25 February – 3 March 2018.
In Exodus we read how the Israelites aimed to create a wonderful tabernacle, a beautiful place where they could meet together with God. But if they were going to do this, they would need skilled people to help.
Bez’alel and Oho’liab were skilful workers. Construction was their profession and their talent. But as they worked day after day with their tools, I bet they never imagined that one day they would be called up to work on the tabernacle. Maybe they thought that as builders they didn’t have the right skills to do God’s work. After all they weren’t priests or prophets, so how could God use them? But that way of thinking was wrong; they were exactly the right people that God needed.
Many hundreds of years later, as Jesus walked by the sea, he saw men working in their fishing boats and he invited them to come join him in creating something amazing and new. Again, those first disciples weren’t priests or prophets, they weren’t religious leaders, they were just ordinary fishermen. What did they know about working for God? But Jesus still invited them to follow him, and to bring their fishing skills and put them to good use for God’s kingdom. If all they knew how to do was fish, then fine – Jesus says to them in Mark 1:17, “I will make you fish for people.”
Sadly today we too often tell ourselves that we don’t really have the right skills for serving God. We tell ourselves that our skills are no use to God or his kingdom. But that’s not true at all. Because whatever skill you have – whether that’s construction, or fishing, or something else – it really can be put to use by God. If you are a teacher, an office worker, or a taxi driver, that’s great – because those are the skills God needs right now in his kingdom. If you are a student, an artist, or a shopkeeper, then praise God – because God is calling you to bring those talents now to serve him. And even if you have nothing more to offer God than just two empty hands, they are still perfect for holding together in prayer.
The workers that God needs in his kingdom are not all the same. Instead God calls each of us to come and serve him no matter what our skills and talents are. So let me encourage you to listen for God’s call to you today, to bring whatever talents you have, and to come join his team. Because God’s kingdom, and God’s work really needs you.
Pastor Stephen Lakkis