I often turn to the book "God is no Fool" by Lois Cheney for some good insights. It is a book full of small devotional writings and prayers, each numbered chronologically. So, there is no categorical topics or anything, but I recently came across reading 35 as I thought about what to say to my fellow colleagues for a staff devotional. Here is the reading from the book (which I recommend you buy) and some personal thoughts as I reflected on the reading as a minister and believer.
First the reading from "God is no Fool"
I once knew a man who had been given a very special gift, In his particular field he had the heart and ability of an artist. And more impressive was that this art was dedicated to its giver, Christ. As this man's life unfolded, so did his gift, and he seemed very special in the eyes of God and man.
How important is it to rediscover our original purpose for getting started in the first place? Remember feeling the calling of God? Remember the first time you did something and realized that you had been discovered.
I remember those first few sermons that I prepared, organized, and created. They were probably terrible, but for me they were works of art. The audience responded graciously to my attempts and I realized that I liked creating sermons. I liked teaching. I remember the first time I performed a song, and understood that I could interpret the song in my own voice, in my own way. For you it might be something else, but do you remember the moment that you knew you had a gift and that gift wad something that you were going to nurture and develop and hold as sacred -- it was from God.
Yet, sometimes the biggest distractions from keeping our eyes on Jesus and using our own special gifts from God are not all of the evils and sins and wickedness of the world, but the people we tend to hang out with - family, friends, and even our church body -- as they share with us their problems and issues and needs. And we realize that they are not asking us to create art for them, but solutions...
In Acts 6, some problems arose regarding food distribution for widows in the church. The ministry team met and decided, "It is not right that we should neglect the Word of God in order wait on tables." WOW - did you hear that? These leaders selected seven men, popular with the church, filled with the Holy Spirit and wisdom, to wait on the tables of the widows. The Bible tells us that the ministry team devoted themselves to prayer and the word.
You are the keeper of your very special gift. You are the artist who produces art for the Lord. The thing is, the artist knows when the piece is just good and when the piece is HOLY. I know when a sermon or teaching is just ok, and when it is inspired as if I am a direct line between God and the audience that needs to experience Him. Your friends, family and the church might not notice, but you will...because it's your art...your gift.
Do not be conformed to the pattern...But create art...Beautiful...Holy...Sacred art for our Lord as he intended you to do when he gave you the gift.
I want to share thoughts, insights, and scriptures that lead us in the direction of Christ.