Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 17, 2017
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. 1 Peter 4:10
My mom has a pillow with some of my grandmother’s favorite words from Theodore Roosevelt stitched on it: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” What Roosevelt was saying is that everyone is holding something in their hand to accomplish something good, right where they are. But this isn’t always how we feel, right?
Sometimes we focus so much on what we don’t have that we start to believe that we aren’t holding anything at all in our hand to accomplish something worthwhile. We think living a significant life and doing good for God is for other “blessed” people who have more gifts, money, time, talents, or expertise.
“God does not show favoritism” (Romans 2:11).
When we compare what we are holding in our hand to what someone else is holding in theirs, or we start to focus on what we don’t have, it will keep us from accomplishing our purpose. Comparisons and negativity always destroy vision and hope for the future. True, I don’t have what my neighbor has, but they don’t have what I have. You may be a better fundraiser; I may be a better painter. Your sister may be a great dancer, but you can sing like nobody’s business. We have all been given something to make a difference for God. Everyone is holding something in their hand.
Many years ago, I became acquainted with a young man who worked as a help desk technician at a large computer company. Every day customers with hardware and software problems called and this bright guy would help them fix their issue. He did the same job as all the other call center techs that he worked with, but there was something unique about him . . . he was blind, and had been from birth.
I once saw him at his workstation. He was talking on the phone to a customer, and typing away while sitting in front of a black computer screen. He had never seen a computer, had no idea what a motherboard looked like, and couldn’t see what he was typing on the screen. But he didn’t let that stop him from doing something with his life. This guy could have sat around complaining. He could have decided that he would never accomplish anything because he couldn’t see. But he didn’t. Instead, he decided to use the other gifts he does have.
Everyone is holding something in their hand. You are holding something in yours. What is it? How has God blessed you? Do people come to you to help them solve personal problems? Do you know how to paint? Can you speak a foreign language? Are you compassionate? Funny? Organized? Ask God how you can use what He has given you for His glory and to help others. Don’t get so focused on what you don’t have that you let it stop you from doing something good for God.
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully” (Romans 12:6-8).
PrayerLord, I am so grateful that you have given me something to use for you and your Kingdom. Please help me to use all that you have placed in my hand for good and to rejoice that you have not overlooked me in giving good gifts. Amen.
ApplicationChoose three people you know who are using their gifts and talents for God’s Kingdom and to bless others. Ask them about their journey and how they started utilizing what God had placed in their hands.
Related Reading1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Ephesians 4:11
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