By Gail Marsh
How many kitchen countertop appliances can you name? There are, of course, the standard “must have” appliances: mixers and toasters, can openers and coffee machines. There are also specialty appliances like bread makers, slow cookers, waffle makers, and electric meat grinders. In addition, there are rice cookers, pressure cookers, cappuccino makers, and vacuum food sealers. The list continues, on and on! If there’s a task to be done in the kitchen, there’s probably a machine that’s designed to serve!
Many kitchen machines inspire creativity and embolden even novice cooks to step out of their comfort zones. Who knew that the same blender that purees baby food can also be used to make ice cream? Or, that a toaster can do more than make toast from bread? (That simple toaster can safely reheat pizza or make crispy, homemade tortilla chips! Just be sure to use a toaster bag, please!) There really can be no argument—kitchen appliances have made a real difference in our lives!
People have a lot in common with countertop kitchen appliances. Just as manufacturers design appliances to perform certain tasks, God has carefully and intentionally designed each one of us. He’s given all of us different talents and abilities—capabilities that make us unique and valuable to the work in God’s Kingdom. Each person’s ability joins with another’s unique ability to accomplish God’s work. We need one another. God designed it that way. In addition, just as an appliance needs electricity in order to function, we all need Christ’s power working through us in order for our service to be effective! (Read John 15:5.)
In our original sinful state, our focus was perpetually inward, continually looking to serve ourselves, to meet our own needs. Jesus took care of our sins of selfishness and self-serving attitudes when he suffered and died for us. In rising from his grave, Jesus demonstrated his ultimate victory over sin, Satan, and even death itself. Now, empowered by our almighty Lord Jesus, we are forgiven and made new—made fit to serve. (Read Ephesians 2:10.)
Again, like any appliance, failure sometimes happens. The mixer refuses to mix. The bread maker burns the dough. Failure happens. That’s why manufactures offer guarantees. Our ministry efforts also come with a guarantee. Consider what Isaiah says in chapter 55:10–11.
There it is—the guarantee that surpasses even the most highly rated assurance—God says that his Word will accomplish what he intends it to do. For every word we speak, every action we take, God is at work. He is the one who brings sinners to repentance. Christ is the one who saves. We simply serve, and allow God to do what only he can do.
There are times when an appliance overheats. Workers in the Kingdom of God can similarly “burn out” and require “refurbishing” or rest. It’s not wrong to take a break. We cannot see to the needs of others if we’re ignoring our own needs. Jesus understands. He invites us to come to him for rest (Matthew 11:28).
Take a moment to reflect on who you are: a servant gifted by God, forgiven and empowered through Christ. Remember, too, God’s promise or guarantee: to work through you to accomplish his will and make a difference in the lives of his people. Remember that even our humblest forms of service to others brings glory to God. What’s more, our service may inspire others to use their talents to serve Christ, too!
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is slightly adapted from the Ministry Message for one of CTA’s Christian Worker lines, Making a Difference . . . Inspiring Lives.
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