Friday, February 20th

Friday, February 20th

God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams. When the training period ordered by the king was completed, the chief of staff brought all the young men to King Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them, and no one impressed him as much as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they entered the royal service. Whenever the king consulted them in any matter requiring wisdom and balanced judgment, he found them ten times more capable than any of the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom. Daniel remained in the royal service until the first year of the reign of King Cyrus. Daniel 1:17-21

The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. 1 Peter 4:7-11

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:6-12

Just like the four men in our story from the book of Daniel, we have a special apptitude for serving and influencing our world that the Holy Spirit has placed within us. This divine apptitude is not meant to be subject to circumstances and situations. It is the heartbeat of our calling from God so that his plan for using us to bless and touch the world is always immediate, right now at this present moment, no matter what. We need to take a close look at our heartbeat and see what is there that competes with the calling God has for us. We need to examine that pattern of our serving God and his kingdom and see if we are too often derailed from it because of circumstances and situations that come our way. The passages above are all about God's divine enablement for living out the plan and calling he has for us in the present no matter what.

Lord, forgive me for dabbling at my faith. Deliver me from trying to succeed at my own version of life. Give me a clearer picture of the version of life you have for me. Lord, help me surrender to you fully so that you are free to bring it about fully going forward. Help me to catch the enthusiasm, excitement, dedication, focus, and divine enablement exhibited in the 1 Peter and Roman passages above. Lord, I give myself to you freely and fully for all the you have called me to and empowered me for. Today, I choose you and your plan above all else, now and no matter what.

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