, he was told, “Thus saith the LORD, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house? And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel? Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people? Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father’s house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house. And thou shalt see an enemy in my habitation, in all the wealth which God shall give Israel: and there shall not be an old man in thine house for ever. And the man of thine, whom I shall not cut off from mine altar, shall be to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart: and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age. And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them. And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever. And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left in thine house shall come and crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests’ offices, that I may eat a piece of bread.” vs 27-35 Later, He spoke to Samuel these fearful, “Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever. And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD.” 3:11-15 Fearful warning!
May we heed the warnings and admonitions of the Lord. May we diligently teach our little ones the way that leads to everlasting life. May we take them by the hand and bring them to the foot of the cross that they may ever follow Jesus on the path to Heaven is my prayer.