What are you holding back from the Kingdom? I’m not speaking of something you do or have that you don’t want to give up (although those areas are certainly worth a separate discussion!). I’m talking about the things you aren’t doing, the things you could be doing but don’t. What gifts have you been given that you are keeping locked inside of yourself? What part of the body is not functioning as it should because you are choosing to not do your part?
We all have gifts, gifts that God has given to each one of us (Ephesians 4:8, 11-12). These gifts are meant to build up the body of Christ. When we aren’t using our gifts, the body cannot be fully built up. Each gift is necessary and essential (Ephesians 4:16). Some of us have talents that are meant to reach out to the lost, gifts of evangelism. This doesn’t mean you have to be a travelling preacher, it could simply mean you have been gifted to talk to your next door neighbor about Christ. Some have been gifted as prophets, people who God reveals truth to, and you are to declare that truth to a particular audience. That audience may be of one or it may be one million, the size of the audience doesn’t matter; you are simply to deliver the message. Some are called to be pastors or shepherds, people who look after and lead other believers. Still others are called to be teachers, instructing others about the good news of Jesus Christ and how to live as a kingdom believer. Finally there are those who are called to be apostles, or missionaries; these are the ones who go throughout their neighborhood, their city, their state, their country or other nations bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to any who will listen.
Each one of us can find a place within these gifts. We often make the mistake of thinking we can’t be a shepherd because we don’t have a church or we can’t be a missionary because we wear normal clothes and live in a traditional house. We need to look past the stereotypical definitions of what these words have come to mean in the Western culture. Find yourself in one of these gifts. What can you do today to use that gift? Sadly, many of us are aware of how we are gifted but we choose not to exercise the gift out of fear of ridicule, fear of criticism, or fear of giving up something we treasure. Read again the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. I am horrified by the prospect of identifying with the one who hid his talent. I shudder at the thought of being sent away from God’s presence because I chose to not use the gift He entrusted to me.
We have a choice to make. Will we play our part in His kingdom? Will we use what He placed inside of us to do something special for God? Or will we continue to live life on cruise, surviving the day only to begin again the next day? I want to live for Jesus in every way I can. I want to die knowing I have used up everything He gave me; I want to leave nothing behind. We need each part to be working toward the common goal of bringing the kingdom of God to everyone. Don’t hold anything back, but rather give everything that is within you. Don’t die with God’s gifts buried inside you. Live your calling; be the person He created you to be.