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Use Your God-Given Talent

One day, about one hundred years ago, there was a little boy named Jean who stood beside his father as they watched the sun set into the waves of the sea. The glory of the scene stirred his boyish enthusiasm and he poured out his heart in an ecstasy of joy. The father reverently took off his cap and said, "My son, it is God." The boy never forgot that word, "It is God."

Jean came from a poor family, so he had to take work in the field and earn his bread "by the sweat of his brow." On Sundays, they don't work in the fields and the family went to the village church where the father was the leader of the choir. After church, friends and relatives sometimes came home to spend the afternoon with the family.

One Sunday, soon after coming from church, the bent figure of an old peasant slowly made his way along the street. There was something about the figure that captured Jean's attention. He took a piece of charcoal and hurriedly drew a sketch on the wall. Every movement and attitude was so perfectly illustrated that everybody laughed—everybody but the father.  He sensed the gift possessed by his son.  He had been watching his growing talent.  "My Jean," he said, "I will no longer stop you from learning that which you are so eager to learn."

Jean Francis Millet, the boy's full name, became the artist of peasantry.  He never made any other boast. His character was of the highest. He had a firm faith in God. He believed in the Bible as the Word of God. He looked upon his use of the brush as preaching upon canvas the purity and truth he believed.

"The Angelus" is the name of the best known picture that he painted. It shows two workers in a potato field, a man and a woman, who hear from the near-by village the faint tones of the Angelus bell calling them to prayer. They pause, stand erect, bow their heads and worship. It is a beautiful picture of devotion and worship to God. 

MEMORY VERSE:  Romans 12:6
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.

KIDS ACTIVITY:  Role Playing
This lesson can be used to teach the Parable of the Talents found in Matthew 25:13-28.  The kids can be asked to do role playing of this passage.  After the play, it can be discussed with the kids that God wants us to use our talents and not be lazy.  Ask the children what are their different talents or gifts that God has given them.  How can they use it to serve God and others?

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