Tuesday, January 8, 2002

Matthew 7:7-11 – Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (NIV)

I believe that a chainsaw can be useful in the right hands. The other day I was up in a tree at my parents' house cutting down a branch with my dad's chainsaw. It was a bit scary because I am aware of its power to slice through anything, tree or human!

Sadly, my father is now too frail to do the work, so when I had completed it, he said I could keep the chainsaw. I keep it at his house, since there is not much call for an electric chainsaw in a basement flat with no garden.

When I think of my dad's chainsaw, it reminds me of God's desire to give gifts, according to His will. For example, God does not give gifts, like chainsaws or snakes, to toddlers. If He did, they would hurt themselves or others. So, in my understanding, it would contradict His exemplary character of fatherhood.

I believe that God gives good gifts to all of us, some different, some the same, all to be used, handled with care, and ready to go. He helps us to grow and prepares us for service in various ways. For instance, David, a mere youth, became skilled in the use of a slingshot and grew up to lead a nation. Elisha followed Elijah and learned the power of prayer. So, too, the disciples followed Jesus and learned the Good News. Each of these biblical figures learned to do the will of God.

Do we know what the will of God is for us today? Are the gifts we have "sharp" and "well oiled" for use? Are we willing to take a risk, go out on a limb, and use them? That reminds me! I must check my chainsaw for rust spots and worn parts. What shape are your gifts in? They could be needed today!

Prayer: Father, by Your Holy Spirit, replace in us those things that have been lost, broken, stolen, or worn out. We ask that You sharpen our blunted edges, quicken, and refine us, so that when the day is past and all is done, we can be found still standing with You. Amen.

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Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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