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Tag Archives: spiritual gifts and talents

Live Purposefully

While attending a seminar in college, I was first introduced to the concept of planning. One of the speakers proclaimed, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This message is consistent with the words of an Old Testament prophet, Hosea 4:6. When your life is void of goals, without a clear vision for where you want to go, failure is in your future. Thus, if you want to live purposefully, this journey begins by discovering your place in this world.

Therefore He says, Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine (make day dawn) upon you and give you light. 15 Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Ephesians 5:14-15.

Near the end of his letter to the Church at Ephesus, Paul provides a pep talk for those individuals going through life without any sense of direction. Paul uses the analogy of sleep walking, spiritual dead or numb to God’s calling. Instead of going through life like a zombie from the Walking Dead, people need to become alive, inspired by the light of Christ. Until this spiritual hunger is conceived, people will continue to wander aimlessly through life.

Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is, Ephesians 5:16-17.

The Roman poet Horace recorded the Latin saying Carpe Diem in his work Odes, 25 years before Christ was born. As a Roman citizen, Paul likely knew of Horace’s work and may have referenced this in the passage above. If you truly want to seize each day, grasping God’s will for your life is the first step. As this comes into focus, uncovering your spiritual gifts and talents is crucial, 1 Corinthians 12:1-12. When these are put into action, 2 Timothy 1:6, living with purpose is possible, John 10:10.

by Jay Mankus

More than Just a Yield

In the context of business, a yield is an agricultural, natural or industrial product that is produced. This is achieved by creating, generating, planting and maintaining this process until it yields a completed product. Since the Bible contains analogies of farming and fishing, you have to put in the time before a yield is possible. Of course there are always exceptions to this rule, but determination, hard work and perseverance are crucial ingredients to ensure a productive yield.

Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather, Psalm 1:1.

The Bible refers to a spiritual yield based upon the fruits that you accumulate over the course of your life. Christians yield spiritual fruit as individuals begins to develop and use their spiritual gifts and talents. Listed in 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12, this collection of special qualities are designed to be utilized at a local church. Depending upon the current needs of your church, you may have to serve in a lesser role until you are able to blossom in the area of your calling.

But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night. And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity], Psalm 1:2-3.

Before you get too far ahead in the yielding process, a Psalmist explains what it takes to remain productive in all 4 seasons. Every plant needs access to sunlight and water. Meanwhile, the soil a seed is sown in must be tilled, cleared of rocks and fertilized. From a biblical perspective, the Bible is symbolic of streams of water which nurtures souls. As Christians take delight in God’s boundaries, commands and decrees, lives become more than just a yield. Lives are transformed by an invisible Spirit that plants a desire to experience the abundant life of Christ, John 10:10.

by Jay Mankus

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