“Use it or lose it.” If that’s not a Scripture, it should be. (Which means it’s probably in there, but stated otherwise. Anyone?)
(Several suggested the text should be the Parable of the Talents from Matthew 25. It begins: “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and another one talent, each according to his ability.”)
When a pastor with whom I’d just connected on Facebook thanked me “for your unique ministry,” I replied:
I’m only doing the same thing you are—using what God has given me to do what He has told me in the place where He has sent me.
That’s what basic Christian ministry is all about, and it’s available to every child of God, whether we serve in the pulpit or from the pew.
We are using what He has given us. He gives gifts to His beloved. We are all gifted. “To each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (I Corinthians 12:7 NASB).
We are doing what He has told us. He gives assignments to His children. We are all called. “And those He predestined, these He also called” (Romans 8:30).
We are using what He has given us to do what He has told us in the place where He has sent us. We are led by Him in the path of righteousness to a site of His choosing. Some go to Jerusalem, some into all Judea, others to Samaria and still others to the uttermost parts of the earth.
That is our calling.
His choice of gifts, His command of actions, His decision about the place.
Much of the unhappiness among God’s people stems from our unwillingness to trust His wisdom in these matters. We want different gifts. “Oh, if I could preach like him.” “Organize like her.” “Administrate like that one.” Sing, draw, serve, teach, counsel.
We want to do a different ministry from what the Lord has called us to and sent us for. Pastors have told me, “I don’t want to visit hospitals and deal with church problems. I just want to teach and preach.” And yet, the Lord called them to the ministry as a pastor.
We want a different place. “I could serve the Lord better if I were pastor of a different church.” Lived in another city. Had a larger house. Was not married to this person. Was married to that one.
Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” I take that to mean I’m praying for God’s will in my corner of the earth—my family, my town, my state, my nation, etc.—as well as for the entire planet.
Jesus said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ if you are not going to do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46).
The mark of a faithful disciple is he/she takes the gifts that they have been given and goes to work in the field where they have been sent doing the work to which they were called.