Summary: We all have skills that can be used to build the kingdom of God, here on Earth, in peoples lives, for eternity.
We all have skills!
I’m particularly impressed by skilled musicians and people who extremely good capacity for retaining information. I guess that that is because these are not skills or abilities that I have naturally. However I understand that there are some people who can’t wire a house, or paint a room or build a book case or make a sponge cake. Where I’m heading here is that God has gifted us all with abilities and that we have capabilities that make it possible for us become skilled in some area or other.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been looking at some advice that King David gave his boy the future King Solomon about the Temple that Solomon was to build in Jerusalem. It was great advice also stuff that we can all be aware of, stuff that will make a difference in all of our lives. This is it!
1 Chronicles 29:20 and 21.
”David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished. The divisions of the priests and Levites are ready for all the work on the temple of God, and every willing person skilled in any craft will help you in all the work…..”
The third thing David pointed out is that the priest and Levites are ready to do the work and that every willing person has skills, and that they all have a part to play in the work.
Willingness - now there's an interesting commodity. There are many skilled people who for their own reasons arn't willing to do God's work - whose love for God comes after love for self.
I firmly believe that you all, we all, have a great number of skills that will make a huge difference in this community if we continue to use these skills for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.
I want to have a bit of a look at what the work may be and pinch a few quotes from our founders to address some of what we can do as a community of believers, influencing our community and communities.
Firstly is there anyone here that is really satisfied with New Zealand society, that can’t find something in the City of Dunedin that could be done better, or in such a way that people live better lives or lives where they can enjoy the relationship that you have with God and your fellow humans?
Catherine Booth the Co-Founder of the Salvation Army told the early Salvationists that “If we are to better the future we must disturb the present”. I know that these early Salvationists disturbed the present quite a bit and bettered the future for many many people. With the way society is looking at this time the present. it could do with a bit of disturbing, a really good upsetting I think. The present is a really good time for Christian activists to rise up.
There is an important question that William Booth asked. “But what is the use of preaching the Gospel to men whose whole attention is concentrated upon a mad, desperate struggle to keep themselves alive?” We have a good number people in the wider Dunedin community who are involved in a desperate struggle to survive, battling abuse, addiction, loneliness, greet, hopelessness. What is being done by us, what can be done by us, so that peoples spiritual and material needs can be met, so that people may be set free from the vices that hold them clenched in their jaws. So that people might be set free from the sin that drags them to the gates of Hell. What is it we can do to shine a light in dark lives so that they are then in a place to hear and receive the good news about Jesus?
There are also many people who appear to have it all together, they dress well they hold down good… sometimes great jobs, have all the toys, but are as lost as those who can’t met their own material needs, William Booth had an astute understanding of who the lost were and in his vision of the lost he was quite clear that the lost were those who were not on the platform around the rock of Calvary, where Jesus had saved them from their sins…these poor souls were not on the rock but struggling and drowning in the sea, his directive was “Look! Don't be deceived by appearances -- men and things are not what they seem. All who are not on the rock are in the sea!” William Booth. What skills do you have to drag them from the sea, believe that you have those skills, friendship may just be the rope required, a batch of biscuits to that neighbour and a cuppa might just be the ladder they require to get them on the first rung out of that horrible sea.