Monday, May 22, 2017

Instruments in God's Hands

I read an interesting story about the renowned musical instruments made by, Antonio Stradivari.  Five of the instruments created by the work of his hands, were given to the Library of Congress. There are three violins, one violin-cello and a viola.  The really interesting part is seen in the conditions by which these instruments were donated. Stradivari gave these special instruments with orders for them to be played at some annual concerts through the years.

Contrast that with another similar story.  A man by the name of Paganini left his famous violin to the Italian city of Genoa. Over the years, that violin has been safely kept inside a glass display case for all to see.  Since the donation and display of that instrument, it has not been touched by human hands.  Therefore, after a number of years, it was discovered the violin had deteriorated.  Because of the lack of use, the once famous and valuable violin, became useless and without value.  It wasn't used, and it deteriorated. 

Everyone now understands the conditions by which Stradivari donated his musical instruments. He was smart in ordering them to be taken from their place of safety and put into the hands of gifted musicians from time to time, and they are still useful, quality musical instruments to this day. 

There is a lesson here for those of us in the Lord's church.  Paul teaches in Romans 12 the usefulness of every member of the body of Christ.  Look at verses 3-6:  " For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us."

As members of the body of Christ, we are all given gifts of the Spirit. These gifts enable us to function in our own gifted areas for the benefit of the whole church. All are important, all are useful, all are necessary for the church to function well.  The importance of each doing his/her part is seen in the teaching that a failure of one or some to do their part leads to the diminished value of the whole body. 

Likewise, when we consider the collective members of the church, functioning properly, the real effectiveness  and success comes only when we are obedient to the commands which instruct us to take the gospel to the entire world. Read Matthew 28:19-20.  The very nature of the gospel, and the commandments for us to share it with the world, demonstrate the need for us to be continually active to make the message known.  A failure on our part to tell others about Jesus will bring the same results as Paganini's violin, sealed up in a display case until it became useless. 

The beauty of the message occurs when God's people, by grace, equipped with his gifts, share the story which brings eternal life. 


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