Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Giving of your gifts...

Then Moses said to the Israelites, "See, the LORD has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts -- to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones , to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic craftsmanship. And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers--all of them master craftsmen and designers...."

Exodus 35:30-35

Our Friend, Susan, is an artist. Recently she's begun to market her art more widely. She's named her line of artwork, "handmade to praise His name!" We used one of her pieces in an earlier post. Take a look at a few of the other beautiful things she makes:

"handmade to praise His name!" How perfect! Nothing we do is of ourselves. Our skills and craftsmanship, our gifts and talents, are from the Lord Himself and for His glory.

How are you blessing others with your gifts this season? Are you giving handmade gifts? Are you baking goodies to share? Are you babysitting a friend's children so that she and her husband can go to the company Christmas party? Are you writing a special note in the Christmas card that goes to an elderly friend? Are you singing His praises in the choir or leading others in worship as a musician? Are you being a shoulder to cry on for a neighbor who just found out her husband didn't make it past this round of lay-offs? Are you smiling and saying "Thank you" to the store clerks and wait staff and flight attendants and receptionists who help you everyday? Are you teaching a skill or a lesson? Are you stitching with love? Are you documenting life with joy? Are you organizing special teacher appreciation events at school? How are you being a blessing just by being you?

As I cooked dinner one evening recently, I stood in my kitchen looking at the beautiful artwork Susan had painted for me and listening to the CD my friend, Mary (an accomplished pianist), gave to our family a couple of Christmases ago. While the entree was simmering, I wandered into the office and started blog-surfing through my friends' sites. The words, the pictures...everything about the way they shared their hearts made me smile. I am blessed by the gifts my Lord has given to my friends.

The thing is, we don't have to aspire to see our works enshrined in a museum someday. Or our deeds formally recorded for posterity. We just have to be faithful to the gifts He has given to each one of us. (And if for some reason you think you might not be gifted at all, please see I Corinthians 12.)

Do you want to bring glory to the name of Jesus this Christmas season? Then do what He's made you to do. It's that simple.