Encouragement for Today - Jan. 5, 2007
Encouragement for Today
Rachel Olsen, Proverbs 31 Ministries Speaker and Author, Senior Editor for Online Devotions
1 Peter 4:10, “God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God's generosity can flow through you.” (NLT)
The Twelve Days of Christmas – the ones we often sing about – are counted from December 25th until January 5th. Epiphany is the climax of the twelve days, falling on the thirteenth day after Christmas. It is an occasion for feasting in many cultures, with a special King's cake often baked as part of the Epiphany festivities.
This Saturday, January 6, is the day of Epiphany. The term “epiphany” means "to show," "to make known," or "to reveal." This holiday remembers the wise men, who brought gifts to the young Jesus, and by so doing, revealed Jesus as King to the world. Their story is told in Matthew 2:1-11:
Jesus was born in the town of
Herod was deeply disturbed by their question, as was all of
`O Bethlehem of Judah,
you are not just a lowly village in
for a ruler will come from you
who will be the shepherd for my people
Then Herod sent a private message to the wise men, asking them to come see him. At this meeting he learned the exact time when they first saw the star. Then he told them, "Go to
After this interview the wise men went their way. Once again the star appeared to them, guiding them to
These men came to the King, bearing gifts. You and I have gifts to bring to the King of Kings as well. Ephesians reveals that we are each masterpieces of God – one-of-a-kind creations - complete with certain gifts and talents. These gifts help us fulfill God’s good plans for our lives. When we use them to bless others, we bless our King as well.
Do you have the gift of HOSPITALITY? Bake a needy neighbor some cookies, throw a party and invite others in.
Do you have the gift of TEACHING? Teach a bible study, coach a softball team, volunteer in your local school system, or offer to tutor a neighborhood child.
Are you blessed with the ability to GIVE graciously? Give not only to your church, but to the poor and to organizations doing Kingdom work, such as Proverbs 31 Ministries.
Do you have the gift of MERCY? Visit a shut-in, or volunteer at your local crisis pregnancy center, or work at a battered women’s shelter.
Are you good at sewing, baking, penny-pinching, or gardening? Just look around – there are others who could benefit from your expertise!
As we celebrate this day, let’s consider how we can bring our gifts as an offering to our King. In so doing, we’ll allow God's generosity to flow through us to others - just as the apostle Peter encouraged in today’s key verse. Happy Epiphany!
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, today I crown you King of my heart. Help me see ways I can use my gifts and talents to bless You and others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Living Life on Purpose by Lysa TerKeurst
Shaped With Purpose by Renee Swope
Plan some ways to celebrate the Day of Epiphany. Perhaps bake a King’s Cake and deliver slices to your friends and neighbors.
Consider how you can use your talents to generously bless others.
What talents did God gift you with?
How are you using them?
How can you bless people in your family, at work or in your community with your talents?
Do you need to reorganize your priorities or schedule so that you can better utilize and share your gifts?
Romans 12:6, “God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well.” (NLT)
1 Corinthians 12:4, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.” (NIV)
Proverbs 25:14, “Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of gifts he does not give.” (NIV)