WISDOM OF LIVING (39) DISCOVERY†††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††By Pastor YAU
Text: 1 Corinthians 12:4-12†††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††December 18, 2005
1) A true story: On one of the voyages, explorer Christopher Columbus came across a funny tree. The fruits of this tree bounced like balls. The Indians named it caoutchouc---ďthe weeping wood.Ē The tree was given that name because it emitted a sap that looked like the treeís tears. Later on scientists discovered that the sap could be collected and allowed to harden into lumps that rubbed off pencil marks. Hence it was renamed ďrubber.Ē Then rubber was used to make tires, latex surgical gloves and many others that no one is sure how useful rubber may be in the future.
2) An application: Like rubber trees, many of us seemingly donít have much appeal to others and certainly donít have spectacular talents to make us stand out. In fact, some of us may have looks or acts that are unimpressive like the sap of a rubber tree. But who can tell how much talent or usefulness God might have created and installed in each one of us? There may be a lot more in all of us waiting to be discovered than we could ever imagine.
BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES ON POTENTIAL: (Todayís text)
1) All potentials (gifts) are from God: (12:4) God is the Creator of all things including all of our talents, potentials and ability. No one may claim any of the talents or gifts God has given him for his personal glory or benefit.
2) All potentials (gifts) are for different use: (12:5-6) God knows what we have and where we may use His talents meeting different needs in different situation. There is no one talent greater than another. We are given different talents for different purposes as they were designed by God.
3) All our talents are for common good: (12:7) All talents are given to us for the common good of all people with whom we function. No one should use his talent for personal gain or interest. Using God given talents for selfish purpose is against Godís intent.
4) All talents are under control by the Holy Spirit: (12:8-11) All talents are from the Spirit of God, thatís why sometimes they are called gifts of the Holy Spirit, and are subjected to its control. The Holy Spirit gives and controls the function of the gifts. It is given, free and unmerited. No one should boast because of any gift or talent.
WHY ARE MANY TALENTS NEVER DISCOVERED?
1) Some donít believe they have any talent: When you donít believe you have any talents, you wonít try to discover them. This is the result of ignorance of Godís intent in creating people. God never creates anyone without any purpose. Each of us was created with a purpose and God always installed in us sufficient talents to fulfill that purpose.
2) Some donít believe their ďlittleĒ talents can make any difference: This is the most common but faulty mindset in many Christians. Many people categorize talents in terms of popularity or visibility. If their talents are not as popular or visible compare to those of others, they donít feel they are important in Godís work. That is so far away from the truth. In the body of Christ, a finger is as important as the head. Each talent is important to the total progress of Godís church.
spend time to find out their talents:
Talents are hidden treasures as it was illustrated in the parable of ď
4) Some were discouraged by setbacks: Learning how to use Godís talents is like learning how to drive a car. Some people may have a bumpy experience in learning how to drive and were scared off and never go through all the lessons and end up never really learn to drive. Learning is a try and error process. We may make mistakes here or there but that is how we learn the skill. Too often, people give up before they really learn how to use their talents.
HOW TO DISCOVER POTENTIALS? Like the potential usefulness of the sap of a rubber tree waited for many years to be discovered and to make a tremendous contribution to the world and its people, talents of many seemingly ordinary people are also hidden in them without being discovered for their better use. Here are some simple steps of discovery:
1) You need to believe that you are valuable and useful: This mindset is the beginning of all the steps following: you must believe that there are qualities in you that are so good and important. No need to compare with other. Just you and you alone are important and useful. This is not blind pride but a confirmation of Godís wisdom and design. God never made junk.
2) You want to make a difference: Be it in your family, at school, at work or in the church, you want to be a contributor instead of a consumer. You want to give what you can for the betterment of the surrounding. The desire to be useful may make you an important part of the circle in which you live and work. This desire bridges you with people around you so you can make a difference.
3) You begin to participate: Participation is the beginning of success. No matter how good you may be in something, you will never get anywhere if you never participate. Get involve, volunteer, step out, get into, help, work, do, try. Many of these verbs are stepping stones which will lead you to discover more and more of your potentials and their usefulness. If you never try, you never know.
4) Never quit: The usefulness of a talent is like the sparkles of a diamond: it takes time, effort and endurance in cutting and polishing to make them come out. There will be times you want to quit because it is too hard, not enough progress, no one appreciates or you just feel tired. If you stop the process, it will not be a diamond but only a piece of rock. All good things come with a price: the better the higher. Keep going and you will make it.
REASONS OF DISCOVERING TALENTS:
1) Be faithful to Godís trust: In the parable of the ďtalentsĒ in Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus stressed the importance of being faithful to the trust of God. God never demands all His servants bring in the same results but He demands we all be faithful in discovering and using His trust. Hiding talents undiscovered or unused to the fullest extent is a sign of being unfaithful. We will suffer consequences because of unfaithfulness.
2) The Body needs them: Paul used the human body to symbolize the Church and all the parts of the body members of the church. As all parts of the body have their unique usefulness and functions to the well being of the body, every member of Godís church has his/her unique and important function to the health and growth of the church. Any part missing will cause the body to suffer. Talents of all sizes and shapes are equally important in the Body of Christ.
3) You deserve it: I am not talking about pride. I am talking about opportunity. Everyone deserves the opportunity to exercise his/her talents and make contribution to Godís church. No one in the church is higher than anyone else. You have something good to give you should have the equal opportunity to do that.
4) God receives all the honor and glory: In the parable of the vine in John 15:1-8, Jesus concluded it that if we bear much fruit by using our Godís given talents, our Heaven Father will receive the glory. Using the talents we receive from God to bring Him glory is like we receive honor when our children demonstrate skills or attitude we taught them.
1) Talents are given to be used: Like clothing or money, if you donít use them they are not yours. Knowing that you have talents and use tem faithfully is good stewardship. Everyone has something to give for the good of God, church and people.
2) Starting from today: Open your eyes and find something to do to use your talents. Hidden treasure benefits no one. Do not wait for another day to make yourself available in serving Godís church.
3) The best gift of all gifts: The best gift God gives us is salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus has made salvation available to everyone who will confess his sin and ask for forgiveness. This is the eternal gift no one could afford to miss.