“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice — the kind HE will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him (or to serve Him)”
— Romans 12:1 (NLT/NKJV)
1. What does it mean to “give your body” in this verse?
It means to give all of yourself (talents, gifts, and skills) to God's work.
2. Give an example of a gift/talent God has given your body the ability to do.
Awesome! Now, it’s easy to say, “use your talent because God said so”. But, we need to be certain that God will find how we use our talent, acceptable. We must also understand what stops us from using our talent!
Let’s observe at Matthew 25:14-30 “Parable of the 3 Servants” (MSG):
What are some observations we can make from this passage? *Open Discussion*
1 master, 3 Servants, 3 Gifts; 2 Doubled & 1 Hide It; 2 were rewarded & 1 wasn’t.
Why give them each a different amount? Why give them anything at all?
It was based on their ability (Verse 15). The master is going on a trip & the business needs to continue.
What did the first two servants do that the last one didn’t and what was the impact?
They took a risk, invested the money, showed the master how/what they did, and they became partners with the Master. From servant to partners with the master! The last one ended up in the DARK (Verse 21, 23, & 30).
What made the last servant decide to hide the money?
Fear; He thought it would be the master’s preference; That the master would find it acceptable to hide the gift bestowed upon him (Verse 25).
What kind of perception did the last servant have of the master and why?
His standards were too high, he’s harsh, hates careless ways, demanded the best and makes no room for error, and he reaps where he didn’t sew (Verse 24)
How can you hide a talent or what kind of holes do we bury our talents in and why?
THREE Major Holes:
FEAR/DOUBT: Voices that tell us we can’t! These voices cause us to shut down and hold back all that God has gifted us with. The last servant said in verse 25 said that he was afraid. Fear causes us to mess up by telling us to change our ideas, answer on a test or change the worship song for Sunday service. Or like the third servant, don’t invest anything for the Master; you’re a born loser, you have no experience, if you lose you can’t repay him. In fact, this is a setup to land you in debt!
FLEETING DUTIES OF LIFE: The different responsibilities we pick up in life can either become part of your journey in serving God or a hole to hide your talent in. In verse 15, all the servants were given a gift to deal with in addition to their responsibilities as servants. They didn’t use the fact that they were servants already in service to stop them from using the gift the master gave them.
FALSE PERCEPTIONS: The false ideas we have of what God wants us to do with our talent can hinder us. The three Servants did not receive any instructions on what to do with the talent in verses 16-18, therefore, they used the gift as an opportunity to impress the Master. While, the third servant did not. He had a different perception of the Master and thought hiding the talent would be better than investing it.
3 SERVANTS vs. ZACHARIAS & ELIZABETH vs. PROPHET ANNA
How do we silence the voice of fear/doubt when using our talent for God?
By truly believing all that we already know; that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. That verse is not a joke. It is the absolute truth! If we view Christ the Father as giving us the gift of “strength”, just as the Master gave his servants a gift; We can fulfill the rest of the verse that says, “we can do all things”. For example, the inability for Zacharias and Elizabeth to have a child did not silence their talent/gift/reasonable service to God. They did let the voice of “Mr. Barren” to stop them (according to Luke 1:6-8).
How can we ensure that life/our responsibilities enable us to serve using our talent instead of prohibiting us from serving as we use our talent?
We must see every point in life as an opportunity and not a weight. We need to constantly incorporate ‘servitude’ as we travel further in life! When we begin to see life or the reason for living as an opportunity to draw nearer to the Father, we will begin to center all that life has to offer (or all that the Father has given us) around the Him; Instead of praying that God should work around everything. For example, Zacharias kept his focus on serving God though he was married and praying for a child (according to Luke 1:8-10).
How do we know if what we perceive to do with our talent is God’s desire/will?
We must continue to pray, listen and serve. For example, it was in the mist of service that angel Gabriel— who was sent by God— reached out to Zacharias to tell him that his prayers for a son have been heard and answered (according to Luke 1:11-14).
To Conclude: Romans 12:6-8 (NKJV)
A gift can be the ability to do the most simplest thing. Don't minimize it in your heart/mind because of it's simplicity. Find it, use it, and live in the fullness of your purpose and the joy it will bring you.