The ability to do something – something creative, something useful – that kind of ability is called a gift. It’s not something intended for personal use and benefit alone. Gifts like these are meant to be used for the benefit of others.

That’s because these gifts come from God, who has in mind not only the individual, but everyone all together.

Think now about how you might use your God-given gifts for the benefit of all the world.

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Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

Luke 4:14-15

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Jesus was returning to Galilee from the desert where he had been tempted. Yet Jesus came filled with the power of the Spirit. His time in the desert must have strengthened him. He was teaching everyone. People loved him! Are you in the desert today? Perhaps you feel like you are fighting, dry, thirsty, tempted, and empty. Jesus was all those things in the desert.

It doesn't seem possible that Jesus came back with so much to give. The Spirit of God filled him up. This is the way of God, and God can be a mystery sometimes. We may have pain, and life can be hard. But this is the deal. Here is God today, waiting with you in the desert to wet your dry, quench your thirst, fight alongside you, and fill you up. The way out of the desert can lead to pouring out the Spirit of God on others. Our tough times can be preparation to participate in God's work of loving everyone. This is definitely good news for all of us.

Katie Sciba

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Open my eyes to see you when I am in the desert. Thank you for transforming pain into preparation. Lead me out of the wilderness, fill me with your Spirit, O God, so I can participate in your mission of love. Amen

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May your gifts burn like a fire,
Bringing warmth to everyone you meet.
May your gifts light the world
And reveal the goodness of God.
May your gifts today be embraced
And expressed
With creativity,
Making you useful in God's mercy.

Katie Sciba

Katie Sciba is a freelance writer, a licensed social worker, an ordained Baptist minister, a pastor's wife, and a mother from Victoria, Texas. She is married to Matt and they are parents to Anna, Maile, Lydia, and Claire. Katie blogs online at Always Simply Begin.

This Is my Father's World

Ken Medema

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