December 4, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Then the Lord said to Moses . . . Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy. Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it is to be put to death; those who do any work on that day must be cut off from their people. For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day is to be put to death. The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’ When the Lord finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the covenant law, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.”—Exodus 31 (NIV)
Can you think back to your favorite class in elementary school? Maybe it was art, P.E., music, or science. What is it that you most loved about that subject? I loved art class growing up. The excitement of putting a fresh coat of paint onto a canvas is something that is still life-giving for me today.
If you don’t consider yourself artistic or creative, today’s passage definitely argues against it. We read that God Himself tells Moses who will be in charge of creating the tabernacle. God chooses Bezalel, saying He has “filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills” (Exodus 31:3 NIV). How profound is that? God has filled a craftsman with His Spirit in order to carry out His holy purpose. God is still at work today, imparting us with His Spirit in order for us to wisely and skillfully complete the work He has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
Maybe you’ve never stopped to think about the gifts and talents God has given you. Yet, this passage makes it clear that God indeed bestows us with every skill, talent, and ability we have. Whether it’s working with numbers or people, or having creative or administrative skills, we’ve all been given something from the Lord in order to carry out His divine purpose and reveal His glory to this world.
Friend, you’ve been made for a holy purpose, and God desires for you to walk in your giftings in order to bless others. We’ve all been given something, so we all have work to do!
This Scripture doesn’t just remind us of our gifts. God commands the Israelites to observe the Sabbath and to keep it holy. Since God is the giver of our gifts, He also determines how they must be used. God has given us work, but He has also given us a command to rest. As God’s chosen people, we ought to remember, and daily acknowledge, that our talents are given by Him. We must also remember that our work is not what sustains us. God is the one who sustains us. Therefore, we can and need to rest from the work He has given us as a reminder of who He is and who we are.
God has made each one of us uniquely with skills and abilities He designed for a purpose. Let us work unto the Lord and rest in His finished work for us!
Pause: What are your gifts and talents? What has God equipped you with doing? How can you use these gifts to glorify Him?
Practice: If you don’t know your gifts or talents, take some time to take this spiritual gifts test. Once you know your gifts, use them to do one small act to bless someone this week.
Pray: Father, thank You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made! I may not always see it, but You have given me so many talents and Your heart and desire is for me to use them to transform this world, starting with the people around me. Show me the places where my gifts are needed, and fill me with Your Spirit, with wisdom and knowledge to use them for Your glory! Teach me to rest in You and not my work, for You are the one who provides for me. Amen!
Gabriella Bemis serves as a volunteer for Calvary’s communications and worship teams. She holds an M.A. in psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary and is passionate about integrating her knowledge of human behavior with the truth of God’s word. When she is not writing resources or singing at church, Gabi loves to paint, cook, and enjoy time outdoors with her family and friends.