3rd MAY 2021
“A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great” – Proverbs 18:16
I like to open these three days’ devotionals with the words of Leo Buscaglia (March 31, 1924 – June 12, 1998), who says; “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” As you may well remember, Leo Buscaglia, also known as “Dr Love,” was an American author and motivational speaker, and a professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Southern California. Leo Buscaglia’s statement presupposes the fact that, to every man, God has given a talent! In support of this statement, the Scripture says in 1 Peter 4:10-11, “Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Be good servants of God’s various gifts of grace. Anyone who speaks should speak words from God. Anyone who serves should serve with the strength God gives so that in everything, God will be praised through Jesus Christ. Power and glory belong to him forever and ever. Amen.” This verse is ably interpreted to mean that each of us must strive to employ the gift that God gave to us to serve God’s glory profitably in return. God, therefore, does not take kindly to anyone who fails to use his talent profitably. Therefore, a redundant talent not put into good use withers away weakens or declines (Matthew 25:14-21). God never make mistakes in anything he does. Therefore, whatever talent or gifts He has given to each of us is what we each deserves, and at the appropriate time, we will be allowed to excel by serving the glory of the Lord (Exodus 36:1-2)
1st of May is a day recognized by most countries of the world as International Workers’ Day, also known as Workers’ Day or Labour Day in some countries. May I then say, “HAPPY WORKERS DAY” to all workers in the world! Congratulations as you celebrate the gifts of talents and knowledge in your vocations today.Definitely, I am not oblivious that the advent of COVID – 19 pandemics across major parts of the world has rendered this day almost a sad day! This is due to its negative impact on the world’s economies. Consequently, most workers as of today have lost their jobs to COVID – 19 pandemics already. Not less than fifty million persons of the active labour force worldwide have lost their jobs already. This is not a good memory for the workers of all works of life, especially as experts suggest that about 500 million jobs will be lost to COVID – 19 by the end of the pandemics.Notwithstanding the gloomy picture thus painted above, workers’ day is a day to reckon with. Although workers may not be able to turn out a colourful celebration due to the economic downturn that we are currently experiencing the world over; however, today remains a day of reflection. This is a day for all workers to reflect on moving forward despite the negative impact of the COVID – 19 on lives and businesses. Therefore, you must never neglect your talents or gifts as a result of redundancy or layoff. We must be prepared to turn in a new leave and start afresh. As far as you have life, there is hope. With hope comes a renewed will to act!
Today, the word of God is reminding us that we are made mighty by the power of our gift. A gift can be neglected if it is not utilized. Some try to distinguish between “gifts” and “Talents”. Arguably different, but both are gifts from God to benefit your life and to enable you to serve the glory of God better. What good is a gift of creativity if it cannot be put to use? We must practise our gifts and talents and immerse ourselves in their use continuously. If we do that, then “everyone may see [our] progress” and may glorify God, who, again, is the giver of all such gifts of creativity.
Besides being endowed with certain talents and creativity, all human beings are created for good works by God. The power of God to work responsibly and be great resides in each of us. We are expected to attune with these powers and talents within for our benefit (Ephesians 2:10). Not making use of these God-given potentials is to downplay the power of God in our lives.
In other to live a responsible life, we have to make efforts, learn to use and adapt our potentials to a craft, trade, vocation or a profession, and this will, in turn, make us earn a living and become great people. There is no alternative to working, for God locates us only in our vocation to bless the works of our hands. To work out the promises of God concerning our prosperity, we have to do a measure of work; only then would prayers and fasting work better for us. Therefore, our faith in God should transform our lives through work!
It is a wrong attitude to expect a miracle in other to buy a car, live in good houses, pay children’s school fees and live a fulfilled life. This is because; those who are not Christians buy cars, live in good houses and have a robust lifestyle. No doubt, God perform wonders in our lives, but that is hinged on our first step at making efforts to use our God-given possibilities to actualize our desires while we wait for God to meet us at the point of our needs.
As a lovely father, God wants us to use our potentials and abilities to earn a living. Starting from today, open yourself regularly to the power of God as you work in your chosen career or vocation. Also, those who are not working yet should get something doing, no matter how small the job might be. God wants to bless you, but He expects you to tap into your creativity and potentials so that God might perfect the work of your hands and then bless you with wealth and great abundance,
Therefore beloved, do not be afraid or intimidated in taking steps to greater heights or even starting exceedingly small on your own. That is the only way you can invite the blessings of God into your life.
ONCE AGAIN, CONGRATULATIONS AND HAPPY WORKERS’ DAY!!!
Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, I thank you for the power of creativity and talents. Lord, from this day onward, I declare that I am skilful in my work. Henceforth, I shall stand before kings and not before obscure men. Thank you, Lord. AMEN.
FURTHER READING: Exodus 35:30-33; Matthew 25:14–30; Romans 12:11