What has God given you?
I give 100% of the credit for this blog post to one of my early mentors in the Christian Faith. He taught me about hearing God’s Voice and courageously modelled speaking truth. (Yeah, Brad, I’m talking about YOU!)
Brad and I were briefly chatting this past Thursday evening after my nephew’s memorial service. At the service I had shared a short message from Luke 15. It’s a story meant to teach us about God’s persistent searching, lavish grace, and patient waiting.
Brad shared with me how, before speaking on that text a while back, he had been led to look up the word prodigal. He then shared with me what it meant, and it was one of those I’ll-never-preach-that-text-the-same-way-again moments.
When used as an adjective, here is the meaning?
prodigal | ˈprɒdɪɡ(ə)l | adjective 1 spending money or using resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant:
It dawned on me at that moment that not only was the father in the story gracious to give his son an inheritance, but EVERYTHING that the son had and wasted was NOT his to begin with, it was a gift!
What has God given you? Think about that for a minute.
Your life? God. The air you breathe? God. The gifts you have? God. The earth? God. A living hope? God. Forgiveness of sins? God. The ability to do life differently? God. Grace? God.
Everything that you and I have been given belongs to God. Are you wastefully extravagant? Are you reckless with what God’s given you? Are you a prodigal who is coming to his or her senses amidst their recklessness and wasteful extravagance and realizing that God has been patiently waiting? He has, and he sees you, loves you, and knows you.
One of the hardest things I have to date done in my journey as a pastor was being a part of my 17-year old nephew’s memorial service.
My nephew, Jorden, had at one point been baptized. He had professed faith in the Living God. He had also wandered and been reckless. And he was coming to his senses – and there was never a moment in all of it that he was not Jesus’ child.
This is a photo of a recent alarm he had set on his phone. Jorden passed away at 6:15AM on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. His 1:00PM alarm still went off that day, but he wasn’t here to hear it – he was with Jesus.
Friends, what has God given you and what are you doing with it?
Carmen, through teaching, speaking, pastoring, blogging, and podcasting, invests in others so they can lead and live better. She is the founder of LEAD Women Ministries, ordained with the PAOC, an Associate Pastor at Westside Pentecostal Church, holds an MA in Leadership & Management, and she can often be found collaborating with other leaders or organizations on projects where there are outcomes to grow people’s confidence, competence, and character.