What Is In Your Hand?

Mark Mayberry

MOSES, WHILE LEADING HIS flock through the desert, had an angel of God appear to him at Mt Horeb (Ex 3:1ff). Speaking from a burning bush, God called upon Moses to lead the Israelites from Egyptian captivity . Moses repeatedly sought to excuse himself from God's call, being unsure that he was up to the job. In Exodus 4:1, he said, "The Israelites will not believe me. They will say, 'The Lord has not appeared unto thee'". In response, the Lord asked Moses, "What is in thy hand?". He answered, "A rod." The Lord then said, "Cast it on the ground," and when Moses did so, it became a serpent. Moses was told to perform this miracle before the Israelites so they would believe that God had appeared unto him. Thus, with the assurance of divine help and guidance, Moses courageously led the Israelites to freedom.

There are many similar examples in the Bible. Shamgar had nothing but an ox goad in his hand. Yet, he used it to slay 600 Philistines and thus deliver Israel form their enemies (Judges 3:31). When David went to battle with Goliath, the only thing in his hands was five stones and a sling. Yet, with it, he slew the giant who had taunted the armies of Israel (1 Sam 17:40-50). The New Testament records that on one occasion, Jesus sought to feed the multitude. No one had any food, except for a small boy. He held in his hand only five barley loaves and two small fishes, but with this Jesus fed the 5,000 (John 6:9-13).

What about you? What about me? What is in your hand? What is in my hand that I can use in God's service? What can we do to glorify His name? However lowly our position, however frail our strength, God can use us in His service. Faithful stewardship demands that we take advantage of the blessings that come through Christ Jesus our Lord. Let us have the attitude of Paul, who said, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

I have time on my hands. Time is one of life's most precious commodities, yet so many people waste it. They look on time as the stale and boring stuff that comes between pay checks. Yet, we should realize the extraordinary value of time. On the Harvard University campus stands a sundial with the inscription, "On this minute hangs eternity."

We have but one life to live, yet time passes by in small, incremental portions. How I live from moment to moment will ultimately decide the course of my life. No one can see the future, mush less control it (Prov 27:1; James 4:13-14). this present instant of time is all that we can count on (2 Cor 6:1-2; Heb 3:13-15). Thus, we need to use each moment wisely (Ps 90:12). Jesus sought to serve God while there was time and opportunity (John 9:4). So should we! (Eph 5:16; Col 4:5).


I have my ability in my hands. Our abilities must be used to God's glory; our talents must be spent in His service (Matt 25:14ff). Ability varies from individual to individual. Some have more and some have less, but none is empty-handed in this regard. Every person is blessed with ability and talent.

Successful teachers recognize this fact: They understand that there are no dumb students; instead, they recognize that their students' abilities simply lie in different areas. A good teacher will seek to bring out the talents of each individual child. Our abilities, whatever they may be, should be put to use. Let us be active workers in the Lord's vineyard (Rom 12:4-8).


I have my influence in my hands. We must use our influence for good rather than evil (Matt 5:13-16; 1 Tim 4:12). Henry Ward Beecher once said, "The humblest individual exerts some influence, either for good or evil, upon others." Consider the words of an old gospel song:

"You are writing a gospel
A chapter each day
By deeds that you do
By words that you say
Men read what you write
Whether faulty or true
Say what is the gospel
According to you?"

Many people are unconcerned with their example. As a result, they become influences for evil (Gal 5:9). Some companions give us wings to soar, while others give us leaden feet (Deut 20:8; 1 Cor 15:33). Let us strive to be numbered among the former. Those who exert a bad influence upon others will stand accursed (Luke 17:1-2).


I have material resources in my hand. These blessings and assets must be used to further the borders of God's kingdom (Phil 1:3-5; 4:15-18). Many people squander their wealth on sin and self. Yet, consider the noble example of the poor widow who cast her last two mites into the Lord's treasury (Matt 12:41-44). She truly was willing to put God first; she truly trusted that He would provide for her material needs. We should have the same disposition. Let us be willing to use our wealth for the good of others and the glory of God ( 1 Tim 6:17-19).


Finally, I hold my destiny in my hands. Many appear unconcerned with their eternal destiny. They focus entirely on the here and now. Yet, such an approach to life is folly. In fact, it is insane! "Where will you spend eternity?" is the most important question that you will ever ponder. This is the greatest consideration in life (Matt 16:26).

God has done everything possible to ensure man's salvation. He sent His only begotten Son into the world to die for sinful mankind. He has set forth the church as the realm in which salvation can be found. He has given us his Word to guide us. It is now up to us. We must respond in faithful obedience to His mercy and grace (Acts 2:40; Phil 2:12,13).


In Conclusion, we recognize that God has blessed us beyond measure, but He demands something in return. We must use our time, abilities, influence, and resources to God's glory. Let us never seek to excuse ourselves from serving Him. Just as God promised to be with Moses, He will be with us. If we faithfully serve Him, heaven will be our home.

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