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April 21- Gifts

Mark: He said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand?

As a child, I recall pondering this verse. I imagined the lamp being a candle in a metal holder with a small tray beneath it and a rounded finger hole like a lamp you'd see in a Dickens tale. It seemed downright dangerous to put it under a bushel basket because the basket could catch fire or under the bed seemed equally dangerous because that could burn up in an instant. The logical explanation was, of course, putting it on a lampstand.

It wasn't until later in life that I understood that the "lamp" was our unique gift given by God. I feel as though I spent many a year beneath the bushel basket, afraid to be my real self for fear of being rejected. Look what happened to Jesus for being his real self, and using God's gifts.

Now, I'm at that beautiful age, where I don't care about being rejected by people because I'm not living my life for them, but for me, and for God. At the end of my life, the only one I have to answer to is God. I'm fairly certain that he's not going to ask me to name the people whom I pleased, instead I can imagine him asking if I used the gifts he gave me to their fullest potential? In my case, did I write everything I wanted to write? Did I live each day as if it were the last? Did I honor God with my work in my business or raising children? Did I love my neighbor as myself? Did I love myself? Was I a good friend, daughter, sister, mother, or wife? Were there any regrets?

Yes, God blessed each of us with many gifts, and the question is, do we know what those gifts are, and are we using those gifts to their fullest potential?

April 21

Matthew: As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them.

Mark: He said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand?

Luke: Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

John: Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.

Acts: After threatening them again, they let them go, finding no way to punish them because of the people, for all of them praised God for what had happened.

Romans: being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.

1 Corinthians: What would you prefer? Am I to come to you with a stick, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?

Galatians: Tell me, you who desire to be subject to the law, will you not listen to the law?

Ephesians: For surely you have heard about him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus.

Philippians: Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The friends who are with me greet you.

2 Timothy: Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers and sisters.

1 John: The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

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