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By: Larry Shaffer
1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us,
2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word,
3 it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus;
4 so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.
The beloved physician Luke is the human author of the Bible book before us. Luke opens with a formal prologue addressed to a Roman dignitary. I tend to think that Luke intended the books of Luke and Acts for wide circulation but addressed it to a Roman dignitary as credibility. Regardless, he stated that it seemed fitting for him to write it. He decided to use his experiences, his relationship, and his God-given skills and gifts to provide a sweeping account of the early days of Christianity. God blessed his faithfulness to take action and serve us by writing this wonderful account of Jesus.
What about you?
You also have experiences, relationships, and God-given skills and gifts. Are you using them to serve and God and others? For many years, this was a question that I avoided. As I was pursuing business success, I never fell away from God, per se, but I wasn’t serving God fully and faithfully with the gifts He had given me.
You are reading these words because my pastor, Jeff Wells of Woodsedge Church, The Woodlands, TX, challenged me. His challenge to me came both personally in private conversations and from the pulpit. He first challenged me hard to one thing: spend daily time with God. Daily means every day. I pushed back, but he relented, and I eventually agreed. I began doing it daily, and after 60 days, I developed a wonderful habit and ritual that has transformed my life: daily time with God in His word, praying and reflecting and then writing out a summary and application of the text. I began to grow in my faith when I intentionally began to do it daily.
Several months later, Jeff preached a sermon about fully utilizing the gifts God has given us to serve others. I realized that I should use my gifts to serve and encourage others. I reluctantly (resisting God’s calling at first) determined that God gave me basic skills in research and writing that emerge from my daily time in God’s Word—and that I should share them with others. I began to share them with a few friends and have since attempted (stumbling and failing at times) to follow God’s guidance as He opens doors for service and ministry.
Take an inventory of all that God has given you. Then take small steps to use your relationships, opportunities, and skills to serve others. Just take small steps and let God open the doors (or close doors) in His time and according to His purposes. Consider this an adventure. Fight the nagging thoughts of self-doubt and fear and with small steps, begin to follow Luke’s example.
In the words of Luke, may it seem fitting to you as well—to use your gifts to serve God.
Father, You are the giver of all things. You have given so that we might give as well. Help us rise to the challenge of Luke’s example to use our relationships, opportunities, and skills to advance Your Kingdom and influence others for Christ. We are weak, but with You, we are strong. May we be faithful and begin with small steps toward our future life of serving You by serving others. Amen!