May 27, Monday

The AMI QT Devotionals from May 27-June 2 are provided by Pastor Joshua Kim of Church of Southland.  Joshua, a graduate of Emory University, Columbia Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Talbot School of Theology (Th.M.), serves as the pastor of Access group (singles).  He is married to Christina. They recently had their first child.

 

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Calling and Provision: Individual”

Exodus 31:1-6

Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, 4 to make artistic designs for work in gold, in silver, and in bronze, 5 and in the cutting of stones for settings, and in the carving of wood, that he may work in all kinds of craftsmanship. 6 And behold, I Myself have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and in the hearts of all who are skillful I have put skill, that they may make all that I have commanded you:

Many of us have experienced the horrors of elementary school recess when the dreaded moment of picking teams comes upon us. It’s always the best athletes (or the most popular guys) who would be the captains, who then would proceed to pick one person at a time to be on their team. That’s when the bartering begins:

“If you pick me, I’ll give you the candy my mom packed for lunch.” “Pick me, I’ll just pass the ball to you, because obviously, you’re the best out there!” Then, the honor and gloat that comes from being chosen—there’s no feeling like it.

There is something about being chosen that we as human beings get a sense of satisfaction from. And in today’s passage, we see two examples of individuals—Bezalel and Oholiab—who are chosen, the term being called or appointed by God to carry out a specific task. But it goes much beyond that. With the calling comes a provision of the very skills and talents they would need to accomplish the task at hand. There is calling, and there is provision.

The thing is, these skills didn’t just appear. Yes, it does say that the Spirit of God endowed it upon them, but it’s not so much that Bezalel all of a sudden had these skills uploaded to him. Rather, understanding that most trades were developed through apprenticeship and learning from, most likely, their fathers, we see that there is a period of grooming of the individual to the point of excellence.

Not to disregard the truth that the Spirit of God endows these gifts upon individuals, but the wonderful thing we must remember is that God’s hand was on these individuals since their youth, grooming them in such a way that they may one day serve in the making of these instruments of worship onto God.

All of us have been endowed by the Creator with incredible skills and talents. We see in the world how these talents can be used for our own benefit, building temporary kingdoms of earthly glory. But when these God-given skills are joined together with the calling of God for His purposes—this is the satisfaction that is available to those who serve the Lord.

How has God endowed upon you incredible gifting? It may not look like much in the eyes of the world, but when used in the name of Jesus, there is incredible power and fruitfulness available. Brothers and sisters, God is at work all around us, and He is calling us to join Him, utilizing our God-given gifts and talents. So, how will you respond to Him today?

Prayer: Thank You, Father, that in Your provision of salvation, You have given me purpose and calling to join in Your work. Thank You for the Spirit of God that imparts me with gifts and skills that allows me to uniquely join You in Your work. In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Samuel 17


Lunch Break Study  

Read Ephesians 4:1-3, 7, 11-13: Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says, “When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men.” 11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is the main idea that Paul conveys in this passage? What does it mean “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which we have been called”?
  2. Paul explains that through Christ’s victory through the Resurrection, one of the outcomes is that He gave gifts to men. In particular to people who serve within the church (v.11), what is the reason for these gifts?

  3. How have you seen this happen in your life? Have others built you up so that you can utilize your gifts for the sake of building up others/the church?

Notes

  1. As for the theme of Ephesians as a whole, Paul’s focus is on the unity of the church. Walking in a manner worthy of the calling entails humility, gentleness, patience, and tolerance (amongst others) so that through this, we are able to preserve the unity that the Spirit gives to the church.
  2. Although verse 11 is a more specific calling to serve as leaders within the church, it can also be applied generally. Everyone has received gifts in order that they might fulfill their calling. Leaders within the church are called to equip others so that they too may join in ministering to one another.
  3. Personal response. Think of how you have personally been equipped by others so that you may use your gifts for the blessing of others.

Evening Reflection

As you have gone throughout the day today, in what ways have you recognized God using your gifting or skills He has provided to bless others? How do you feel about these moments? Spend some time thanking God for His calling and provision in your life.

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