Acts 3 Lesson

Putting Our Talents To Work For The Lord

There are two things that every Christian can do right now to strengthen their relationship with God.

  1. Take a Spiritual inventory,
  2. Determine how to put their spiritual gifts/talents to work for the Lord. 

As followers of Jesus, we know that we were not put on this earth to serve ourselves.  We were put here to glorify God and to love and serve one another.  Consider the words that Jesus spoke in the following two passages:

  1. “Whoever wants to become prominent among you shall be your servant, and whoever desires to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” – Mathew 20:26-28.
  2.  When Jesus was asked, “Teacher what is the greatest commandment in the Law,” He replied: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.  The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Upon these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets.” –Mathew 22:37-40.

The first step that we can take to strengthen our relationship with God is to identify the Spiritual Gifts that He has blessed us with. 

TAKING OUR SPIRITUAL INVENTORY

Identifying the unique gifts that God has blessed us with is an important exercise for any Christian.  Maybe we are great listeners, or great with computers?  Perhaps we have been blessed with the ability to cook, or have a home that is conducive to practicing hospitality?  We need to remain humble about that which we have been blessed with.  We also need to remember that every good and perfect gift comes from above (James 1:17).   

Identifying our Spiritual gifts is important!  Important enough, that we should write them down once we have identified them.

PUTTING OUR TALENTS TO WORK FOR THE LORD

Once we have identified our unique gifts and talents, we need to put them to work for the Lord!  After all, what good are our gifts and talents if we do not do anything with them?

In the movie, “A Bronx Tale,” Robert De Niro’s character tells his son:

“Remember, the saddest thing in life is wasted talent.  You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t do the right thing, then nothing happens.  But when you do right, guess what, good things happen.”   

The Bible passage for this sentiment is found in the book of James:

  • “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?  If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?  Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.  But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” – James 2:14-18.

The first step to having a stronger relationship with God is identifying the unique gifts/talents that He has blessed us with.  

The second step is to put those talents to work for the Lord. 

THE EXAMPLE OF PETER, JOHN, AND THE BEGGAR

In the Book of Acts, Luke records the story of Peter healing a man that had been unable to walk since his mother’s womb:

  • “Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple, which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms.  But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.  But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!”  And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened.  With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.” – Acts 3:1-8.

Notice how the lame man reacted:

  • “With a leap, the man stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God; and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” – Acts 3:8-9.

The lame man approached Peter and John for alms but ended up receiving something much more valuable!  Notice how Peter boldly put his spiritual gifts to work.  He recognized the opportunity to glorify God, and he took it!  In the same way, we should be putting our spiritual gifts to work for the Lord.

CONCLUSION

The Bible says that all of us have been blessed with unique spiritual gifts.  Paul wrote about this in his letter to the Romans:

  • “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” - Romans 12:6-8.

Whatever our spiritual gifts are, we are to use them to glorify God and to serve one another! 

That is the teachable moment from today’s lesson.  And what a powerful example of that we have with Peter healing the lame man, instead of giving him the silver and gold that he asked them for. 

We will end today’s lesson with the words that Peter spoke to this man:

  • “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you.” – Acts 3:6.

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How can you apply what you have learned / what questions do you have?

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Virtual Bible Study

How can you apply what you have learned / what questions do you have?

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Tommy

Reminds me of the Little Drummer Boy. :) But seriously, I don't think God wants us to get hung up on what we DON'T have. He wants us to get to work using the things that we DO have and glorify Him. When we do that, God promises He will take care of us.

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