First Base 1 Peter 4:10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: (ESV)
Second Base Vigilance, prayerfulness, Christian love, hospitality, lack of grumbling, faithful stewardship of what God has given, and faithful use of God’s gifts in serving Him will cause God to be glorified and praised through Jesus Christ. This praise will last for ever, but should also be the current aim of every Christian. (Source: The Bible Panorama)
Third Base Each MLB team has a stadium announcer. When the Red Sox clinched their 3rd World Series something was missing. There was a distinct, booming voice missing. There was no Carl Beane behind the microphone after Koji Uehara struck out Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals to end Game 6. Beane was hired in 2003 on the basis of his resonant voice and his knowledge of baseball as a result of a lifetime immersed in Red Sox history. His voice was heard during the movie “Fever Pitch,” whose theme included the passion of a fictitious Red Sox fan.
Home Plate Pastor Rick Warren writes, “God has given you unique abilities, talents, and gifts. At Saddleback Church, we call this a person’s SHAPE (Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences). This bundle of talents makes you who you are. God gave you talents to benefit others, not yourself. And God gave other people talents that benefit you. We’re all a part of the body of Christ, and each part matters. There are no insignificant people in the family of God. You are shaped to serve God.” I propose to you that WORK matters to God and he receives pleasure when we devote our work to him. In Romans 12:6-8 and in 1 Cor. 12, the Apostle Paul makes use of the analogy of the body and its various parts to illustrate the nature of the church. He stresses its unity (v. 5), its diversity (v. 6), and the need to recognize one’s gift and to use it appropriately (vv. 6–8). Romans 12:6-8 says, “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” Pastor Warren Wiersbe says this about gifts, “Whatever gift we have must be dedicated to God and used for the good of the whole church. Spiritual gifts are tools to build with, not toys to play with or weapons to fight with. In the church at Corinth, the believers were tearing down the ministry because they were abusing spiritual gifts. They were using their gifts as ends in themselves and not as a means toward the end of building up the church.” Carl had found his gift and dedicated his life to sharing it with others. Today, let’s re-examine ourselves and make sure we are in SHAPE. Let’s use our gifts to build the body and not destroy it.
The Final Out Heavenly Father, You are the manager of the talents and gifts given to us, and while they may be great or small in our eyes, they matter to You. May we focus today on fulfilling our calling by examining our talents and find ways to bring honor and glory to you in all that we do remembering that you invented work. Amen