God’s trust: Father, you have entrusted me with things I have not earned, deserved, or even asked for. I suppose at some point in life I have been drawn by your Spirit to see, appreciate, even care about the gifts you have put in me. Some time in my life you gave me a love for words. You have gifted me with the ability to write and speak—using the gift of words. I do not remember when or how you put this in me. Perhaps it was before I was born. Perhaps it is part of your unique fingerprint in me—wrapped in some secret way in the very DNA of my body. Or maybe you breathed it into me through the gift of your Spirit or the “light” you put in me, chosen for me before I was born. Perhaps it is one of those “treasures hidden in dark places, secret sites” (Isaiah 45:3) that we have no understanding of but come to recognize them as gifts from your hand, from your plan.

Isaiah 45:3 (NLT) And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.

God’s Plans: The truth is, all our searching for identity, contentment, and happiness, will always lead us back to our Creative Father who wove our uniqueness in secret places of his own heart, desires, and plans. (See Isaiah 45:3-6)

Looking back at my life, I don’t know why I took speech in high school or why I participated in plays and musicals instead of sports (which I also loved and had skills for). But all those “word” classes and activities sharpened my gifts, honed my skills, and shaped me for the Father’s purposes and plans. At the time, I had no clue that God was shaping me for his desired purposes. I was raised in a Christian home and “gave my heart to Jesus” when I was 7 years old. I’m sure that helped—a lot! But even for those who were not raised with those “advantages,” they too have promises and prophecies of God’s plans and gifts for their lives. They did not know God’s guiding hand upon their lives, just as I didn’t, yet still, it was there.

Isaiah 45:5 (NLT) I am the LORD; there is no other God. I have equipped you for battle, though you don’t even know me…

God’s Power: I didn’t earn or deserve any of the gifts, talents, or abilities that you’ve entrusted to me. But I do have a stewardship responsibility to them. I must honor them, value them, and develop them. And finally, I am called to follow the leading of your Spirit (Romans 8:14). The Spirit, who knows you best, Father (Romans 8:27), will always lead us to release the power of love wherever we go. In fact, that is the one sure way to walk with God, to know God better, to honor God, to always serve his purposes–make it your aim to release the power of love wherever you go.

1 John 4:7-12 (NLT) Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

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