Using Talents: Bezalel, Oholiab, and Moses

Using Talents and Time: Bezalel, Oholiab, Moses”  Ex. 4 (sels.), 35:30-35 2/11/18 LMPC Sloan

To see a video of this sermon, click here: https://youtu.be/gA3JaO_L8s8

Reese Hanneman will be competing in the winter Olympics for the gold in the Men’s Cross Country Skiing event.  He is a member of Great Land Christian Church.  He recently posted on social media, “I am constantly humbled…at God’s blessings in my life when I didn’t do anything to deserve any of them.”
The Bible says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart- working for the Lord.”  We believe God sees the work that we do and how we do it.  He sees how parents raise their children- and He especially cares for little children.  But today I want to concentrate on two guys we overlook- Bezalel and Oholiab.  Without them the Jewish religion would have never gotten off the ground.  We are inheritors of that through Christ- so in some ways- we were dependent on these two guys.  They probably saw themselves as ordinary guys.  But we need to see what scripture says about them.  Bezalel was the first person recorded to have the Holy Spirit fill him.  His work on the altar was remembered 400 years later by Solomon (2 Chr. 2:5).  God chose them, he filled them, and he asked them to pass on what He had taught them.  This is our calling.
I. THE LORD CHOSE THEM   The New Testament tells us that God chooses us to go and bear fruit.  Some have bought into the idea that God shouldn’t choose anybody- it’s not fair for God to do that.  Don’t get hung up on that.  It is part of reality.  God makes us different- like the rainbow- we need to appreciate the differences of our choosing, but also work together.  That there is not just black or just white or just gray but many diverse colors to add beauty.  Scripture says that we are male and female, Jew and Gentile, slave and free, poor and rich- but we are all one- working for one goal- the glory of God.  But we are chosen in our diversity with different gifts to bear fruit.  He doesn’t say exactly how to do bear fruit or what that involves.  He purposefully leaves that unclear so we have to keep asking God- how do you want me to bear fruit for you today.  Nevertheless- if you are a believer- you have fruit to bear.  You have not chosen just to be relieved, or to be comfortable. You are to bear fruit.
When God called Moses- he didn’t want to go.  He gave five reasons to not answer his call: 1) He said, “Who am I” or “You’ve got the wrong guy.; 2) “I’m not ready yet” He felt he didn’t have enough know-how- God said, “This is what you are to say.”  3) I might fail- what if they don’t believe me? God showed his power;  4) I don’t have the skills- I am slow to speak- stutter; 5) Someone else will do it- Moses says, “Please send someone else.”  Anyone can say this about anything. When we look at what Moses did, we say, “How can you possibly say that you were the right person at the right time for the right calling.”  Bezalel and Oholiab could have said, “I need to know more, I might mess up, I can’t do it.”  But God filled them with ability.  We need to believe that if God calls us- He will equip us if we will answer that call.
II. THE LORD FILLED THEM WITH HIS SPIRIT- wisdom, understanding, knowledge, skills.
The New Testament says that we all have gifts- every one of us.  It is not just the preachers who do it.  Moses knew he couldn’t build the tabernacle.  Without Eddie Edwards of John Burriss that Children’s building would not be built.  But some raised money- some gave money.  This year we will be paying off our pledges God willing.
Moses did not recognize that He too was filled with the Spirit- more than anyone else alive on earth.  Yet he still lacked confidence.  Apart from God we can absolutely do nothing.  But if God fills you with the Spirit things change.  He can take a Peter who denied Christ and turn him into a courageous witness.  He can take a Paul who persecuted Christians and turn him into the most fruitful missionary of his time.  You cannot teach SS.  You cannot help the church in any way.  You have no ability.  You don’t have all the information you need.  You might mess up- no- you will mess up.
William Carey was as shoe maker.  He had no skills.  But he was willing to believe God could use him.  He went to India to try to win the people there.  He translated the Bible into Sanskrit and five other languages.  He was a social reformer- founding schools and stopping the Hindu practices of child sacrifice and of sati (where a widow throws herself on her husband’s funeral pyre).  He became
the “father of modern missions.”  His motto was this- “expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.”  He was willing to take a risk- even die (his wife did).   I have been amazed that lay people have been leading this Mission movement in Sudan since 1987.  It has not been the preachers.  Very few preachers have gone.
III. THE LORD ENCOURAGED THEM TO TEACH OTHERS HOW TO DO WHAT THEY DID- Pass it on.   If God teaches you anything- pray that God will enable you to share that skill with someone in the next generation.
Paul told Timothy the secret of how Christianity did not die out in the first century.  He said (2 Tim. 2:2)- The things you have heard from me, entrust to faithful people, who are able to pass it on to others also.
There are four generations here- there is Paul, Timothy, the faithful people, and those they pass it onto as well.   If your faith means anything to you- then pass it on.   We have built our children’s building to pass it on to others also.
The greatest danger for us is to be apathetic.  Apathetic means uncaring, satisfied with things.  We can overuse the phrase, “It is what it is” to the point that we do nothing.  We can say, “Let someone else who has more… more knowledge, more money, more time, more energy do it.   If the Gospel of Christ is to be spread to the people around us, it is up to us.  Moses, from his birth was trained- brought up in Pharaoh’s household- the only Hebrew in that position.  Yet when the time came he said, “Find someone else, I don’t have the gifts, I am inadequate.”  He was right, but he was wrong.  Apart from God we can do nothing.
The work they did was for the most part unseen.  They made the golden cherubs that sat on top of the ark of the covenant.  Everyone knew they were there- but no one saw it to appreciate it.  Only the high priest and that only once a year.  We do our work not to be judged by others but for an audience of One the One true God whom we live to please.  Scouts when you do your good turn daily- you don’t have to do it so other people will see you.  Listen to your call.
Buster Rhame used to have a favorite children’s sermon- there were spectators- who just sat on the sidelines.  There were dictators- who just told everyone what to do without plugging into the work.   There were commentators- who were always giving their opinion about what is wrong or right but do not do the work.  Then there are sweet tators.  Bezalel and Oholiab never complained.  If they ever felt they were inadequate you didn’t know it.  We have many volunteers at LMPC.  We could not exist without your- hundreds of you.  What we do not have- where we are lacking are those who are willing to teach the faith- especially to facilitate adult studies.  Somehow we have bought into this idea that only the clergy can understand enough.  One of the whole points of the Reformation that we have forgotten is the priesthood of all believers.  We have, effectively and sadly taken the gospel away from the people.  We are all priests- Peter says you are a nation of priests.  The question is what quality of priest are you.  We are developing a program for teaching teachers here.   Our church has grown exponentially in the number of volunteers and volunteer hours poured into the ministry here.  But we need to think like Oholiab and Bezalel- and be willing.  Faithful, Available, Teachable.
Nick Foles, the winning quarterback for Philadelphia, decided two years ago that he would quit football.  He thought he was no good.  He was disappointed and at 26 was ready to retire.  But God had other plans for Nick.  Nick went back and his talents and abilities were used not only to win the Superbowl but to witness to his faith.  He took over from an injured Carson Wentz. But Foles says Wentz helped him and the rest of the team believe that God could do this through them.  He was on the sidelines teaching and cheering.
I hear people say, “You just need to believe in yourself.”  No.  Don’t believe in just yourself- that is finite and limited– you are inadequate.  But believe in the talents and skills and spirit God gives you- and God’s call to you.  Sometimes we need to recognize that God is calling us to do something for Him that we do not think we can do.  Apart from Him we can do nothing.  But with Him, nothing is impossible.

sing Talents and Time: Bezalel, Oholiab, Moses”  Ex. 4 (sels.), 35:30-35 2/11/18 LMPC Sloan

Reese Hanneman will be competing in the winter Olympics for the gold in the Men’s Cross Country Skiing event.  He is a member of Great Land Christian Church.  He recently posted on social media, “I am constantly humbled…at God’s blessings in my life when I didn’t do anything to deserve any of them.”
The Bible says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart- working for the Lord.”  We believe God sees the work that we do and how we do it.  He sees how parents raise their children- and He especially cares for little children.  But today I want to concentrate on two guys we overlook- Bezalel and Oholiab.  Without them the Jewish religion would have never gotten off the ground.  We are inheritors of that through Christ- so in some ways- we were dependent on these two guys.  They probably saw themselves as ordinary guys.  But we need to see what scripture says about them.  Bezalel was the first person recorded to have the Holy Spirit fill him.  His work on the altar was remembered 400 years later by Solomon (2 Chr. 2:5).  God chose them, he filled them, and he asked them to pass on what He had taught them.  This is our calling.
I. THE LORD CHOSE THEM   The New Testament tells us that God chooses us to go and bear fruit.  Some have bought into the idea that God shouldn’t choose anybody- it’s not fair for God to do that.  Don’t get hung up on that.  It is part of reality.  God makes us different- like the rainbow- we need to appreciate the differences of our choosing, but also work together.  That there is not just black or just white or just gray but many diverse colors to add beauty.  Scripture says that we are male and female, Jew and Gentile, slave and free, poor and rich- but we are all one- working for one goal- the glory of God.  But we are chosen in our diversity with different gifts to bear fruit.  He doesn’t say exactly how to do bear fruit or what that involves.  He purposefully leaves that unclear so we have to keep asking God- how do you want me to bear fruit for you today.  Nevertheless- if you are a believer- you have fruit to bear.  You have not chosen just to be relieved, or to be comfortable. You are to bear fruit.
When God called Moses- he didn’t want to go.  He gave five reasons to not answer his call: 1) He said, “Who am I” or “You’ve got the wrong guy.; 2) “I’m not ready yet” He felt he didn’t have enough know-how- God said, “This is what you are to say.”  3) I might fail- what if they don’t believe me? God showed his power;  4) I don’t have the skills- I am slow to speak- stutter; 5) Someone else will do it- Moses says, “Please send someone else.”  Anyone can say this about anything. When we look at what Moses did, we say, “How can you possibly say that you were the right person at the right time for the right calling.”  Bezalel and Oholiab could have said, “I need to know more, I might mess up, I can’t do it.”  But God filled them with ability.  We need to believe that if God calls us- He will equip us if we will answer that call.
II. THE LORD FILLED THEM WITH HIS SPIRIT- wisdom, understanding, knowledge, skills.
The New Testament says that we all have gifts- every one of us.  It is not just the preachers who do it.  Moses knew he couldn’t build the tabernacle.  Without Eddie Edwards of John Burriss that Children’s building would not be built.  But some raised money- some gave money.  This year we will be paying off our pledges God willing.
Moses did not recognize that He too was filled with the Spirit- more than anyone else alive on earth.  Yet he still lacked confidence.  Apart from God we can absolutely do nothing.  But if God fills you with the Spirit things change.  He can take a Peter who denied Christ and turn him into a courageous witness.  He can take a Paul who persecuted Christians and turn him into the most fruitful missionary of his time.  You cannot teach SS.  You cannot help the church in any way.  You have no ability.  You don’t have all the information you need.  You might mess up- no- you will mess up.
William Carey was as shoe maker.  He had no skills.  But he was willing to believe God could use him.  He went to India to try to win the people there.  He translated the Bible into Sanskrit and five other languages.  He was a social reformer- founding schools and stopping the Hindu practices of child sacrifice and of sati (where a widow throws herself on her husband’s funeral pyre).  He became
the “father of modern missions.”  His motto was this- “expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.”  He was willing to take a risk- even die (his wife did).   I have been amazed that lay people have been leading this Mission movement in Sudan since 1987.  It has not been the preachers.  Very few preachers have gone.
III. THE LORD ENCOURAGED THEM TO TEACH OTHERS HOW TO DO WHAT THEY DID- Pass it on.   If God teaches you anything- pray that God will enable you to share that skill with someone in the next generation.
Paul told Timothy the secret of how Christianity did not die out in the first century.  He said (2 Tim. 2:2)- The things you have heard from me, entrust to faithful people, who are able to pass it on to others also.
There are four generations here- there is Paul, Timothy, the faithful people, and those they pass it onto as well.   If your faith means anything to you- then pass it on.   We have built our children’s building to pass it on to others also.
The greatest danger for us is to be apathetic.  Apathetic means uncaring, satisfied with things.  We can overuse the phrase, “It is what it is” to the point that we do nothing.  We can say, “Let someone else who has more… more knowledge, more money, more time, more energy do it.   If the Gospel of Christ is to be spread to the people around us, it is up to us.  Moses, from his birth was trained- brought up in Pharaoh’s household- the only Hebrew in that position.  Yet when the time came he said, “Find someone else, I don’t have the gifts, I am inadequate.”  He was right, but he was wrong.  Apart from God we can do nothing.
The work they did was for the most part unseen.  They made the golden cherubs that sat on top of the ark of the covenant.  Everyone knew they were there- but no one saw it to appreciate it.  Only the high priest and that only once a year.  We do our work not to be judged by others but for an audience of One the One true God whom we live to please.  Scouts when you do your good turn daily- you don’t have to do it so other people will see you.  Listen to your call.
Buster Rhame used to have a favorite children’s sermon- there were spectators- who just sat on the sidelines.  There were dictators- who just told everyone what to do without plugging into the work.   There were commentators- who were always giving their opinion about what is wrong or right but do not do the work.  Then there are sweet tators.  Bezalel and Oholiab never complained.  If they ever felt they were inadequate you didn’t know it.  We have many volunteers at LMPC.  We could not exist without your- hundreds of you.  What we do not have- where we are lacking are those who are willing to teach the faith- especially to facilitate adult studies.  Somehow we have bought into this idea that only the clergy can understand enough.  One of the whole points of the Reformation that we have forgotten is the priesthood of all believers.  We have, effectively and sadly taken the gospel away from the people.  We are all priests- Peter says you are a nation of priests.  The question is what quality of priest are you.  We are developing a program for teaching teachers here.   Our church has grown exponentially in the number of volunteers and volunteer hours poured into the ministry here.  But we need to think like Oholiab and Bezalel- and be willing.  Faithful, Available, Teachable.
Nick Foles, the winning quarterback for Philadelphia, decided two years ago that he would quit football.  He thought he was no good.  He was disappointed and at 26 was ready to retire.  But God had other plans for Nick.  Nick went back and his talents and abilities were used not only to win the Superbowl but to witness to his faith.  He took over from an injured Carson Wentz. But Foles says Wentz helped him and the rest of the team believe that God could do this through them.  He was on the sidelines teaching and cheering.
I hear people say, “You just need to believe in yourself.”  No.  Don’t believe in just yourself- that is finite and limited– you are inadequate.  But believe in the talents and skills and spirit God gives you- and God’s call to you.  Sometimes we need to recognize that God is calling us to do something for Him that we do not think we can do.  Apart from Him we can do nothing.  But with Him, nothing is impossible.