Leverage what God has given you

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Character and integrity”
Our Bible verse for today: “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.” Deuteronomy 8:17-18 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Leverage what the Lord has given you”
Many years ago, when I was serving as a pastor in another part of the country, I had a friend who was a successful businessman in our town. Richard had started out as a young man working for someone else. But when he was ready, he launched his own business, and he did very well.
It was a small business but successful, and as a result Richard was well off financially. He was a strong Christian who donated generously to many Christian causes. At one point he asked me to bring the pastors in our town together each month for a free lunch at a nice restaurant. There was to be no agenda and no presentations of any sort. The pastors would not be asked to do anything, go anywhere, or support anything. It was simply a time for food and fellowship. And when it was over, Richard quietly and anonymously paid the bill. Everyone month. Hundreds of dollars.
I had another friend in the same town who was the superintendent of county schools. Jim was a strong Christian and a member of our church. He had started out as a school teacher. He then continued going to graduate school at night, eventually earning his doctorate degree. While he was doing that, he continued to earn promotions within the school system. Eventually our county had a strong Christian man leading the schools, and we were all blessed because of it.
I know of another man who started out as a low-level worker in a manufacturing facility. It was a difficult work environment where the workers were treated poorly. But my friend just focused on working hard and doing his job well. As the years passed, he gained one promotion after another until finally, he was the supervisor in his section of the factory. He then used his position to change the organizational climate into one where the workers were respected and treated fairly.
In each of those cases, the individuals were strong Christians who worked hard and well. They achieved as much success as they could, and they then used their positions to be a blessing to others and to honor the Lord.
Deuteronomy 8:17-18 is just one of the many passages in both the Old and New Testaments which attest to the fact that God Himself empowers us to be successful in life. Over and over again we read of how God gives people skills, abilities, talents, and spiritual gifts which we are then to use to be successful.
I encourage you to discover your skills, talents, and abilities. Develop them. Leverage them. Then bless others and honor God through the success you have achieved. This is character and integrity making a meaningful difference in the real world.  
God bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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