“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”
–1 Peter 4:10 (NLT)
The little house stood, alone and abandoned. Tomorrow it would be torn down, and a new structure would be erected in its place. It had welcomed many, and with a little work, it promised to have room for many more. But, unbeknownst to the house’s owner, the town council had deemed the place an eyesore, and they decided to bring a petition before the people.
The mayor’s words still resounded in the people’s ears. “We no longer need this eyesore in our community so, assuming this vote to tear the place down passes, I invite you all to come to the dedication of a new and grander structure. There will be food and refreshments served as we lay the foundation, and you can be sure that we will usher in a new era of prosperity and growth.”
Upon hearing this, many of the townspeople only sneered dejectedly.
“What is he doing?” they said in anger, when the mayor was finished with his speech.
“You people aren’t thinking,” said a few of the naysayers. “Sure, the removal of this house might offer jobs, but people who are willing to work could repair this building instead. This house is a landmark, and it has stood for hope and healing for decades.”
But the townspeople who were against the structure’s salvation wouldn’t listen, and soon those who spoke out against the mayor’s proposal felt like their words were falling on deaf ears. So, slinking out, they went back to their homes in silence.

Like that little house, Peter tells believers that we are all living stones being built into a spiritual house. But we often forget this, and instead of allowing the Lord to strengthen us, we tear the house down. Scripture tells us that we can do this either by saying destructive words, or by saying nothing at all.
James tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue, but many times we forget that too. Speaking out in haste, we may say things that are hurtful and destructive. We need to ask the Lord to set a watch before our mouths, instead of reacting foolishly. The Bible also tells us that we need to be slow to speak, swift to hear, and slow to anger.
Secondly, we often speak loudest when we say nothing. We have been given so much here in the United States, and all of us tend to think that this is just the norm. Therefore, it is very easy to become callous to the needs of others, sliding into what I call comfort-anity. But once we forget about those less fortunate, we ignore the words of Jesus. He said, “If a lot has been given to you, a lot will be required of you.” Making another statement that I hope will challenge all of us, King David said that he wouldn’t give God a gift that cost him nothing in return.
There is no one like you, and first and foremost, God wants to come into your heart. So if you aren’t His follower, there is no better time to become one than right now. Confess your sin to Him, and allow Him to give you the gift of His forgiveness.
On the other hand, if you do know Him today, tell Him that you want to live a completely surrendered life. This means giving God first place in your life, and looking for opportunities to serve Him.
In either case, the best gift you can give God is the decision to allow Him to work through you, and help you to serve in your own corner of this needy world. I pray that you’ll decide to love and work with God today, and give Him and the world your best gift now!
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 313-209-8800. Our PIN is 8699032. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.