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Daily Encounter: A Week-day Devotional by Richard (Dick) Innes of ACTS International.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

According to His/Her Ability

"The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea."1

"There is a story of a 33-year-old truck driver by the name of Larry Walters who was sitting in his lawn chair in his backyard one day wishing he could fly. For as long as he could remember he had wanted to fly but he had never had the time, money, or the opportunity to be a pilot. Hang gliding was out because there was no good place for gliding near his home. So he spent a lot of summer afternoons sitting in his backyard in his ordinary old aluminum chair—the kind with the webbing and the rivets, the kind most of us have.

"One day Larry hooked 45 helium-filled surplus weather balloons to his chair, put a CB radio in his lap, tied a paper bag full of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to his leg, and slung a BB-gun over his shoulder to pop the balloons when he wanted to come down. He lifted off in his lawn chair expecting to climb a couple of hundred feet over his neighborhood. Instead he shot up 11,000 feet right through the approach corridor to the Los Angeles International Airport. When asked by the press why he did it, Larry answered: 'Well, you can't just sit there.' When asked if he was scared, he answered, 'Yes ... wonderfully so.'"2

Oops! Surprise! Surprise! Admittedly, Larry had no idea what he was getting himself into. Sure, he would have been wise to get some practical advice from the folk who use weather balloons. Crazy? Yes, but at least he had the courage to give what he wanted to do a try. I'm not suggesting that we do anything crazy, but at least let's do something worthwhile with our lives.

As I've said before, just about every Christian I have ever asked the question, "Do you believe God has a purpose for your life?" answer, "Yes, I do." But when I ask them what it is, most don't have the vaguest idea what it might be. In a sense they just sit there and do nothing about it. As the old adage puts it, "Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all."

God's instruction to each of us is to give/do/work "each according to his/her ability." In other words, whatever abilities we have we need to put them to the best possible use doing God's work here on earth. The way we do this is by helping others according to their need—according to our ability to help.

Suggested prayer; "Dear God, please help me to get with your program—what you are doing in the world today—and not sit around waiting for some kind of a 'special' call, but by putting to use my God-given abilities in your work for your Kingdom. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Acts 11:29 (NIV).
2. Robert Fulghum, Everything I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten (New York: Villard Books, 1988), p. 139


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