God calls us to serve with gifts…
"We have different gifts, according to the grace given us." (Rom 12:6a) "There are different kinds of gifts but the same spirit." (1 Cor 12:4) "From him (Christ), the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament (each unique gift and ability), grows and builds itself up in love as each part does its work." (Eph 4:16) "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms." (1 Pet 4:11)
How wonderful Scripture is. These verses, from four different books of the canon, flow together so effortlessly to paint a beautiful picture – a picture of unique craftings working collectively as parts of one body set with purpose to serve others, serve God and, in the process, accredit Him with matchless glory. It is a picture of many hues and multiple layers. It is a composition possessing a plethora of brushstrokes of varying weight and direction. All come together to present a work – not yet completed – with many more applications by many more artists and brushes to come. It will only reach its fulfillment at the closure of time, but will adorn its final wall for all eternity…a masterpiece…adored by the Master.
Every broad stroke, every small flick of the brush is required for it to achieve its absolute beauty and totality. Each of us can wield the brush with assorted aptitude, either minimal or grand. But each will have the means (the brush itself and paints of our choosing) and the opportunity (the canvas set before us.) Do we unleash the paint and have it become something greater than ourselves; release it to achieve its potential in concert with the prior strokes? Or do we keep it contained, restrained in its jar, afraid that it will be wasted or will not provide the desired return and aesthetic complement? The aptitude, means and opportunity…God provides it all and calls us to take part in a majestic adventure of the soul. He calls us to faithfully participate in a rich tapestry of limitless color, texture and style variation that reflects the fullness of what we can achieve jointly for His glory.
(Image: Spears of Men; Trumpets of Angels – Paul Myhill, 1998)