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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When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Luke 4:16-21

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We talk a lot about following Jesus. In today's Scripture you follow Jesus into his hometown synagogue. Hear him stand up with purpose. Imagine the feel of the scroll on his hands and the sound it made as he unrolled it. Wonder with the rest there what he could possibly choose to read, this son of Joseph they watched grow up. Listen as he proclaims to you his mission. You hear the mission of God. It was God’s mission, and it still is. Jesus is anointed to bring good news. He is sent to free those who are not free. And he does it that day in Nazareth.

If we are followers of Jesus, we participate in this mission today. We are also anointed to bring good news to the poor. The Spirit of the Lord is also upon us. We are sent to proclaim release for captives. We are sent to proclaim recovery of sight for the blind. We are sent to let the oppressed go free. We can fulfill Scripture by joining God’s mission! Are you in?

Katie Sciba

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Freedom God, I know you are already working in the world. I want to join you! Thank you for giving your Spirit within me to guide me. Lead me in truth. 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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