Stewardship 4: Talents, Skills and Abilities

Watch the video or read the lesson text … or both.

Lesson Text

Scripture Reading:

Genesis 1:26-29
Genesis 2:15
Ephesians 4:1-13
Romans 12:1-8
Proverbs 10:4
Proverbs 13:4
1 Timothy 5:8
2 Timothy 1:9
2 Peter 1:10

Discussion:

We are stewards over the talents, skills and abilities we are given in life. Once again, we can look back to creation and know that God created our bodies. He formed us in the womb. This means that in creation He also equipped us with talents, skills and abilities. He also equipped us with a mind to learn knew skills. We can shape our bodies to perform certain tasks, such as strenuous tasks that require physical strength or flexibility in acrobatics. We develop what is already there, but we do not create our bodies or our minds. Genesis 1:26-27

Knowing we did not create our bodies but that we can develop what we have been given, what is our response and responsibility? Do we owe any duties back to the Creator?

First, we find that we have all been given something to do. In Genesis 1:28, we are instructed to be fruitful and multiply. Our bodies are made for this purpose, and it is the first instruction given to us after God created Adam and Eve. Next, we see that God tasked us with tending to the earth. This includes subduing the earth and ruling over the animals (Genesis 1:28), using our bodies and skills to yield food from the earth both for ourselves and for the animals (Genesis 1:29), and cultivating the earth (Genesis 2:15).

We are made for work, God gave us work to do in creation even before The Fall, and our bodies are made for work.

God also calls us to build up the body of Christ. In Ephesians 4:1-13, we read that God calls different people to different professions and ministries and that we are to work together in unity and love. All of this is to edify or build up the body of Christ and to equip the body of Christ for work in the kingdom of heaven. The primary focus here is both the glory of God and taking the gospel into all the earth.

We are also called to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. One of my favorite passages is Romans 12:1-8 where we find this instruction to be a “living sacrifice.” That is, we are to give our bodies back to God to be used in His service as He calls us. For some, that may be living out an example of a Godly life in the workplace. For others, it may be full-time ministry. Our priority in this life is to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice, and the purpose is to be holy and acceptable before God.

In our work and our efforts in the kingdom of heaven, we are called to be diligent. Proverbs 10:4, 13:4, 1 Timothy 5:8. Diligence in work honors God. Sluggishness in work presumes against God, is sin, and results in poverty. Sluggishness presumes and assumes that God will provide for us no matter what we do. Diligence believes that we have a role to play in carrying out the promises God gave to us. Because God calls us to be diligent in our work, we honor Him by exercising all the diligence we can in our efforts and calling.

The work and calling given to us by God is holy. It is holy because it comes from God. 2 Timothy 1:9 We are called according to God’s purpose, which is to say that the work we do carries out God’s purpose in the world. We are not only to work unto ourselves, but unto God. This is what it means to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. When we live and work unto God, we sacrifice ourselves and put God first.

Finally, we are to search out God’s calling for our lives and be as certain of it as we can be. 2 Peter 1:10-11 God calls each one of us to work in the kingdom of heaven and to use our talents, skills and abilities for His glory and to fulfill His purpose in the world. We must earnestly seek God to be certain of His calling and to surrender ourselves to His call. He calls and chooses each one of us – even you! We will not go wrong in pursuing this calling, and it will lead to heaven.