Lawrence enjoyed being retired from his job. During the day he would swing a hammer on a building project, or lunch with a local club for business people. Some evenings he would join friends to sing. What made Lawrence different from some other retired friends was that he had offered himself and gifts entirely to the Lord. His hands built accessibility ramps for those using wheelchairs. His arms welcomed visiting business travelers from abroad into his home. His voice was lifted both by singing with his church choir and also by sharing the gospel to prisoners he visited faithfully every week.
God gives individuals gifts to be used for building His kingdom, and our passage today in Exodus illustrates this beautifully. The construction of the tabernacle and its furnishings—the dwelling place for God’s presence!— was assigned to various individuals whom God had gifted with skill to do various work. Not only had God given Bezalel artistic skills to shape gold and silver and bronze, God had also gifted him as a wise leader who could teach others. God had also given people the gifts to engrave, to design, to embroider and to weave. While these craftspeople probably earned an income at their given jobs, their talents found fullest expression in the work God had given them to do.
God still gives gifts for the building of His kingdom! In addition to those we know as pastors and ministers, engineers use their skills to develop irrigation systems for people in parched places. Designers design affordable shoes for those with few resources. Retirees bring good news to those in prison. The gifts God gives find fullest expression as they’re given to His kingdom purposes.
Apply the Word
The gifts God has given you are unique. Chances are they look nothing like the gifts the Lord has given to your pastor or your sister or your mail carrier! Notice the very particular ways God has made and gifted you and prayerfully consider how your gifts might be used to further God’s kingdom. Then go ahead and use them!