“Yep, You Are One Of A Kind!”

TEXT: Exodus 31:1-11  *[Note: It would be helpful in reading this POST, if your Bible was near]. 

You're One-of-a-Kind
You’re One-of-a-Kind

 

Psalm 33:15 (a):  “He made their hearts”

YOU ARE UNIQUE – [See Footnote [i] for the following]

“You are unique.  Even though you share many things in common among other people, you are essentially one of a kind.  No one else has been given exactly the same makeup as God has given you.  Your face, your fingerprints, your voice, and your genetic makeup are matched by no one else’s.  Likewise, God has handcrafted you with your personality, your unique set of talents and motivations, and your special “bent in life.”

After reading the above source, I find that it all means one thing–you and I have a “one of a kind,” unique purpose set before us in life.

As an older brother by seven years, I’m sure my little brother believed while growing up, my unique purpose in life: To irritate him in any way I could.

According to the verses in Exodus 31, God gave BEZALEL the ability to work with gold, silver, stone and other materials.  God had placed in this man one of a kind abilities, and now God was planning to use these talents He placed in Bezalel to His glory.

[1] AND THE Lord said to Moses,  [2] See, I have called by name Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.  [3] And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and ability, in understanding and intelligence, and in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship.”

God wants to use your originality for His glory.

Notice the Interesting Progression that Takes Place.

God gets right to the point of a command in our lives.  He doesn’t go around commanding everybody but has an unusual way; a unique way, on how He prepares each one of us for a specific task.

1.  GOD CALLS US (Vs. 2):

BEZALEL was called by name and God knew what He wanted accomplished.

It’s not hard for God to pick who He wants for a specific task, He already knows who He wants–He prepared them.  It’s not like in grade school–hoping we would get picked for a team.

GOD picked Bezalel because He PREPARED Bezalel–so He called the man He wanted by name–“Bezalel, step forward, I have a job for you.”

God has called you by name.  

You are one of a kind to Him because He already prepared you for the task at hand.  You’re NOT on the sideline waiting to be chosen; if you are a Christian, God has already called you.

Do you know your calling?  God has PROMISED to reveal it to you if you will ask, seek, and knock.

2.  GOD APPOINTS US (Vs. 6):

“And behold, I have appointed with him Aholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and to ALL who are wisehearted I have given wisdom and ability to make all that I have commanded you:”

Proverbs 10:8 says, “A WISE HEART takes orders; an empty head will come unglued”  (The Message).

Over the years, God has called me to do special jobs in the Kingdom: Write, produce and direct Christian Drama; sing in choirs, ensembles; teach and of course write weekly blogs.

Under the Law, God chose Prophets, Priests and kings by placing His ANOINTING on them to accomplish His mission.

God’s Grace…

In this period of GRACE or the CHURCH AGE, God places His ANOINTING on believers to accomplish His plan on the earth today.

We ALL RECEIVE His Spirit when we entered into the Kingdom of God, but God gives an extra measure of His anointing; those who “seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and His righteousness.”

What comes next?

In Exodus 31, the next thing that happens after God’s call of BEZALEL is that He APPOINTS others to work along side of him. We all need help.

God’s Calling–

For the sake of discussion, a looking at this point is the next step God takes in each of us.  For instance, for God to APPOINT Aholiab, Aholiab had to be first CALLED by God.

Before the Apostles were appointed as apostles, they first had to be called.  Aholiab had to first ANSWER the call before he could be appointed to help.

Before God can APPOINT you, you must ANSWER the call.  When you do, He’ll appoint you to a task.  Like Aholiab was appointed for a specific task, you have been appointed.

3.  GOD DOES THE GIVING (Vs. 6 b ):

DOES GOD CALL us before He gives us a skill–doesn’t matter.  God GIVES the skill.

DOES GOD APPOINT us before He gives us a skill–doesn’t matter.  God GIVES the skill.

You are so “one of a kind” to God; so unique where you live, where you go to church, where you work, that He has given you a specific skill to fulfill the call in your life.

Many people are slow to answer the call for SERVICE because they fear their work is not good enough; they feel that the work that is noticed is the only way to serve.  But that’s not true.

God needed men like Moses, Aaron and Joshua…

BUT…God also needed Bezalel!  The work God called him to do was such importance, God gave him a special anointing for the task.

“I have filled him with the Spirit of God” ~ verse 3 a.

–  Moses had the spirit of Administration and prophecy.

–  Aaron had the spirit for the priesthood.

–  Joshua had the spirit for conquest.

BUT…Bezalel had the spirit for design and building–he was certainly one of a kind.

Sometimes we question why God does things the way He does–chooses some people and not others.  Let’s try to remember that HIS GIFTS are distributed, not as we will, but as He wills.  So if this question, “Why not me?” enters your heart, get over it!

There’s something in our name–

I find it interesting and informative when looking up given names and their meanings.  My given name is MELVIN DALE… its meaning is as follows: “Mel”–Chief.  “Dale” means a valley.  So putting them together, “Chief of the Valley” or ‘strong leader,’ and the meaning has played out in my life.

BEZALEL ‘s [ BEZALEEL, BESELEEL]  name means “under God’s shadow”  [See Footnote [ii] ].  He never became the great statesman and organizer that Moses did–nor even “chief of the valley”.

His voice was never heard to preach to the Israelite assembly.

Neither was he qualified to the priesthood.

He was not gifted in military, was not able to go along with Joshua’s adventures in the forefront of Israel’s army.

Yet this man had a DIVINE GIFT, a “spiritual anointing” to fulfill the task.  And yes, he truly was, “One of a kind.”

Service to the Lord —

So, would you rather find yourself in the ANOINTING first or the TITLE before your name?

Finding Ourselves in the “Shadow of God’s Wings”–

EXODUS 19:4
EXODUS 19:4

GOD equates Himself with a bird in Scripture when He tells the Israelites that He carried them on “eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself” (Exodus 19:4).

Again Scripture gives us encouragement in serving with the “spiritual anointing”— Psalm 63:7

~A Psalm of David~

“For You have been my help and

in the shadow of Your wings

will I rejoice.”

4.  GOD COMMANDS US  (Vs. 6 c):

Whenever it is that God puts the skills in us  is debatable but the COMMAND always comes at the end.  God doesn’t command us to do something if He hasn’t first, called us; second, appointed us; and thirdly, put the skill in us.

You Are One Of A Kind:

No one else has your abilities and talents combined–with your own unique personality and standing in life– to the job God has called you to do.

The New Year’s Challenge – “How does God want me to serve?”

SEEK GOD’S CALLING IN YOUR LIFE.

Let the BEZALEL ANOINTING rest on your work, it may be just a “hello” to someone, a kind word to a friend, maybe a cup of water in the name of the Lord.

Whatever the task, know that you’re ONE OF A KIND in the Kingdom of God and do it with all of your might!

“Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men.  Knowing [with all certainly] that it is from the Lord [and not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [real] reward.  [The One Whom] you are actually serving [is] the Lord Christ (the Messiah)”  (Colossians 3:23-24 AMP).

 


Footnotes:  [i] Urbana.org;  [ii] Harper’s Bible Dictionary/Bezaleel, pg. 110.

Bible Translations: Amplified Bible; The Message.

Photo Credits:  Photo Pin; Google Images/Exodus 19:4.

 

DOING and SAYING the Things God Expects Us to Do and Say

1 PETER 4:10-11 AMPLIFIED BIBLE:

[10]  As each of you has received a gift (a particular talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits]  good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [FAITHFUL STEWARDS of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor].

[11]  Whoever speaks, [let him do it as one who utters] oracles of God; whoever renders service, [let him do it] as with strength which God furnishes abundantly, so that in all things God may be GLORIFIED through Jesus Christ (the Messiah).  To Him be the glory  and dominion forever and ever (through endless ages).  Amen (so be it).

ELIEZER of DAMASCUS–

Abraham and Eliezer
Abraham and Eliezer

Eliezer certainly wasn’t the most prominent of Bible Characters, and yet, he played a significant role in the life of Abraham where identified as “a steward of Abraham.”

“And Abram said, Lord God, what can You give me, since I am going on [from this world] childless and he who shall be the owner and heir of my house is this [steward] Eliezer of Damascus?”  (Genesis 15:2).

What is a “steward”?

In the OT [Old Testament]; a man who is ‘over a house’.

In the NT [New Testament]; two words translated “steward”:  epitropos (Mt. 20:8; Gal. 4:2). i.e. one to whose care or honor on has been entrusted, a curator, a guardian, and… oikonomos, the Greek word use in 1 Peter 4:10.  i.e. a manager, a superintendent – from oikos (‘house’) and nemo,u (‘to dispense‘ or ‘to manage’). 

The word is used to describe the function of delegated responsibility.

So, with that meaning in mind, ALL things are Christ’s and Christians are His executors or “stewards”–

In the case of Eliezer, he had to manage ALL of Abraham’s ‘stuff’, and boy, Abram had a lot to manage!

“Now Abram was extremely rich

in livestock and in silver and in gold.”

(Gen. 13:2).

ELIEZER, himself, mentions how great the responsibility was in Genesis 24:34-35:  flocks, herds, silver, gold, men servants, maidservants, camels, and asses.  That is a lot of STUFF!

As a STEWARD, his task was making sure that he was prompting Abraham in his best interests.  Over January 2012 062the years, Abraham had found ELIEZER to be faithful and dependable and chose him to carry-out an important errand–to find a woman who believed in the one true God.  He found Rebekah for his son Isaac and the rest is history.

No matter what Abraham placed in Eliezer’s hands, he was found to be faithful and dependable promoting his master’s best interests.  Over the years, Abraham and Eliezer had become more than a master/servant, but in relationship, had become trusted friends.

ELIEZER is an ideal example for us to imitate–

In 1 Peter 4:10, we’re told to be “good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (KJV and NAS).

Now, everything belongs to GOD: “Behold, the heavens and the heaven of heavens belong to the Lord your God, the earth also, with all that is in it and on it”  (Deuteronomy 10:14).

Even though GOD owns all things, He entrusts us with a portion of His possessions.  In His “manifold grace” He grants us ALL that we have and enjoy in this life.  We are then STEWARDS of what GOD gives us!

On what basis are we to be judged as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ stewards?

VERSE 11 tells us that we are good stewards when…we use all that we are given to promote GOD’S best interests–“so that in all things God may be glorified.”

THREE THINGS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO EACH ONE OF US TO “GLORIFY”:

1.  SPIRITUAL GIFTS.

The primary focus of 1 Peter 4:10-11, is to use our spiritual gifts Again verse 10: ‘As each one has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment – Amplified Bible)–“employ it for one another, as good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [‘faithful stewards’].

Look carefully what is said and meditate on the certain truths that are taught in this verse:

FIRST, Peter informs each of us we’ve been given a “special gift”.  There is not a single member of the Church assembly who has not received from GOD a GIFT.

SECONDLY, we are to notice the enablement–to ‘serve one another’ in the assembly.  These GIFTS grant us the ability to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.  Each GIFT represents a ministry that GOD calls us to perform within the congregation.

THIRDLY, only as we actively “employ” our special gift are we “good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”  ~ adopt, utilize, apply; engage, hire, use, ‘put-to-work’.

THE APOSTLE PAUL’S ADMONISHMENT:

Romans 12:6-8 speaks to us. in regards to being FAITHFUL, in the Use of Our Gifts.

[6]  Having gifts that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them:  [He whose gift is] prophecy, [let him prophesy] according to the proportion of his faith;

[7]  [He whose gift is] practical service, let him give himself to serving; he who teaches, to his teaching;

[8]  He who exhorts (encourages), to his exhortation; he who contributes, let him do it in simplicity and liberality; he who gives aid and superintends, with zeal and singleness of mind; he who does acts of mercy, with genuine cheerfulness and joyful eagerness.

“Unopened Gifts”

I happened to run across this great story late last night by Rosalind Renshaw, date 10/2/91:

How come you’ve left so many gifts unopened on the floor?  They have your name on them, they belong to you, they are yours for the taking–if only you will receive them.  What is that you say?  That they can’t be yours, you have your share already.  They must be someone elses. There must be some mistake?  You’re afraid of what so-and-so will say when they see you unwrapping that gift–you fear their reaction, their envy.  Go open up your package, see what is inside your gift box.  You’ll be amazed at how I knew exactly what to give you–the perfect fit for you right now–in fact, just what you’ve always wanted, but you didn’t know it.  Go on, open it!  You can trust Me.  I am the Master gift-giver.  I never make mistakes or give the wrong size, or color, or fit.  But, please do hurry and open it, to enjoy it and to share it with others, so they can benefit from your gift too.  That’s My whole purpose of giving gifts…not for you to put them back in the box, to keep them safe or even put them in a glass cabinet, to look at and admire.  No, all My gifts are for My children to use, to help their brothers and sisters, not to make anyone else jealous or feel less fortunate.  As I said, I see a number of unopened packages, gift wrapped especially for you.  They are yours!  I’m right here, waiting, longing to see you unwrap them, and to see the look of joy and wonder on your face.

We Each Have Different Gifts Given to Us:

Each GIFT given to the ‘re-birthed’–and this is an important first step.  None is more important than any other and only when each of us actively uses our GIFT can a church body grow as GOD intends.

EPHESIANS 4:15-16 says,

“we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, cause the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”

Are we using our gift(s)?  Are we performing the ministry that GOD has called us to?  We will be judged by how faithful we used our gift(s), as much as how diligently we lived the life of righteousness and worshiped GOD properly?  (Matthew 25:14).

2.  OUR TIME

The second area where we need to be GOOD STEWARDS is the use of the time GOD grants us.

Even though the length of our lives seem so long when we are young, the truth is…LIFE IS SHORT!  I’ve asked myself over the years in my Christian life, “Am I being a good steward of the precious time that GOD continues to give me?”

Paul writes in Ephesians, “Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise,  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil”  (Eph. 5:15-16 NIV).

Are we, as good stewards, investing time in ACTIVITIES that promote GOD”S interests and glory?

Are we investing time now in the ACTIVITIES that will pay dividends in eternity?

Or, are we wasting valuable time that GOD has graciously given to us, engaging in ACTIVITIES, that have absolutely no spiritual significance?

How much TIME do we devote to self-improvement?

We all have weaknesses in our lives.  We all have faults.  The question becomes, how much TIME and EFFORT do we dedicate to changing our practices and habits?

How much TIME do I use, to make myself a better person, so that my light might shine brighter for GOD?

3.  MONEY!

The third and last area to discuss is our STEWARDSHIP OF MONEY.

It’s so easy for us to forget what we think of as OUR MONEY–what is actually GOD”S money (Ezekiel 16:17; Haggai 2:8).

The income which we have is given to us by our GIFT-GIVER; our GOD, to meet our basic needs but, above all, to promote His interests and glory.

When we steward GOD’S money, what is the appropriate amount to set-aside?

Every Lord’s Day, GOD’S people are encouraged to give–Scripturaly and doctrinally.  The question we need to ask ourselves, is whether or not, as STEWARDS OF GOD’S MONEY, do we contribute or offer an appropriate amount?

When my wife and I were SAVED–born-again in 1972, the issue of “giving” our money to the church, was an issue.  In our minds, there wasn’t room in the budget to “give”…period!  Much less, a tithe!!

The pastor who led us to Christ could point to Scripture about tithing all he wanted, but we just couldn’t and wouldn’t make room to GIVE!

But then the Holy Spirit’s “Light bulb” came on as we matured in Christ Jesus and has stayed on ever since; even during bad economic times in our family when things looked dark–repeated unemployment; low pay; no health insurance for a growing family.

THE TRUTH ON GIVING IN 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 NKJV:

16  Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:  2 On the first day on the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.”

When we go about determining how much we are to give and frequently focus our attention on “as he may prosper”, then we are tempted to adjust our thinking in giving.

Often we interpret the phrase “net profit”; that is, in accordance to what money we have left over after expenses of other worldly activities.  We GIVE GOD a “cut” of whatever is left over.

However, that’s not what Paul is talking about.  The phrase “as he prospers” is referring to what GOD has prospered us with, before we begin to divide it up!  It is based upon our “gross” earnings before expenses.  In other words, GOD expects His cut first; He wants the first fruits of our labor.

There is the story about a little boy who had two quarters, one for ice cream and one for giving to church on Sunday.  Unfortunately, he accidentally dropped one of the quarters in a storm sewer.  “Well, Lord,” said the boy, “there goes your quarter.”

We are tempted to be just like that little boy in the story.  We get our pay-checks, divvy it up to this and that and when we find we have little or nothing left-over for GOD…we say, ‘Sorry Lord, maybe we can give more next time.’   GOD calls that ROBBERY! (Malachi 3:8-12).

You may be thinking right now, the Scriptures you referenced, about GOD”S money, really doesn’t apply in today’s world.  That’s Old Testament Law! 

THAT THINKING would be incorrect.  The apostle Paul repeats the same message in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (AMP):

[6]  [Remember] this: he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to someone] will also reap generously and with blessings.  [7] Let each one [give] as he has made his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving].  [8]  And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].

As GOOD STEWARDS; trustees, we put GOD”S interest and glory first…even in the church offering each week.

What a privilege it is to be chosen by GOD to be His stewards.  May we all take our role seriously and glorify our Lord and Savior.